Costly coffin-sized rooms: Young tenants in Klang Valley get squeezed by sky-high rent rates


PETALING JAYA: A tweet of a coffin-sized room, rented at an insanely high price that went viral recently has sparked discussion among Malaysians, with some expressing their worries that the country might end up like Hong Kong.

The short tweet along with a picture of a small room enough to only fit a single-size mattress was posted online by Twitter user, Bunga, on Sunday (July 31).

"Good morning, except for the house owners in Kuala Lumpur who rented rooms similar to this," she said, adding that the quint-sized room was rented at RM300.

Bunga in another post, added that the justification given for the high price was that it was located in Maluri, nearby a light rail station, Pavilion and it has a view of KLCC.

"Practically, this should be called a grave!" said a 24-year-old junior executive who only wished to be known as Ibrahim.

He said he had just recently moved into a house in Subang and had encountered similar rooms during his time scouting for a new place to stay.

"The size is similar to the one shown in the tweet, but I am not too sure of its price. The whole house that has three rooms is being rented at RM1,800.

"For me, it was a bit too expensive since it was quite far from the public transport," he said.

Ibrahim said finding an affordable place to rent was hard in Klang Valley, especially for someone who had just entered the labour market.

As an example, Ibrahim said he had a friend who had to rent a flat with 11 other friends in Pantai Dalam, Kuala Lumpur in order to afford the place.

He called for a rental policy to be introduced to avoid property owners raising prices arbitrarily.

"This is a type of oppression to the young generation who’s trying to make a living.

"I'm worried we will end up like Hong Kong, where prices for a residence in the city are high but the quality of living is poor.

"A proper rental policy should be introduced to avoid property owners exploiting tenants," he said.

Fresh graduate Muhammad Rahmuni Shahmi Mohd Suffian, 23, said the rising rent for rooms was worrying as it would burden the public.

"Finding a rental room is easy but sometimes it is overpriced especially in high-demand areas.

"For example in Puchong, before this, the standard monthly price for rooms was around RM400 to RM500 but when an MRT pillar was erected there, not even the MRT station, the lease suddenly went up to about RM600 to RM700," he said.

He added that not only do the tenants have to think about the rental price but they too have to take into account the deposit and other bills which can be unaffordable for freshies.

Currently, he rents a condominium in Kuala Lumpur with six other tenants.

A property agent and rental operator who wished to be known as Waniey said it was not impossible for a small room to have an unbelievably expensive tag with it.

This, she explained, was due to the high demand from the public who wish to stay in certain areas due to their accessibility to amenities.

"I have a friend who rented in Maluri before, she always said that her room was the size of a 'toilet', and this was 10 years ago.

"Property prices in the area are high because there are a lot of workplaces and learning institutions.

"Normally the price of a property would depend on many factors, the location and demand.

"If the demand is high, some owners might arbitrarily increase the price of their property too," she said.

She said that the price hike too was more prevalent after the movement control order (MCO) as the economy reopened.

"Some owners lowered the rental price during the MCO but it has been raised since businesses reopened and universities welcomed back physical learning.

"Some of the owners increase their prices back to the original pre-covid prices while others would have increased it even more," she said.

Meanwhile, assistant property agent Nur Najihah Batrisya, 24, said a normal price for a room in Klang Valley was above RM350 and such cases of coffin-sized rooms are just an isolated case.

"It is unjustified for a coffin-sized room to be leased at that rate because it should at least have a clothes rack and if below that it is at ‘as it is’ condition for desperate people.

"Locals are definitely not the target market in such cases. Usually for this, their targets are foreign workers and the sorts," she said.

She explained that a normal room priced at RM350 should at least have a bed with a pillow, clothes rack, small side table, mirror, lamp and some space to pray.

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Rent , High , Landlords , Tenants , Twitter , Klang Valley , Property ,

   

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