Students’ accommodation issues: No other choice but to squeeze in

27 Sep 2022 09:49am
Photo for illustrative purposes. BERNAMA FILE PIX
Photo for illustrative purposes. BERNAMA FILE PIX

SHAH ALAM - Higher education institution students in some big cities are currently facing difficulty getting rental housing, especially for the new semester intake.

The situation forced an Electronic Engineering major at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Shah Alam, who only wanted to be known as Safwan Hazim, to rent an apartment with eight of his friends that they had to sleep in the living room.

The 22-year-old man from Temerloh Pahang admitted that the step had to be taken as a saving mechanism apart from the closer commute distance to the university compared to other residences.

“My friend and I had tried checking out many places, but there were not as many vacancies. Even if there was, the rent was too expensive for us students to bear per month,” he said.

Another student Mohamad Suhaib Shafie, 23, said he had to rent a unit with 13 friends in a double-storey terrace house about a kilometre from university.

“In order to save, we rented together but the ones staying in rooms had to pay a little pricier rent than those in the living room.

“The rent depends on the room. For example, me and my friends in the main room had to pay RM90 a month while others in the living room paid RM80 only,” explained the Arabic and Communications major.

Muhammad A’fiq Jamaluddin, 22, said since it was hard to a rental house, he had to squeeze in with another eight classmates at a house in Shah Alam.

Related Articles:

He said living in a big city was quite challenging for a student like him to pay rent and cover daily expenses.

“It’s hard to find a place to rent. We had checked out many places but most of them had been booked and some owners were only looking for female tenants.

“Actually, when a house gets too crowded, it is quite hard to focus (study) in a noisy environment but we had no other choice because we can’t afford to rent a bigger home,” he said.

For a student at one of the public universities in Pulau Pinang, Nur Sairah Ahmad, 23, she did not deny that some owners refused to give rent to students due to their irresponsible behaviour.

“This is the third time I rent a different room because I failed to get a place in the residency college.”

“My last two rooms were rented mostly by students who could hardly manage a house. It was messy, the bathroom was stained, foods left mouldy, even the house utensils like the washing machine, refrigerator, furniture were damaged due to poor care.”

“We live together in order to save, but if the house was like a crushed barge, it wouldn’t be comfortable to live in,” she shared her experience living with eight university students of different majors in a house in the past.

Meanwhile, the difficulty of committing to a rent was among the causes some real estate agents lack interest in giving rent to students.

An agent Iza Sarliza Hamidun said she preferred to rent out units to individuals who have started working compared to students who were still expecting allowance from parents.

“Since we are running on the basis of business and profit, we must immediately find a tenant if there is a vacancy in our room.

“So sometimes we could not give rent to students because their income is seasonal and infrequent compared to working tenants,” she explained when contacted by Sinar Harian.

Iza Sarliza also revealed that students typically ask for a house or room nearby campus.

“When we offered a place a little far from their campus, they didn’t want it, so it’s hard to fulfil their request compared to working tenants,” she shared.

She did not only deny that hygiene and maintenance were among the common things she dealt with when giving rent to most students.

“The house sometimes was unmanaged and dusty, plus the floor was also not swept.

“There were also cases of door and closet damaged after their use.

“That’s why students who rent any house or room need to behave themselves so they won’t break their place agent or owner’s trust,” she advised.