Surging accommodation prices in Hà Nội force students into uncomfortable living arrangements

March 04, 2023 - 09:42
To save money, students live with two or three roommates, sometimes even four. However, cohabitating with strangers has led to unanticipated challenges.
Phương Trinh rents a room in Đống Đa District for VNĐ3.8 million per month. — Photo provided by Phương Trinh  

HÀ NỘI — Many students in Hà Nội have found themselves searching for roommates to cope with an unexpected surge in accommodation prices.

To save money, students live with two or three roommates, sometimes even four. However, cohabitating with strangers has led to unanticipated challenges.

Hostel owners in Hà Nội have attributed the sudden price increase to a rise in demand from students and workers needing housing. Some landlords have taken advantage of the situation to raise prices.

Depending on location and room size, the monthly rent for a fully-furnished studio with a bed, wardrobe, kitchen, and air-conditioner ranges from VNĐ3 million (US$127) to VNĐ5 million ($211).

Accommodations located near major universities in areas such as Cầu Giấy, Hồ Tùng Mậu, Hoàng Quốc Việt, Đê La Thành, Nguyễn Chí Thanh, Chùa Láng, and Nguyễn Trãi command higher rents.

Students typically spend between VNĐ3 million and VNĐ4 million per month for a room with an area of ​​20sq.m to 25sq.m. Mini apartments range from VNĐ4 million to VNĐ6 million per month.

Because students cannot bear such a high monthly rent, they are forced to find strangers to share with.

Dương Mạnh Chiến, a student of Hà Nội University of Civil Engineering, was forced to find a roommate after finding a satisfactory room but with a rent of up to VNĐ4 million per month in Ba Đình District.

Through social networking sites, he became acquainted with another guy from the Hà Nội University who was also looking for a room to share.

However, conflicts occurred after living together for a few weeks because their lifestyles were opposite.

“The roommate regularly smokes, and the floor is littered with cigarette butts,” Chiến said. “He often goes out late, and there are days when he wakes me up at 1am to open the door, causing me to lose sleep.

"I have commented many times on his lifestyle, but he has not changed. The most pressing issue is that he often gathers his friends to eat and drink in the room without my consent.”

Phương Trinh, a student who rented a hostel in Đống Đa District with a rent of VNĐ3.8 million per month, was in a similar situation.

Trinh's roommate was a colleague from her part-time job shop, and conflicts in the workplace led to arguments in the hostel room. The climax was when Trinh discovered that her roommate secretly used her personal belongings.

The constant conflict made the two friends not want to spend any time with each other. They signed up to work at home at different times to avoid meeting at home. They didn't cook together, didn't communicate, and limit face-to-face contact at work and at home.

They are in a difficult situation because if they move to another place, they will lose the deposit and staying together is uncomfortable. Both are trying to stay to end the contract for a while, and then one of them will move to another place. — VNS