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'Prison cell' hits the Aussie rental market sparking outrage among home seekers

The building is well known by Melburnians for its ideal location but poor living conditions.

The trend of questionable rental properties sprouting up online appears to show no sign of slowing, with the latest advertised listing described as a "prison cell" on Wednesday.

Pictures of the tiny accomodation space in Melbourne show the living area, complete with a double bed, wardrobe and couch, enclosed by grey brick walls and no windows, with a decades-old vermiculite ceiling. The bathroom and kitchen are contained in equally small, equally "grim" rooms off the main living space.

Left, a double bed can be seen surrounded by grey brick walls with barely enough room to walk along the bed. Right, a cream leather couch faces a TV mounted on a wall. The accomodation is the latest listing advertised on the rental market.
The accomodation is the latest listing advertised on the rental market which has caused uproar online. Source: Facebook/Marketplace

Advertised at $320 per week, the only redeeming quality appears to be the studio's location, situated on the famous Flinders Street in the heart of Melbourne.

'An absolute horror show of a building'

As the listing gained attention online, many people on Reddit were quick to flag that the building at 500 Flinders is well-known for being a cheap accomodation option in the city, but suggested living conditions there had notably worsened.

Left, a kitchen area can be seen with a stable table and two chairs. Right, a toilet can be seen in the bottom left corner beside a sink and a shower.
The Melbourne unit included a kitchen and bathroom, however, it is unclear how these rooms were sectioned off from the rest of the living space. Source: Facebook/marketplace

"I done an inspection here in 2006. I’m not sure how it’s safe for tenants," one wrote, while another said: "My brother used to live in there. Was an absolute horror show of a building".

"I'm sure when the place was originally built it would have been amazing, but with little maintenance done over the years on the rooms, the quality of tenants no doubt has come down," a third wrote.

The accomodation joins a long list of questionable spaces being advertised during a nationwide rental crisis, with many tenants being battered by rent increases, as well as fighting to secure a tenancy in a limited number of vacant rental properties.

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