The grim reality of the country's rental crisis is laid bare in an online listing which offers two renters to share a bedroom and sleep on single mattresses for $250 each.
Images of the property situated at Sydney Olympic Park were shared on Facebook Marketplace and they show the bedroom separated by a lightweight divider in a modest attempt to create privacy for the two prospective tenants. A desk and built-in wardrobe are also available for the "flatmates" to share.
The price appears to be above market rates with full two-bedroom apartments in the area renting for between $700-$800 a week.
The listing is the latest in a long line of sub-par rentals being offered across the country as renters cop poor living conditions and rent increases as the market tightens. Many are choosing to live in less than ideal accommodation purely to secure a roof over their head.
Rental is a ploy to get more money, says tenant advocate
Despite the bedroom set-up not being "illegal" it likely goes against building codes, tenant advocate and qualified lawyer Jordan van den Berg said.
He believes a listing like this is rarely found on more offical rental advertising sites as they need to abide by stricter regulations to meet their "terms of service", something that Facebook Marketplace does not.
"You can't have a bedroom that doesn't have a window or a bedroom that's kind of haphazardly split to make it two people in one bedroom," Mr van den Berg told Yahoo News Australia. "Considering that that listing wouldn't be allowed on a place like flatmates.com, it shouldn't be allowed on other listing sites like Facebook Marketplace either."
Mr van den Berg believes the decision to offer the one space to "two strangers or people who aren't related in a romantic way" is simply a ploy to get more money out of the space.
"They want $500 for a bedroom and they know they can't get that from one person — it's greed."
Australia continues to grapple with a widespread rental crisis as the imbalance of supply versus demand is forcing renters to make tough decisions. Recent data released from SQM research suggests the rental vacancy rate has now dropped to only 1.1 per cent nationwide.
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