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Aussie renters rage at $240-per-week 'verandah': 'Flat-out exploitation'

Renters are appalled by details in a Sydney landlord's studio listing.

Granville studio rental
Facebook users are lamenting the state of the Aussie rental market after a listing for a "backyard studio for one" appeared online. (Source: Gumtree)

A rental listing for a studio in a Sydney suburb has caused a stir online, exposing the harsh state of Australia's leasing market, with some suggesting landlords are attempting to capitalise on tenant desperation.

The ad for the flat, which appears on online trading platform Gumtree, has shocked and infuriated members of a popular Facebook group for renters, after a member expressed disbelief over the state of the studio.

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"Please have a look and tell me what the heck is going on here? Has this person enclosed their back verandah in glass and put it up for rent?" the Facebook user asked in a post that showed photos of the studio, which features windows that are oddly blue in colour.

"Is [that] blue-painted glass? Am I seeing things? Is this legal? The Sydney market is not OK," the shocked Facebook user added.

Granville studio rental
The bathroom of the Granville rental appears to be in a cupboard. (Source: Gumtree)

'Backyard studio'

The listing reveals that the "backyard studio for one", which is described as near Granville station, a bus stop, Woolworths, and fast-food chains, is on the market for $240 per week. This includes standard amenities such as a kitchen, toilet and shower, plus WiFi.

A closer look at the pictures in the ad shows that windows appeared to have been painted over to create a room, where a single bed frame and old mattress are set. The shower is also seen to be installed above the toilet, while the kitchen features a single small sink sitting on a cupboard.

Granville studio rental
Prospective tenants were horrified to see the so-called studio's facilities included a sink with no other kitchen pieces, and a shower installed above a toilet. (Source: Gumtree)

Shocked members of the group could not help but express their frustration, highlighting the current state of Australia's rental crisis.

"It really tells you the rental situation is totally out of control without any real or active oversight in place. It's an absolute disgrace," a member of the Facebook group pointed out.

"This is just flat-out exploitation. Absolutely disgusting," someone else added.

Australian property experts, meanwhile, predict the country's rental crisis will continue for the foreseeable future, with many tenants finding themselves faced with fierce competition amid short supply and rising rates.

NSW Fair Trading responds

Some Facebook users said the rental should be reported to the relevant authorities, but the legality of the studio was unclear. Responding to queries by Yahoo Finance Australia, a spokesperson from NSW Fair Trading referred to the Residential Tenancies Act of 2010.

"The Residential Tenancies Act (2010) requires the landlord to ensure the residential premises meets minimum standards, including adequate ventilation, supply of electricity or gas, bathroom facilities, including toilet and washing facilities, which allow privacy for the user," the spokesperson said, adding that the local council would be able to determine whether the owner of the rental property being advertised had planning approvals.

Yahoo Finance also approached the Cumberland City Council - which oversees the Granville suburb - for comment but was yet to receive a response.

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