• Tue. Sep 28th, 2021

Odd ad seeking housemate tells them they cant be in house for 6 hours a day

Aug 6, 2021

Many people discover that their housemates have odd behaviours once they move in to a property.

However, one person looking for people to share their home with raised eyebrows even before someone moved in with a bizarre online listing.

The poster warned prospective renters that the flat advertised wouldn't be theirs to roam freely – asking that they make sure they're away for six hours a day while the current flatmate uses the space for 'personal purposes'.

Yep, you read that right, the listing for a property in Wellington, New Zealand, asked people to be out of the house between 9am and 3pm five days a week. Because that's totally normal, right?

Oh, and the flat doesn't come cheap either. It still cost NZ $400 (£202) a week, despite the fact that it would be out of bounds most days.

Despite the odd request, some of the other necessities for the flat mate seemed very reasonable, with them looking for a mature professional type who can keep things clean.

However, they said the space must remain 'exclusively' for the current tenant's use between Monday and Friday.

The listing, posted on Trade Me, said: "I use this space for my personal purposes ONLY during the day between 9am [and] 3pm Mon to Friday and it will be preferred if it can remain exclusively for my use. Not a must.

"A matured working professional is welcome to be a flatmate for the other times and use it for residential purposes.

"Must leave things clean and tidy."

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According to the New Zealand Herald, the property is a 22sq m studio apartment off Cuba Street, which is a popular area in Wellington.

The listing, which has now been removed, originally stated that the flat's desk could only be used by the current flatmate. However, the description then changed to not include the current tenant's preference.

Speaking to the outlet, one government official said they believe the listing is likely not against the law.

Tenancy Services compliance and investigations national manager Steve Watson said: "On first look at the advertisement online, it looks like this is for a flatmate (rather than a tenant), so wouldn't be covered by the Residential Tenancies Act.

"The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act) only covers tenants and landlords, not flatmates."

Renters United spokesperson Ashok Jacob said the listing was 'a joke', and that it was 'just another example of the overcrowding caused by the severe housing shortage'.

Jacob added: "We are seeing this sort of thing all the time and it is quite upsetting," he said.

"It is purely as a result that in Wellington we are 10,000 to 15,000 houses short of where we need to be right now and given the fact our population is growing it is going to get worse."

Ashok said the Renters United had been pushing the Ministry of Business and Innovation (MBIE) for improvements, adding: "We have been advocating for just generally increased tenant protections but also I think a lot of the overcrowding problem is a direct result of the severe lack of supply which is also why we're campaigning for tens of thousands of state houses to be built immediately."

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