Sydney resident slams condition of $670 rental property: 'Unbelievable'

The current housing market in Sydney appears to have hit new heights for some who've blasted the soaring rentals prices and poorer living conditions across the city.

At $670 a week for a two-bedroom apartment, you might expect a certain level of quality, but one Sydneysider was shocked by what they saw.

"Sydney rentals getting out of hand," the Reddit user poster alongside two photos of the property located in Waterloo.

"They wanted $670 a week for this piece of sh*t two bedder without windows in one of them."

Damage and mould in Sydney Waterloo rental apartment on Cope Street
The Waterloo rental property in Sydney appears to have significant ceiling damage as well substantial mould and chipped paint. Source: Reddit

In photos shared online, one appears to show a significant crack in the roof of one room which is allegedly leaking water.

Another shows what looks to be mould and peeling wall paint, a clear sign of neglect.

Listing agent Eastside Reality refuted the claim there was no window in one of the bedrooms.

"Both bedrooms have windows," the agency told Yahoo News Australia.

Eastside Reality also responded to the attention drawn to the damaged ceiling.

"The strata agent is arranging the water leak repairs," the agency said.

The home seeker sharing the photos said they had been disappointed by the quality of the rental properties on offer.

"Whole place just has bad feng shui, no natural lighting, walls made of paper mache, random people shouting outside," the poster wrote in the comments. "No chance of wanting to live there at all!"

The hopeful tenant told Yahoo News Australia they viewed the property on Saturday, but couldn't believe the asking price — or the condition of the property.

They said it's "unbelievable" to think there's another open home this weekend, implying it shouldn't be shown in such dire conditions.

Of the 10 properties they've viewed across Sydney's inner west and east so far, they said five were "gross and haven't been renovated or taken care of".

"I thought they'd [property managers] know better than to start doing viewings before fixing some pretty necessary things like a hole in the roof," they told Yahoo, adding "the rental market's a joke".

The median asking price for a two-bedroom rental apartment in Waterloo is $780 a week according to the NSW Tenants' Union Rental Tracker. So it seems the asking price of the above-mentioned unit factors in the issues at hand.

However, rental prices in the suburb have increased 20 per cent since this time last year.

Renters hit out at current conditions

In the online listing, the Cope street property is advertised as having "two spacious bedrooms with built-in robes". "Bright open plan living/dining areas" are also highlighted in the property features, however, photos don't appear to show the problem areas of the apartment.

People were critical of the property, and the market, with one saying,"every place I’ve rented in has mould. It’s pretty bad".

Empty Sydney Waterloo apartment on Cope Street
The potential tenant claimed one bedroom had no window which is unlawful. Source:

"Landlords like this disgust me so much. If someone is paying you massive amounts of rent for a property that is not costing you nearly enough as much to own, is it so hard to feel grateful," one said.

"It really is bad, the worst thing is these property managers post really appealing images and when you show up to the inspection, the house is in shambles," another wrote in the comments.

Other's agreed the rental market in Sydney is "ridiculous".

Windowless rooms 'unlawful' and 'unacceptable'

People claimed it's "illegal" to advertise a bedroom without a window. This is true according to Leo Patterson Ross, CEO of The Tenants’ Union of NSW.

"In general it is unlawful under planning law for a property to use a room as a bedroom without a window," he told Yahoo News Australia, adding there's a standard required by the Residential Tenancies Act 2010.

Mr Ross said the conditions of this property was "unacceptable," adding: "Our homes should be safe, stable and affordable."

Eastside Reality shared photos of the main bedroom facing the balcony (left) and the second bedroom (right) and denied claims one was windowless. Source: Supplied
Eastside Reality shared photos of the main bedroom facing the balcony (left) and the second bedroom (right) and denied claims one was windowless. Source: Supplied

"The main problem is that despite the lessons learned from Covid, flooding and other disasters, in NSW we do not treat housing like the essential service it is," he told Yahoo.

"Unlike energy, water, food and healthcare we do not have government oversight of the standards and conditions of our rental homes."

He said a restaurant with unsafe hygiene practices will be shut down immediately, but a home with mould, unsafe temperatures or no smoke alarms is unchecked by an independent third party.

"The solutions are simple, but first require government and industry to accept that housing is an essential service and the provision of essential services always comes with obligations to the community — whether around quality, price or availability."

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