A Tauranga laundry room listed as a bedroom for rent for $80 a week has hit a new low amidst the city's housing crisis, property experts say.
The laundry in Welcome Bay was listed on Trade Me on July 6 for $80 per week.
Images showed a single bed lining one side of the room and a washing machine, laundry sink and a cupboard on the other. The washing machine was only used on Saturday mornings, according to the advertiser.
A potential renter would only need to pay for their food and toiletries. Amenities in the home included large gardens with avocados, a spa and "all mod cons".
The listing has now been removed. The lister could not be reached.
Tauranga Rentals owner Dan Lusby said the laundry proposition was "bloody ridiculous".
People were already struggling to afford to rent but a laundry room went "way too far", he said.
"It is over the top," he said. "It is hitting a new low."
Waikato Students Union student advocate and support Kat Clark said it would be the last resort for students but "it is better than sleeping in your car".
Tauranga Property Investors Association president Juli Anne Tolley said similar situations appear to be happening more frequently.
"It's definitely not ideal. However, it is a flatmate situation and not a landlord/tenant arrangement, and such arrangements do not fall under the Residential Tenancies Act.
John Gibson, housing services manager with Tauranga Community Housing Trust, said, in his view, a laundry was not suitable or sustainable.
"It goes to show the lack of options available for people."
SociaLink board member Tessa Mackenzie said the laundry listing was a reflection of Tauranga's housing need.
"At least that is someone that could potentially not be sleeping on the street. But then it's not appropriate housing."
Tauranga City Council regulatory and compliance general manager Barbara Dempsey said further investigation would be needed to determine whether renting a laundry was considered legal.
"Although there is nothing in the Building or Health Act that would prevent a laundry being used for sleeping use, the space could be deemed unsanitary if any of the sanitary fixtures were leaking, causing mould and deterioration."
Trade Me's head of trust and safety, George Hiotakis, said it was important for members listing a room in their house, to be up front.
"The seller looks to have been very upfront with the images and description of the property, which is what we ask of all our members.
"Renting a laundry room definitely won't be everyone's cup of tea."
Hiotakis said Trade Me recommended prospective tenants ask questions, check out the seller's feedback, and go to check the accommodation out for themselves.
The median market rent in Pyes Pa/Hairini/Welcome Bay this month is $500, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Tenancy Services website.
Tauranga's housing need
• 1700 social homes needed in Tauranga to bring it in line with the rest of NZ
• 62 per cent growth in the number of people on the WBOP social housing register in 2018
• 280 families on Accessible Properties' wait list