A rental ad in Auckland showing a bed in a garage has been criticized by a New Zealand MP and a tenants union.
Posted to a West Auckland Facebook group searching for roommates, the footage showed a bed right next to a silver sedan in a garage.
There was also a small table in the room, with a plant and a chair.
The price charged by the owner was not clear. When approached by Things for comment, the owner immediately hung up. They have since posted another ad for NZ $ 225 ($ 213.98) per week, showing different images of the interior of what appears to be the same property.
Renters United spokesperson Geordie Rogers said Te Atatū’s announcement was an “unfortunate reality” in the rental market. He said there were a lot of people across Aotearoa living under similar circumstances.
“There’s a good chance that a property like this would be rented out if it was a roommate situation,” Rogers said.
The advertising was a clear “symptom of the market”, he said.
“It comes down to the fact that there isn’t enough housing for people and when there isn’t enough housing for people, those who have access can decide where and how people can live. “
Ads for unsuitable housing were becoming increasingly common, with ads appearing “every two weeks,” he said.
Auckland Central and Green Party MP Chloe Swarbrick called the ad “baked”.
“Most of Auckland’s young people, strangely, wouldn’t be particularly shocked, given the condition of the housing that many of us have lived in,” Ms. Swarbrick said.
Life situations like this would not be corrected unless there was a “seismic shift” around rental rules and standards, she said.
Mr Rogers said it would depend on the specific rental agreement on whether the garage was legal housing.
The garage was highly unlikely to follow building code laws and be considered a bedroom if it was signed as part of a binding rental agreement, he said.
However, the case would be different if it was a private agreement between roommates.
“This is where we see a lot of abuse in the market around this roommate situation and this is where people get away with properties like this,” Rogers said.
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“This is also where we see the most overcrowding and properties. We have people who wouldn’t normally live in a room together, share bunk beds or something to make the rent more affordable.”
Ms Swarbrick said an owner’s registry and a fitness system rental mandate were urgently needed.
“We so often put the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, [despite] this is all obviously messed up.
“And that’s why it’s really important to start reversing some of these trends,” she said.