UOW students demand more transparency in the wake of an accommodation crisis

Increasing prices in campus accommodation are sending a wave of penniless pupils out into the clutches of the “real”-estate market.

Property inspections are becoming overwhelmed by bright-eyed UOW students, dressed as formally as they can afford in an effort to impress estate agents.

However, formal inspections are not the only way that students are securing accommodation these days. ‘Room for Rent’ adverts now flood the popular student Facebook page: ‘UOW Students Buy and Sell.’  

Readers are warned that there is a sinister breed of con artists masked behind these bright, glossy and over-capitalised adverts. We spoke to Johnny Walker, who learned the hard-way that all is not what it seems.

“I’ve always been quite the cautious dealer in sifting through online advertisements. But O-week was approaching scarily fast and I just panicked ok? I was desperate for a place to crash after retro, so I signed the 12 month lease. The ad seemed legit, but I started to have suspicions when I noticed my new address was 2.5/85 John Street. From what I could make out, the original print read 2/85, but thanks to the help of a leaky black pen, a hasty .5 had been scratched in.”

“The social scene wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. I’m no snob, but I generally prefer human or at least mammal company, so when the ‘bunch of chill, friendly roommates’ turned out to be cockroaches I’ll admit I was a little disappointed. Calling the dryer ‘central heating’ was a bit of a stretch too. I wasn’t aware that a mouldy mattress meant ‘fully furnished’ these days, but maybe my standards are just a bit too high.”

Having carried out the term of his lease, we asked Johnny what his accommodation plans for next year would be.

“I think I’ll just go back to Mum and Dad’s in Bathurst” he informed us with a half-shrug (it was all his shoulders could manage following a year of sleep on the foam mattress).

“Those mould-plastered walls can house my Dune Rats poster any day. At least the poster will be the only rat around…”