A man allegedly stabbed by his roommate with an eight-inch knife in the kitchen has blamed the housing shortage in the big city as the cause of the frenzied attack.
The victim, who wished to remain anonymous, was allegedly stabbed five times in the chest and once in the thigh by his flatmate, Lioh Zeviar, at their rental home in North Sydney on Tuesday.
Zeviar, 39, appeared in Manly local court on Wednesday charged with assault causing actual bodily harm during the Anzac Day attack, according to 7News.
Police told the court that the alleged attack, which left stab wounds an inch from the victim’s lung, was “completely unprovoked.”
But the alleged victim blames the rental crisis in Sydney.
“The main problem here is that there is a housing shortage,” he told 7NEWS.
“I think that’s increased over the past six to eight months.”
He said a complex and unofficial living situation meant the two housemates, who met at a roommate forum, were evicted from their home.
“They can just kick you out because there’s nothing on paper, you didn’t post a bail,” he said.
“Because it’s a shared house, we have our own space, we rarely see each other…but there was always that underlying tension because no one was being interviewed.”
The victim, who wished to remain anonymous, blamed his knife for Sydney’s rental crisis
Lioh Zeviar appeared before Manly local court on Wednesday, charged with assault causing actual bodily harm, where he pleaded guilty
Despite the ordeal, the alleged victim believes he can now handle whatever the rental crisis throws at him.
“Somehow I’m glad I moved here because I’ve been through it, and I’m pretty sure whatever happens next I can handle it.”
Zeviar pleaded not guilty to the assault and was granted bail after his legal aid attorney told the court his client was adamant he had not assaulted the housemate.
Legal aid lawyer Fiona Hadlington said the full-time IT professional, who works for a global firm based in Haymarket, was “adamant” that he had nothing to do with the stabbing, the Daily telegram reported.
“A lot of people live at this address, he doesn’t deny that he has injuries, but he says he has nothing to do with it,” the lawyer said.
Sydneysiders have endured nightmarish scenes of waiting in queues that wrap around inner city blocks to inspect just one home (pictured, a queue at a recent tenancy inspection)
“When the ambulance arrived there were minor injuries and superficial cuts – there are multiple issues and I was instructed it wasn’t him.”
He is allowed to return to his North Sydney address that he shared with the alleged victim to collect his belongings with a police escort.
He must appear in court again in June.
Sydney’s rental crisis has worsened in recent months, with landlords raising rents by as much as $600 a month.
Some workers are forced to live in hostels because of the fierce competition for rental accommodation, while others share rooms with friends to save money.
Extreme examples include a landlord who advertises a patch of grass in his backyard for $130 a week and an international student who puts down $300 a week to rent a pop-up tent in a living room.
Zoe Jiang, 27, from China, was forced to stay in temporary accommodation when she moved from Australia to study finance due to fierce competition for rooms.
Her situation is not unique, as international students returning to Australia in droves are greeted by one of the most challenging rental markets in decades, with housing shortages and skyrocketing prices.
“I’ve never had a night in a tent…camping in a living room was very different,” Ms. Jiang told the ABC.
An international student has revealed that she was forced to live in a living room tent in Sydney for $300 a week (pictured)