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$470 per week basement slammed for 'taking advantage of desperate people'

Locals have called out the exposed wires and lack of ventilation as well as the price.

Australians are sick of landlords and real estate agents "taking advantage of desperate people" during the current rental crisis and one owner is feeling the brunt of this backlash after listing a flat under their house for a cool $470 per week.

The Brisbane woman advertised the garage privately on Facebook marketplace, showing images of a space complete with exposed ceilings displaying wiring and plumbing, and a noticeable lack of light. The listing, called a "granny flat" by the owner, was found and shared by angry locals who have slammed the property, calling it "sketchy" and "illegal".

Image on left is of the front of the property listed. Image on the right reveals the kitchen with an exposed ceiling showing wires and pipes.
People have slammed the Queensland listing after it appeared on Facebook Marketplace. Source: Facebook

Calls to report 'garage' rental

The ad for the flat in Wynnum states that for $470 per week plus $30 for water and electricity, a tenant will get a two-bedroom place with a "massive" living room and a new kitchen and shower.

Those who have seen the rental online say it needs to be reported, sharing that it looks like a "bad DIY" job with "no insulation", "zero ventilation" and double garage doors seemingly opening into a living space. "Nonna's second kitchen turned into taking advantage of desperate people, yuck," one local said.

Do you have a story about a rental you've found? Contact reporter Laura Koefoed at laura.koefoed@yahooinc.com

Comparison with other rental properties in the area

Rentals in the exact same area reveal that even though $470 appears to be quite a high price for a property in this condition, there aren't many two-bedroom places in Wynnum available for under $600.

Still, there is currently a $565 per week, modern two-bedroom terrace just around the corner up for grabs and at least 16 other impressive two and three-bedroom homes or units available within Wynnum and surrounding suburbs between $500 and $600 per week.

Comparison images of the $470 per week 'granny flat' (right) and a $565 per week home (left) just around the corner.
A comparison between the $470 per week 'granny flat' (right) and a $565 per week home (left) just around the corner in Wynnum. Both are listed as two-bedroom rentals. Source: Realestate.com / Facebook

What happens if a property doesn't meet minimum standards?

Each state or territory has specific legislation to keep renters and homeowners protected, and part of this includes minimum housing standards, also known as fit for habitation standards, to ensure properties rented out are safe and liveable.

In Queensland, housing standards include:

  • a property be weatherproof and structurally sound

  • it must be in good repair with fixtures and fittings that are not likely to cause injury

  • it must have adequate plumbing and drainage

If a landlord or real estate agent rents a property out that does not meet their jurisdiction's minimum housing standards, it is considered an offence and they may be fined or prosecuted.

Anyone wishing to report a breach of standards can do so via their local rental authority website.

Risks involved with finding a rental property online

Platforms like Facebook and Gumtree advertise accommodation for rent, but as online ads are less regulated, there are many disadvantages associated with this for tenants who can easily run into scams or find properties that do not adhere to the law.

"Renters can unfortunately be caught out by dodgy listings. Everyone should make sure they can verify a rental advertisement regardless of where it is published," Tenants' Union of NSW Policy and Advocacy Manager, Jemima Mowbray, previously told Yahoo News Australia.

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

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