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Aussie real estate agent's excuse for $300 rental's 'prison cell' aesthetic

The listing has divided opinion among would-be tenants.

An Aussie real estate agent has been forced to defend one of his properties that renters have likened to a prison cell – suggesting the aesthetic was intended. The $300-per-week furnished room, which has a private bathroom and shared living and kitchen area, has gone viral for its divisive style.

Inside the studio featuring the sink top, wardrobe and desk (left) and bed (right)
The rental was advertised as a furnished studio for $300 a week. Source: realestate.com.au

In a series of photos included in the listing on realestate.com.au, the rental's finer details are revealed. Lined with grey concrete walls and a polished floor, the narrow and rectangular "medium size" room features a double bed, sink, bar fridge, open wardrobe, desk, book shelves and ensuite. While in the background, just one square window can be seen.

Originally shared to Facebook with the caption "the word you're looking for is cell", the advert has since raised eyebrows across social media. "It's so grim and $300 a week," one Reddit user commented. "F***ing hell, that is bleak," responded another. Someone else suggested the property could be used in studies that require a site "where somebody is taking hostages".

Sink top (left) and a toilet in the ensuite (right)
The room features a sink top and ensuite with a toilet and shower. Source: realestate.com.au

"From the outside the building is quite pleasant," a fourth said, but added, "I can't quite tell if they've gone for an industrial chic look inside, or a 'who gives a sh*t, why bother painting and rendering walls, they'll pay $300 a week for it anyway' chic."

However, others think the Brisbane property is a pretty good set up, especially as electricity, internet, water and gas are included in the $300 price tag. "If you're a student, you don't need much more," one renter wrote, and another agreed: "I've seen worse considering utilities are included."

The outside of the apartment building
The $300 a week studio includes electricity, internet, water and gas. Source: realestate.com.au

Real estate agent responds

Leasing agent Peng Zhao from Raine & Horne says the rental is good value but admitted the aesthetic would divide opinion. "It was built with an industrial vibe," Mr Zhao told Yahoo News Australia, "and may not suit everyone's taste."

Photos from rental property listings: Sydney granny flat (left) and mattress in cupboard (right)
These Sydney properties also earned the ire of renters. Source: Facebook, Reddit

More 'prison-like' rentals

The divisive Brisbane rental is just the latest to be slammed by would-be tenants. In July, a "quiet and clean" granny flat in Sydney's western suburbs was also compared to a jail cell, with many calling out the landlord for attempting to rent out the bare property for $250 a week.

Also in Sydney, a "pantry room" was going for $300 a week in May. A picture of the property on Reddit showed a mattress in a small cupboard space, allegedly inside a central city penthouse.

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Reads 'news you need to know' with a glowing green map of Australia on a purple background.
Reads 'news you need to know' with a glowing green map of Australia on a purple background.