The landlord of the dingy caravan advertised for rent at $125 a week admitted it had been rented out for 15 years.

Ex-real estate agent Lincoln Wu told the Herald he had rented it out for a long time.

The half-painted caravan with masking tape holding the windows together is being advertised for rent on TradeMe as a "fully-furnished one-bedroom unit". It sits in an overgrown property on Bollard Ave in New Windsor, Auckland.

Wu lives in the house with three other tenants and rents out the caravan to help supplement his income. He said the caravan tenant gets full access to the bathroom and kitchen in the main house which is on the same property. The 1120sq m property had a 2014 council valuation of $865,000.


Wu listed the caravan on TradeMe on Monday.

He said he hasn't had much interest in his advertisement this time.

"This time is a bad time of year. I think because it's cold. It's winter time."

Wu said it would suit someone who was looking for cheaper rent. The weekly rent of $125 includes water, power and internet. No pets or smokers are allowed.

Wu was convicted and fined in 2013 for operating as a real estate agent without a licence.

Wu, also know as Li Wu, was suspended by the Real Estate Agents Licensing Board in 2007 because of his criminal convictions, and later had his licence cancelled after failing to disclose those convictions to the Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA).

Wu is a shareholder and struck-off director of Property Asia Realty Ltd, which has twice been fined more than $10,000 employing a person as a real estate agent who did not have a licence. Wu was also fined $6000 in 2013 for acting as a real estate agent, including showing potential buyers through a motel in Mangere.

In sentencing Wu at the Auckland District Court in 2013 Judge Nicole Mathers said Wu's offending was "blatant" and Wu had previous convictions for dishonesty.

The caravan is described as a Mt Albert rental, "fully furnished & white ware included...1 bedroom unit with 1 bathroom".

It's also "handy" to Pak'nSave, Unitec, the motorway, a shopping centre, buses and the train station, the ad says.

Photos on Trademe show a caravan with patchy paint, grass growing through the wheel well and windows taped up with brown sticky tape. The inside is cramped, with a microwave, bed and desk but no sign of a bathroom.

"Fully furnished" one-bedroom unit in Mt Albert, Auckland. Photo/Trade Me

The ad has now been removed.


In May a Trade Me user appealed for a flatmate to live in a converted people-mover in Sandringham, Auckland for $99 a week.

Trade Me spokesman Logan Mudge said this ad was similar and "a little cheeky" but did not appear to breach any rules.

"You can put a caravan on as a room to rent on Trade Me but we expect the member listing it to be very upfront about what potential tenants can expect.

"It looks like the person who has listed this one has put a lot of photos up but we're not sure that it includes white ware or that it should be referred to as a 'unit'. We'll follow up with them and ask them to clarify it further in the listing," Mudge said.

Wu's listing says the unit includes whiteware. Photo/Trade Me
Wu's listing says the unit includes whiteware. Photo/Trade Me

He said Trade Me was "not into making moral calls" but would keep an eye on the response from users. The listing had attracted one complaint so far.

"We recommend that any prospective tenant does their due diligence and asks the landlord plenty of questions because living in a caravan will not be to everyone's taste."


Authorities had not been in contact with Trade Me about the listing, Mudge said.

But Mt Albert MP Jacinda Ardern said the listing "strikes me as someone who's taking advantage of people's desperation and vulnerability".

The caravan is advertised for $125 per week, with no smokers or pets allowed. Photo/Trade Me
The caravan is advertised for $125 per week, with no smokers or pets allowed. Photo/Trade Me

Living in a caravan would be extremely cold over winter, she added.

"It shows how desperate people are and how bad the housing crisis is when someone can put up accommodation like this and feasibly have it tenanted."

She said anyone desperate enough to live in such a caravan should seek help from their local MP to get housed properly, but that there were "incredibly" long waiting lists.