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|A block of rental houses for workers in District 2 of HCM City. - VNS Photo Viet Thanh|
It currently costs a renter VND700,000 to one million per month for a 20 to 25 metre-square-room, up 30 per cent year-on-year, according to Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper.
Due to the rising number of university students and labourers coming back to HCM City to study and work after a long break, the demand for room rentals has skyrocketed.
Couple Duc and Hue from Binh Dinh Province had to take leave from work to roam over Tan Phu, Binh Tan, Tan Binh districts in an effort to find a room which their family could afford.
“I collect and trade used things for a living while my husband repairs electric devices. We earn VND8 to 10 million per month and are looking for a room that is maximum VND2 million. That room should not be too small for our children.” Hue said.
They have planned to move to Binh Chanh District for cheaper alternatives.
Four university students from the Sai Gon Technology University encountered a similar difficulty, searching for rooms in Binh Chanh District’s Binh Hung Commune.
Le Trung Thinh, a member of the group, complained that their previous landlord had promised to keep unchanged the rental rate after Tet. However, the landlord recently decided to raise it to VND700,00 per room, with effect from February.
“We, of course, had to leave and have not yet been able to find affordable rooms in the area,” he said, adding that searching for rooms takes a large amount of their time, which affects their studying.
Many students in Go Vap, Thu Duc, and Binh Thanh District have to cramp into one small room or move further away from their school to save money.
Landlord Linh on Binh Hung Commune’s Pham Hung Street explained that prices go up every year and that she has to pay for room maintenance service and other fees, making the rate increase.
In order to support university students and labourers, People’s Committees of District 8, 9, 12, among others have organised multiple activities.
In Thu Duc District, the Labour Union, together with relevant authorities have sent officials to households that offer rental service to encourage them to maintain the rate.
Meanwhile, at the ward-level office of many district People’s Committees, information on where to find rooms and landlords’ mobile numbers have been posted for people in need.
According to the Youth Worker Support Centre, it collected information on available rooms for rent before Tet, ready to share to renters after the holiday.
However, the system was jammed up a little due to surging demand. The centre is gathering and categorising information on room status, which will be later announced to labour and youth unions in the city.
Nguyen The Trinh, director of a rental agency in District 8, said that renters should ask their landlords in advance of any changes in the rate and renew their rental contracts before Tet to refrain from paying higher prices in the new year.