Run-down Wellington flat for rent described as 'death trap'

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, 1:12 pm on 26 November 2020

An advertisement for an $815 a week central Wellington flat has sparked an angry reaction from Wellington renters, who have described it as not even fit for a dog, with bedrooms more like "dungeons".

A room in a Wellington rental property advertised by Quinovic for $200

A room in a Wellington rental property advertised by Quinovic for $200 Photo: Vic deals / Facebook

The flat has four bedrooms and one bathroom - and is so run-down that some have described it as a "death trap".

Wellington Renters United says this is just one of many examples of how bad the rental situation is in the capital.

Some of the comments made by potential renters on the Vic deals Facebook page where the property was advertised include:

 "I can smell the black mould from the photos"

"Burn it down"

"Quinovic have some self respect. Fix the carpet and those loose wires at the very least. This can't fit legal living standards surely"

The bathroom of a Wellington flat for rent

The bathroom of a Wellington flat for rent Photo: Vic deals / Facebook

"To Quinovic and the person who owns this hell hole you should be very ashamed ...I wouldn’t even let my cat stay a night here let alone a human being!!"

Quinovic Thorndon told RNZ in an email that management of the property had only been passed to Quinovic in the last few days. 

"As we have just taken over the property, we are in the process of working through Healthy Home compliance standards and will be taking actions required to ensure the property is compliant within the required time frame." 

Zoe from Renters United told Karyn Hay the flat was par for the course in Wellington where cold, damp flats could fetch up to $250 per room.

“Rooms like this are incredibly dangerous to tenants’ health, not just to their bank accounts.

“It shows just how desperate people are to just have a roof over their heads, no matter what quality that roof is, or how expensive it is, just to have somewhere to live, the situation is incredibly desperate.”

One of the bedrooms in a Wellington central city flat for rent

One of the bedrooms in a Wellington central city flat for rent Photo: Vic deals / Facebook

She says post the Covid rent freeze, they are hearing stories of significant rent hikes in the capital.

“We’ve had emails from people whose landlords have hiked their rent $100 a week.”

Despite the state of the property, she thinks people will pay the rent.

“I think $200 a room in Wellington is cheap, people are paying $250 a week for a room in Wellington, so of course people are going to pay for this.

“Especially people like first year [university] students who are willing to pay a lot of money and not have a great room as long as they live close to the city.

“I think that students would kill for that flat.”

One of the bedrooms in a Wellington central city flat for rent

One of the bedrooms in a Wellington central city flat for rent Photo: Vic deals / Facebook

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