Shamikshya Basnet, AS

Australia has turned into the place of dreams for many international pupils. Given that Australia boasts good education, a high standard of living, and a friendly atmosphere, more and more students choose to go there to pursue their further education. With a population of 30 million people, 7% of them are foreigners studying in Australia, which is a lot of people even for a country which is the 6th largest in the world. With more people living in Australia, the problem with housing and cost of living stress is increasing for many people, especially foreign students.

Australia is experiencing a housing crisis as a result of rising housing costs and a lack of available student housing, which has increased by 10-20%. The market for student housing in Australia has increased dramatically  and is worth about AUD 10 billion. 90% of the housing is located off campus and university students are sharing beds with strangers because they cannot afford to rent a room of their own due to sky-high rental prices. 

Price increases as a result of increased demand. The rental problem increased even rapidly after the Covid pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, holders of student visas could work up to 40 hours per fortnight. However, in January 2022 that cap was removed to allow visa holders to fill critical workforce gaps opened in the pandemic. With the exception of elderly care, the cap has once again applied as of July 1 and permits those on student visas to work 48 hours every two weeks, or around three shifts each week.

A significant issue that affects tenants nationwide is rental scams. News reports about a head tenant in Sydney who deceived their flat mates into paying his share of the rent without realizing it, has been making the rounds and has cast new light on renting scams. International students who may be less familiar with their tenant rights in Australia should be especially wary of these renting frauds.

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