Wellington flat labelled an ‘$800 dungeon’

A central Wellington flat needing tenants has been ripped apart by critics on Facebook – with some labelling it an “$800 dungeon” that “smells like depression”.

The Marion St flat is listed at $815 per week, has four bedrooms and one bathroom, and is advertised as having “an actual working oven”.

The run-down state of some of the rooms – particularly the bedrooms – has drawn the ire of those on social media when compared with the $200 per room price tag.

“Hmm … what is the legal definition of the word ‘room’,” one person queried.

The carpet in the pictures is dirty and threadbare, and some of the rooms appear to have curtains for doors. Only one bedroom looked to have a window.

The building is also yellow-stickered – meaning it is considered earthquake prone. It has an earthquake rating of 0-15 per cent of the New Building Standard (NBS).

Previous tenant Isaac Kirkwood said he had lived in the flat for the past two years and had now moved out for the summer. He and his flatmates were looking for someone to take over the lease.

“It’s a bit of a trade off,” he said.

“It’s messy but we could sort of do whatever the f*** we wanted there.”

He said the flat was great for “humongous parties”, and they had been able to fit about 300 people into it at one point.

They had also never had a rent increase while he had been there.

“It’s never been an amazing building.”

While it looked “terrible in pictures” it was not all bad, and “most of the mould comes and goes”.

The oven worked 90 per cent of the time, he said.

One of Kirkwood’s former flatmates advertised the flat on popular Facebook group Vic Deals. More than 500 comments have poured in since the post was made.

Kirkwood said the reaction was strongly split between “it’s total shit” or “we’re keen”.

“I don’t think we’ll have any issue with getting someone in there.”

As of last night they had three confirmed viewings, and four more people who said they were interested in taking over the lease.

The property was previously managed by Riverstone Property Management, but is switching to Quinovic in the next few days.

A property manager from Riverstone told the Herald “it is what it is”.

He said he had tidied the building up a bit by removing tenants who were dealing drugs and “doing dodgy things”.

Quinovic property manager Kevin Edmunds said they had only 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 frames,” he said in an email.

He has not yet responded to questions about whether the rent will change to reflect the state of the building.

On Facebook, Vic Deals members lamented the state of the rental market.

“It’s sad that people need housing so badly they would pay $815 for this,” one person wrote.

“Needs doing up if you want tenants to pay the price … Wouldn’t surprise me if there was asbestos and all sorts in there,” said another.

Others said it looked like the type of flat where people had been murdered and their bodies hidden in the walls.

Victoria University of Wellington Student Association engagement vice president Joanna Li said there were people renting out accommodation that was not suitable for anyone to live in, not just students.

“It’s super disheartening that it is being advertised as a student flat – this, as a living environment, shouldn’t be considered a normal part of the student experience,” she said.

“This listing really shows the lack of affordability here in Wellington, $815 a week to not have doors or windows in your ‘bedroom’ is outrageous, but unfortunately a reality of the choices available for students.

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