No Place Like Home: Addressing Exploitation of International Students in Sydney's Housing Market

UNSW Human Rights Clinic I July 2019

66 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2020

See all articles by Bassina Farbenblum

Bassina Farbenblum

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Maria Nawaz

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Chelsea Barton

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jonathan Djasmeini

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Hannah Farrell

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Philippa Meikle

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Laura Melrose

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jessica Ortner

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Mayuri Santhukumar

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Wenshuo (Phoebe) Wang

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: July 9, 2019

Abstract

In 2018, there were a record 548,000 international students at universities, vocational colleges, English colleges and schools in Australia -- nearly double the number in 2013. Sydney (and other major Australian cities) has very limited dedicated student accommodation on campus or within commercial properties. Cost and other barriers render the formal rental market inaccessible to most international students. As a result, most live in share houses, boarding houses and other insecure arrangements in the marginal rental sector, which they find online. They are highly vulnerable to deceptive and exploitative conduct both when finding a place to live, and as tenants. Many experience conditions that seriously undermine their physical, emotional and financial wellbeing, and in many cases, their basic human right to adequate housing.

Authored by the UNSW Human Rights Clinic, this report provides an overview of the housing problems that international students encounter in Sydney, including issues with rental bonds, deceptive conduct, lack of tenancy rights, unfair evictions, poor living conditions, harassment, and discrimination. It considers the factors that prevent international students from securing adequate housing or leaving inadequate housing, and the impact of insecure housing on international students’ academic performance and wellbeing. The report makes a series of recommendations to local, state and federal governments as well as to universities and other international education providers. These include increasing access to adequate affordable housing, improving international students’ access to information and tenancy services, holding landlords to account, and strengthening international students’ legal rights as tenants and their access to justice.

Keywords: international students, international education, right to adequate housing, human rights, access to justice, affordable housing, exploitation, rental market

JEL Classification: K11, R31

Suggested Citation

Farbenblum, Bassina and Nawaz, Maria and Barton, Chelsea and Djasmeini, Jonathan and Farrell, Hannah and Meikle, Philippa and Melrose, Laura and Ortner, Jessica and Santhukumar, Mayuri and Wang, Wenshuo (Phoebe), No Place Like Home: Addressing Exploitation of International Students in Sydney's Housing Market (July 9, 2019). UNSW Human Rights Clinic I July 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3426935 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3426935

Bassina Farbenblum (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales (UNSW) ( email )

Kensington
High St
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

Maria Nawaz

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Chelsea Barton

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jonathan Djasmeini

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Hannah Farrell

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Philippa Meikle

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Laura Melrose

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jessica Ortner

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Mayuri Santhukumar

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Wenshuo (Phoebe) Wang

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
49
Abstract Views
259
PlumX Metrics