$400 Wellington house listing asks flatmate to leave six hours of the day

Author
Nick James, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 4 Aug 2021, 2:45PM
Photo of Wellington flat Trade Me listing. (Photo / Trade Me)
Photo of Wellington flat Trade Me listing. (Photo / Trade Me)

$400 Wellington house listing asks flatmate to leave six hours of the day

Author
Nick James, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 4 Aug 2021, 2:45PM

A Wellington property listing originally advertised on Trade Me was looking for renters prepared to pay $400 per week for a room they could only use outside of the hours between 9am and 3pm.

The description of the 22sq m studio apartment off Cuba St originally stated the other flatmate would use this property for "personal uses" between 9am and 3pm Monday to Friday and would prefer exclusive use during that time.

The listing also stated the flat's desk could only be used by the current flatmate.

But it then changed to not include the current roomate's preference.

Original caption from Wellington Trade Me listing. (Photo / Supplied)

Tenancy Services compliance and investigations national manager Steve Watson said the listing is likely not against the law.

"On first look at the advertisement online, it looks like this is for a flatmate (rather than a tenant), so wouldn't be covered by the Residential Tenancies Act.

"The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act) only covers tenants and landlords, not flatmates."

Renters United Spokesperson Ashok Jacob called the listing "a joke".

"It is just another example of the overcrowding caused by the severe housing shortage."

Jacob said although the specifics of the flat were quite odd the housing problem is so widespread it is not surprising.

"We are seeing this sort of thing all the time and it is quite upsetting."

He told the Herald they had been advocating to the Ministry of Business and Innovation (MBIE) for improvements in the sector.

"We have been advocating for just generally increased tenant protections but also I think a lot of the overcrowding problem is a direct result of the severe lack of supply which is also why we're campaigning for tens of thousands of state houses to be built immediately."

Jacob told the Herald although he thought the ad was an abuse it wasn't useful blaming the person who posted the listing given the systemic issues.

"It is purely as a result that in Wellington we are 10,000 to 15,000 houses short of where we need to be right now and given the fact our population is growing it is going to get worse."

The listing has since been taken down.