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Students as Tenants

In the Republic of Armenia (RA), the sphere of renting a house is quite shadowy, it is not inspected and hence there are no official statistics about the number of the houses for rent as well as assessing their adequateness. One of the main reasons for the continuous rent hikes is the high demand from the students. This is a common practice especially in the capital city where 45 higher education institutions are located.

According to the Civil Law of the RA, a citizen is free to pursue their  right for education. The presence of adequate and safe living accommodation is a necessary precondition for pursuing it.  

The students who graduate  high or secondary schools in outer regions before moving to the capital city Yerevan often face the obstacle of renting a safe, adequate and reasonably priced apartment. 

Student dormitories that are meant for sharing this burden of students practically do not provide a full solution to this issue. There are a very limited number of dormitories with limited capacity for the large number of students with housing needs. 

The RA Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports recently (2018) has implemented a project to support the students from the marzes of Armenia. This project fully or partially covers the expenses of house rent of those students who correspond to the conditions defined by this project. But still the above mentioned solutions are a small part of this big problem. 

It is worth mentioning that there is neither official data of the number of students coming from the regions to the capital city/ city,  nor how many of them face this issue of renting a house. This once again  proves that this issue is not paid enough attention at the state level, therefore students do not have enough support while trying to rent a house with adequate and safe conditions and supervised pricing.

 In 2020 Frontline Youth Network NGO  held a research on students socio-economic conditions  within 200 people. The respondents’ common age was 16-25, all college or university students. 49.2% of the respondents shared a house with their friends, 14,2% with their relatives, 14,2% lived alone, 10,7% lived with their parents.

Forms response chart. Question title: Ո՞ւմ հետ եք բնակվ(ել)ում ուսանողության շրջանում / With who do you live during university years?. Number of responses: 197 responses.

47% of the respondents had no regular source of income. It is worth mentioning that students of this age regarding the specifics of Armenian cultural, social reality very often are not financially independent so this fact also makes studying challenging in a capital city both for the students or the parents.

Forms response chart. Question title: Ֆինանսական եկամտի աղբյուր ունեցե՞լ եք վարձակալման շրջանում / Did you have any income while renting an apartment?. Number of responses: 196 responses.

According to the same research renting a house was challenging mainly because of financial reasons (84%), 55% cases the adequateness of the house was a challenge, 31% cases students encountered miscommunication with the house owner. 

As a result of this type of problems students’ study process has somehow suffered: 55% of the students mentioned that those issues impacted their educational advancement negatively. 

Challenges related to house renting  have made 75% of students move to a new house even up to 10 times. 74% of the students have not signed a contract with the landlord. 

Forms response chart. Question title: Ստիպված եղե՞լ եք տեղափոխվել մեկ վարձակալվող բնակարանից մեկ ուրիշ (ԱՅՈ-ի դեպքում նշել համապատասխան թիվը ԱՅԼ դաշտում) / Did you have to switch renting apartments (please identify number in others)?. Number of responses: 189 responses.

These statistics once again come to prove that this field is not a priority at a state level. The pricing policy is not being watchdogged, the agreements with the house owners remain in a  verbal form merely. There is no supervised  platform for providing students information on houses available for rent. 

And before there comes the day when this issue will be paid more attention at a state, educational, social levels it is important that each student observes the adequateness of the house for rent, signs an agreement with the landlord (involving the conditions of housing rights of the RA Civil legislation), makes an agreement on the renting period as well as makes sure to have the document version of  all the payments related to renting a house.  Remember that the landlord-tenant disputes are to be solved  according to the Civil Law of the RA.

FYN launches a march on raising awareness on housing rights and particularly on renting a house within students from the regions of Armenia. You will meet our trailer info-house in the neighborhood of the universities in Yerevan. Our team will share their knowledge and experience and with common efforts we will try to find stable solutions. 

This project is being realized in support of FYN, CDN, EYF, Council of Europe. 
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