KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian student in Australia got the shock of her life when she returned to Perth after Chinese New Year holidays only to find herself evicted allegedly due to concerns over the Covid-19 outbreak.
Helen – whose real name has been withheld – had travelled back home to Malaysia on Jan 24 but upon her return to Perth on Feb 4, she discovered the locks were changed.
In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Helen said her former landlord had left a note to inform of her eviction due to fears she might have contracted the virus.
“WARNING – NO TRESPASSING.
“Due to your failure to stay in contact with me with (sic) World Health Organisation (WHO) GLOBAL EMERGENCY over coronavirus you are no longer welcome in this house,” read the note.
The landlord informed Helen that he had tried contacting the latter many times in vain. Helen said she had only received his messages upon her return to Australia.
“Sorry you made a decision to travel back home for the Chinese New Year when there was an outbreak of the coronavirus, and WHO has declared a global emergency, and now I have made a decision to change locks on the house and put your belongings outside as I am concerned for my welfare and family and friends,” read the message by the landlord.
“It was a hard decision to make between family and friends, but as you have travelled, we are very concerned and you are no longer welcome to come back to the house.”
Helen said she was shocked, sad and confused as she had never travelled to China.
However, the lack of any legally-binding agreement would prevent Helen from proceeding with legal actions against the landlord.
Under the verbal agreement between them, she was paying A$86 (RM239.40) a week plus bills and other expenses.
Wisma Putra is looking into the case.