A picture shared by a disappointed Aussie highlights the grim reality many young students are facing to secure a roof over their head as the academic year commences.
A two-bedroom Sydney rental property in the city was advertised saying it can accomodate "up to six" people, with bunk beds squashed into one of the rooms in an attempt to provide sleeping facilities for as many residents as possible in the small space.
"Cheaper than hotel or backpackers accomodation," the listing in a private Facebook group read.
The property was listed at $1,000 (with no reference to the frequency of this rental payment) with bills inclusive in the price. The hopeful landlord assured readers it was fully furnished for six people to move in by mid-March.
The listing drew the attention of one local who was gobsmacked by the audacity of the advertisement. Despite admitting they were "disconnected from the housing crisis" themselves, at least anecdotally, the social media user was "appalled" by the current state of affairs, they said.
"The picture broke my heart and just wanted to share. I hope you all are doing well," they wrote while sharing images of the ad on Reddit.
The post attracted many similar-mined individuals who called out the landlord for what they claimed was a "gross" attempt to capitalise on the rental crisis which in Sydney. "This is disturbing," one derided.
Students bearing the brunt of Sydney's rental crisis
Domestic and international students alike are struggling to find suitable rental accomodation as the academic year commences, with sub-par properties like this seemingly targeting the desperate cohort.
Zoey Zhang, an international student from China, has found it incredibly tough to find affordable accomodation in the city and has even considered sleeping "rough on the streets".
"I knew that finding a rental in Australia won't be easy, but I didn't expect it to be this difficult. Some are subletting their living rooms or balconies. I don't think I can do that," she told Reuters this month.
Another international student shared with The Sydney Morning Herald over the weekend that he experienced similar difficulties finding appropriate accomodation in the city while he completes his university degree.
“I am from Bangladesh and it is well known as a third-world country,” Rafiul Hossain told the publication. "But the place I’m currently staying is a thousand times worse than Bangladesh."
With damaged doors, a broken toilet and a bed "full of mites", his story seems to be one of many which highlight the struggles students are facing while looking for accomodation at the moment.
Figures released by SQM Research highlighted that only 1.4 per cent of all rental properties in the city were vacant in November, and the number of properties is now extremely low due to the influx of students.
The rising cost of living combined with the lack of rental supply has boosted prices in the city, resulting in the few vacant properties available coming at an expensive rate, with the number of available properties under $400 per week dropping to its lowest level since 2018, according to new data from PropTrack on Tuesday.
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