|A student room in Phap Van Area of Ha Noi. Thousands of students from other provinces who come to Ha Noi for university need accommodation, giving landlords and landladies the opportunity to hike up prices. — Photo tuoitre.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — Thousands of students from other provinces who come to Ha Noi for university need accommodation, giving landlords and landladies the opportunity to hike up prices.
The house and apartment owners also increase internet, service, parking and other fees in preparation for the surge in customers pushed their houses' price higher along with an increase in fees for facility usage including service charges, parking and internet bills. The price hikes happen every year as students rush to find housing before university starts.
According to a survey by reporters at Nhan Dan (People) Newspaper, rental houses on Xuan Thuy Road in Cau Giay District were out of rooms as of mid-September.
"To rent a nice place, students' parents had to hurry up and pay their deposits in mid-August, because would it be much harder to find any places after the student had already been enrolled," said Binh, a landlord at 175 Xuan Thuy Street.
The cost of rental accommodations has increased by 20 to 25 per cent over the past year. On Cau Giay Street, a 10sq.m one-storey house with heat-resistant roofing and a shared bathroom costs between VND1.2 million and 1.3 million (US$53-57) per month, whereas it would have cost between VND1 million and 1.1 million ($44-49) per month previously.
High-rise apartment costs also increased. Le Thi Nhung, a first-year student at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, said before coming to Ha Noi she searched online for housing opportunities and prices.
"As advertised on the internet, a 15sq.m apartment costs VND1.2 million ($53) per month, but when I and my friend came to speak with the landlord, he raised the price to VND1.8 million ($80)," Nhung said. "Since the price was too high, we decided to look for another cheaper house."
Le Thi Thu from the northern province of Hai Phong immediately asked relatives in Ha Noi for advice on housing after her daughter was accepted to the Ha Noi University of Science and Technology. But the relatives couldn't find anywhere that was cheap, with good security near the school. The most acceptable house was more than 5km away.
Thu and her daughter decided to come to Ha Noi and search for themselves.
"Every day, I explored lanes all around the university to find accommodation for my daughter," Thu said. "In addition to the rent price, I would have to pay for dozens of other utilities like electricity, water and internet."
Electricity costs increased along with rent price hikes, from VND3,500 (15 US cents) per kWh to 4,000 (17 cents) or even 5,000 (20 cents) per kWh. Cleaning fees rose from VND15,000 to VND20,000 (60-90 cents) per person per month. Water charges saw the biggest increases, from VND60,000 to VND80,000 ($2.7-3.5) per month.
Hong Thuy, a freshman in the Management Education Institute, said she wanted to stay in her school's dormitories, but they were usually saved for scholarship recipients.
Thuy and many other students knew little about the apartments built specifically as accommodation for students in the new Phap Van-Tu Hiep Residential Quarter in Hong Mai District or Hacinco Student Village in Thanh Xuan District.
Only some of them had heard of these places, and those that did said they were too far from school. — VNS