Feature in Sydney $300-a-week rental slammed: 'New low'

This Sydney rental has a unique feature which is likely to put off many home seekers.

A $300-a-week Sydney rental has come under fire online, with one questionable detail raising eyebrows.

The listing, a granny flat in the southern suburb of Heathcote, boasts "direct access to the bathroom from the kitchen" – and while that might strike you as peculiar, it's only part of the story.

A photo of the main living space shows the kitchen on the right-hand side. On the left the bathroom can be seen. However it is not enclosed by walls, and the only attempt to separate it from the rest of the studio is the use of a partially transparent divider.

A photo of the studio's main living area.
The Sydney rental features a bathroom that is only separated from the main living area by a temporary – and partially transparent – divider. Source: Assured Rent Real Estate

The property has gained traction on social media, with one video of the property saying the rental poses "a new low" for the market. While it does appear to be the cheapest rental in the area, one person labelled the property, which sits on the land of another home, a garden shed.

"How do you have a friend over who needs to use the toilet?" one TikTok user asked.

Another called the rental "crazy".

The Heathcote studio's bathroom with toilet, shower and sink.
While at first glance the bathroom appears to be a normal room, it does not have any walls separating it from the rest of the studio. Source: Assured Rent Real Estate

The Residential Tenancies Act states that landlords have an obligation to provide tenants with bathroom facilities "that allow privacy for the user".

Assured Rent Real Estate, who have listed the property online, did not return Yahoo News Australia's call by time of publication when contacted on Monday.

The wooden exterior of the Heathcote studio.
The property has been described as a garden shed online. Source: Assured Rent Real Estate

New law to help ease rental strain

NSW is in the midst of a rental crisis, which has been exasperated by the return of people from overseas on working holidays. With prices soaring, the state government moved last month to ban rental bidding, meaning prospective renters cannot offer more than the listed rental price to land a property.

"It creates a frenzy where some renters bid beyond their means to secure a roof over their head," Digital services minister Victor Dominello said.

Leo Patterson Ross, the CEO of The Tenants’ Union of NSW, told Yahoo News Australia on Monday many struggling Sydney renters have no choice but to take sub-standard conditions.

"This [property] is a sign of how much people are being forced to compromise just to keep a roof over their head,” he said.

He said that someone paying $16,000 a year should be able to expect a separate room for toilet and shower. Whether or not the bathroom was a breach of the Residential Tenancies Act, Mr Patterson Ross said that call lied with a Tribunal if it was ever brought to that.

"That is ultimately the problem - enforcing these standards are left to the individual renter who ends up renting the property, who with no grounds evictions and a severe affordability crisis will clearly be at a major disadvantage as they risk eviction and future homelessness if they actually attempt to enforce the contract," he said.

Last year, a $400-a-week studio apartment in Adelaide left some in disbelief thanks to its glass-walled bathroom installed in the corner of the rental.

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