'So wrong': The 'awful' Sydney 'room' being rented out for $160

·Associate News Editor
·3-min read

While the coronavirus pandemic sent rent tumbling across the country as thousands of tenants struggled to cover their bills, it seems some of Sydney’s extortionate prices have been harder to budge.

At the height of the pandemic nearly 40 per cent of CBD and eastern suburbs rentals dropped in price, but many renters were still struggling to get their money’s worth.

One recent share-house listing in Pyrmont highlights the exorbitant amounts tenants are still paying for a desirable location in the city.

For $160 a week, prospective renters can have their own private ‘room’ in the heart of Sydney.

The catch you might ask? The space on offer is an enclosed balcony that opens up onto the lounge.

A Pyrmont 'room' up for rent appears to be a sunroom converted into a bedroom.
The Pyrmont room on offer was a sunroom converted into a bedroom. Source: Facebook

Astonishing photos of the listing show a mattress wedged in at one end, with the space appearing less than two metres in width.

Access to the room is via sliding glass doors to the main living space, offering no privacy for those inside.

Leo Patterson Ross, the CEO of The Tenants’ Union of NSW, shared the listing on Twitter to the shock of his followers.

“Wow... so wrong,” one person wrote.

“How awful,” another commented.

“Not even a curtain over the glass,” one remarked.

Pictured is the Sydney room which is a balcony with a bed.
The room is attached to the lounge area of the property by sliding glass doors. Source: Facebook

Many still struggling without pandemic support

Mr Patterson Ross told Yahoo News Australia that while an increase in JobSeeker payments had provided financial relief to some tenants, there were still many struggling to pay rent and being ripped off.

“For the people who didn't [receive JobSeeker], many people living in room shares and balconies, people are forced to accept housing options they simply shouldn't have to in one of the wealthiest countries in the world,” he said.

Mr Patterson Ross noted many international students found themselves renting out such spaces in shared homes and more was needed to ensure they met an acceptable standard.

“Covid-19 showed just how much education providers and the broader economy relies on international students. We ask them to come here with promises of a great education and a great lifestyle – we owe them both,” he said.

The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute published its report detailing marginal housing during the pandemic at the beginning of December.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed underlying vulnerabilities in Australia’s housing system,” it explained.

“Overcrowding, share accommodation, and precarious tenures are rising in the major cities.”

The Pyrmont listing isn’t the first time a sunroom rental listing has caused a stir online.

Last year, one in Bondi going for $195 a week just managed to fit a single bed in it.

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