A bizarre "holiday rental" listing has caused a stir after the furnished townhouse was advertised at $1,500 per week with a $10,000 bond, while the landlord requires four weeks' rent up front and further fees towards strata, linen, management and cleaning.
The listing, which appeared on realestate.com.au and Domain, said holidaymakers would have to connect to and pay for electricity themselves and the property was only available for a two, three, four, five, six or eight-month lease.
Confusing Aussies further, the property was listed as a three-bedroom, three bathroom home — while the floorplan shows only two — with one king-size bed, one queen sofa bed and a child's bed, that was suited to "up to 10 related tenants or five unrelated tenants".
The ad for the Brisbane property states that there's parking for 11 cars and tenants could fit "20 motorcycles in the garage or more around the townhouse" while making note of the tinted windows, block-out blinds, reverse cycle air-conditioning, security lighting, cameras and CCTV in the complex.
TikToker Rach McQueen, known for her real estate videos, blasted the "unbridled greed of the property owner" and stated, "Have never seen such high move-in costs for a maximum eight-month lease.
"None of this makes any logical sense. I don't even know what to make of this listing but what I can say is that it is completely unreasonable, unhinged and delusional and/or has an ulterior unspoken motive, if you know what I mean."
Tenants slam rental
The property description says the house "is used as a holiday rental for people visiting Brisbane and the Gold Coast", and the owner accepted international visitors or Australian residents who wanted a short-term rental.
It states the property had been listed on Airbnb but this appears to have been removed.
On social media, renters blew up about the property. "I don't understand how they can say this is an Airbnb but you have to connect and pay for electricity yourself? That's not how holiday rentals work. WTF," one Facebook user wrote.
Another added, "Considering when I was looking for a place last year, all of these townhouses were $550 a week, maybe even $600 for a three bedroom, this is disgusting."
'Very, very weird listing'
Property solicitor Monica Rouvellas, of Thornton + King, said she'd "never seen anything like it before" and questioned if someone was "taking the Mickey".
"It's very odd," she told Yahoo News Australia, but explained the $10,000 bond requirement is legal. "This property is in Queensland where residential properties with rent over $700 per week can ask for more than four weeks' bond and there is no maximum amount. In NSW, it's four weeks and that's it.
“The property owner and tenant would negotiate what the bond is. But it's a very, very weird listing."
Ms Rouvellas said typically Airbnb guests don't need to pay a bond and while there may be cleaning fees, they wouldn't have to connect and pay for electricity themselves or pay community fees, otherwise known as strata.
As the home is in a complex, the owner would also need to get permission from the body corporate to lease it out as an Airbnb, especially if up to 10 people were staying at the property.
"Stratas or community title property committees can place restrictions on Airbnbs, on who can stay there, especially with the 20 motorcycles," she told Yahoo.
"There is also the area it's located in. There are not many Airbnbs there and for that price, I would be expecting something closer to the beach or something."
She said rent for two- to three-bedroom furnished properties like this one in Richlands would typically go for $550 to $600 so it was well overpriced at $1,500 a week.
Ms Rouvellas also questioned whether the photos provided matched the floorplan of the house.
Yahoo News Australia has reached out to realestate.com.au, Domain and online agent Property Now which listed the property.
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