NTU students auction off hostel rooms, some at $900 a month
While international students at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) are struggling to find alternative accommodation, some local students have been capitalising on the situation by offering their hall rooms for rent.
In a Telegram chat group set up for students without on-campus accommodation to share updates with one another, some who have secured hall rooms are auctioning them off to the highest bidder.
In Telegram messages seen by The Straits Times, a handful of students have listed their rooms for rent, with prices going for up to $900 a month.
This is double the rent that the university charges for a single, non-air-conditioned room in one of NTU's newer halls. These rooms lack an attached bathroom.
The most expensive hostel rooms in NTU cost $635 monthly and consist of a single-bed room with air-conditioning and an attached bathroom.
The rooms being auctioned have no attached bathrooms, and are either rooms for single occupants or double rooms where two students share a room.
Most of the rooms being offered on Telegram also do not have air-conditioning.
A third-year foreign student told ST he felt it was unfair that some students are trying to profit from the situation.
"If they can just rent it out, it means that they don't need the room," he said.
"But instead of declining the room offer from the hall, they're just trying to make money at the expense of people who are actually in need of a place to stay."
Some of the correspondences showed the local students asking for a deposit for the rooms they offered.
Others wanted full payment upfront.
When asked about their living arrangements if they were to rent out their rooms, the students said they would live with their families and commute to school.
An NTU spokesman said students found renting out the hall rooms they have been allocated will face disciplinary action, which may include being evicted or barred from the halls.
"Residents who no longer require on-campus housing should return the hall placement so that it can be offered to the next eligible student.
"The hall rules state that residents should not sublet their rooms or allow another person to take over the room with or without monetary consideration," the spokesman added.