Abdulaziz Janturayev
Image source: www.gazeta.uz

Many university students in Uzbekistan who are away from home for their studies rely on the private residential sector for housing. This may be some students’ first actual experience living independently. Students’ quality of life and likelihood of finishing their studies can be significantly influenced by good quality, reasonably priced housing that is close to university. On top of that, student dormitories have a significant role in drawing international students to Uzbekistan to pursue their studies. For those reasons, it is crucial to track and comprehend students’ experiences in the field. This blogpost discusses legal aspects and smart solutions in this field to ensure students and property owners will be aware of their respective rights and responsibilities when engaging in apartment rentals. 

Housing market of students in Uzbekistan

Students’ housing is one of the long-lasting problems in higher education remains unsolved and this situation causes chaos for students. There were 77 higher education institutions in 2016 whereas this number climbed to 172 and new universities will be established soon. The number of students studying in universities also jumped from 200,000 to 800,000, which created significant demand for the private sector. 

To tackle this problem, the Government adopted a decree on university dormitories in September 2021. It aimed to build dormitories in 11 universities of Tashkent city till 2022, however only the University of World Languages was able to finish the required task on time. For the protection of the Government, the Minister of Higher Education, Abduqodir Tashkulov emphasized that in 2017-2022, dormitories with a total of 56,000 beds have been created for students. This is 28 times more than in 2010-2016. Nonetheless, these numbers still cannot meet the demand of students in universities. 

      “Huge houses with small hearts”

The capital city of Tashkent is experiencing a dire condition. It is already obvious that the current disparity between housing and rental costs and salaries will lead to more social backlash. Not only students, but also many other salarymen tenants were left in a difficult situation after the sharp increase of housing prices. As a result, many landlords started to renegotiate and demand higher payments from lessees. Because our rental market is based almost entirely on verbal agreements. It is almost impossible to conclude a contract in a written form. First, property owners avoid taxes, and second, they think that drawing up a contract is too much trouble because of red tape, and finally, Uzbek legal culture does not welcome such formality. 

The issue will be somewhat mitigated if we can instill the culture of paying rent via contract rather than orally and if we begin to tightly regulate it. In any event, phrases like “leave tomorrow” or “the price has increased from today” will not exist. Both parties will have obligations and rights. Nonetheless, the issue appears to persist due to people’s mentalities and the wild laws of the free market in Uzbekistan.

Smart solutions?

An increase of housing costs in certain urban areas could make it harder for students who are already experiencing trouble juggling their academics and jobs. Further, on a meeting at the Tashkent city administration for the issues of accommodation, Khokim(mayor) of capital city took serious step and proposed to use “Tashkent index”(newly-built industrial business park) as a temporary residence for young minds. In addition, this project will be based on the basis of public-private partnership. The proposal’s significance was that this newly constructed project could take 1,000 students, bringing joy to thousands of souls.

An additional opportunity has been also created by Youth Affairs Agency for students to search for a house for rent. The Agency’s initiatives resulted in the creation of a separate section for students on the website uybor.uz. With the help of the ads of those who agree to rent their house specifically for students will be posted on a daily basis. The system works through youth leaders in the neighborhoods. 

How does Uzbek legislation regulate housing sector? 

For example, if a person wants to rent a house, he/she needs to draw up a rental agreement and register it within the state tax authorities. If he or she does not comply with this requirement, that person will be subject to an administrative fine in the amount of 5 to 10 times according to Article 159-1 of the Code of Administrative Responsibility.

Furthermore, homeowners cannot drive a student or a poor family, who is paying less than market price. Because according to the requirements of Article 615 of the Civil Code, there is nothing you can do because the lease agreement has not been cancelled, you cannot evict anyone without a court order. The lease agreement in the middle is still valid if parties do not take initiatives. 

Moreover, homeowners who let their homes to students do not have to pay income taxes. Because the income received by the taxpayer from renting housing to students is regarded as non-taxable income under paragraph 19-1 of Article 378 of the Tax Code. Therefore, people who leased their homes to students do not have to pay income taxes. Additionally, student do not pay taxes for property rentals.

New students should know their rights

In addition to that, the Government also started to help paying rentals fees of students. If there is dormitory available for a student and he or she lives in a rental apartment, that student has the right to receive rent compensation, regardless of the course he or she is studying in. To get the compensation, the student needs to submit the lease agreement to his or her university. Now, according to the new rule, an exception has been made for the 1st year students. Each university will pay first-year students’ rents for the beginning two months, namely September and October even if they fail to submit their rental agreements. Students who have submitted a rental agreement will continue to be paid from November as well.

Additional proposals

In my opinion universities should also think about “Home-stay” programs similar to developed countries’ policy. Homestay programs set up housing arrangements for students to study with local hosts or families. In homestay programs, living arrangements might range from simple room-rental arrangements to full host/family immersion. In a homestay program, you normally have your own room, but you also participate in the family’s everyday activities and join them for meals. Although homestays can be provided by anybody, host families are typically those who have young children or teenagers of their own. Because it’s a terrific way for them to meet students and expose their own children to new cultures, host families frequently decide to give homestays.

Furthermore, Law Chapter 7 of the Law “ On Education” has to be revised. Social Protection of participants of Educational Process. It is necessary to take serious steps in the field of social protection for students. For instance, articles 50 and 52 states that social protection of students in educational institutions covers benefits, scholarships and temporary accommodation. However, no public university website provides information on the availability of temporary residences, the number of residences, or the amount of payment. I believe that those two articles should be properly enforced so they meet today’s demand and provide social protection of students.


Student enrollment in higher education is increasing in Uzbekistan and is projected increase due to a greater legislative emphasis on luring international students to the country. Therefore, the demand for student housing is projected to increase in the near future as well. As I examined above, the Government and regions are trying to take some smart actions, but such policies are still lacks to meet the high demand for housing among students. This analysis has demonstrated how these trends may put pressure on housing expenses in these regions, which may in turn make things more difficult for students already having trouble. Against such background, I proposed some smart actions and legislative proposals. The author hopes that this blogpost will contribute to ongoing discussion of student housing issues in Uzbekistan. 

Cite as:  Abdulaziz Janturayev, “How to Address the Students Housing Crisis in Uzbekistan?”, Uzbekistan Law Blog, 13.12.2022.