A student’s stay in a rooming house.
|image courtesy of news.domain.com.au|
Manasa is an Indian student who came last year to study IT at RMIT. She is about 20 years old. When she first came she had no idea of her housing rights.
I am from India and in India we lived in slums. I could not afford a lot of money to come here. I had to take out a bank loan in India to afford my education and my living expenses.
I did not know about my housing rights as I had no idea about these orientation sessions from RMIT. At that time these orientation sessions from student services were never properly publicized. They were only publicized through an RMIT program called MATES, which I have not heard of.
Here the rooming house was damp and really old. There were insects everywhere.The house has been around for 20 years with no sign of renovation.
|image courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au|
It was really cramped inside. It also smelt musty sometimes.
There was no smoke alarm in place. Even if there was it never worked. Because I didn’t attend any housing session in RMIT I didn’t know that a working smoke alarm was mandatory.
Yet I was asked to pay about $300 per week to a really greedy landlord.
As a result of the mustiness, insects and other hazards, I could never really study properly. I was ill all the time. My results suffered and I was put “At risk” by my school. My school recommended that I see the housing service and I did. They recommended that I moved to another livable place. I moved in to a share house in Brunswick.
I tell this story so that you guys don’t make the same mistake as me and that you utilize your uni’s international student services.
Remember the case of Frank the seedy landlord who was on the news just last year? Well this is the same thing and it is not surprising many students get duped into these sort of arrangements.
Whilst this is still happening today, students and tenants have rights and they can be accessed here.