Tess Nichol is the Consumer Affairs reporter for the Herald.

Mould, peeling paint, water marks: would you pay $420pw for this Auckland home?

The property at Beach Rd, Castor Bay. Photo / Trade Me
The property at Beach Rd, Castor Bay. Photo / Trade Me

Would you pay $420 a week to live in a rental property with mould, peeling paint and cracks in the walls?

The three-bedroom Castor Bay property is listed on Trade Me, with the seller taking confirmations of interest for an open home as of Sunday.

Auckland Council lists the property's capital value (CV) as $1,225,000 - but $1,200,000 of that value lies in the land.

The house itself is worth just $25,000.

Move-in costs including bond and a letting fee of just over one week's rent plus GST would set renters back more than $2500 up front.

A room inside the Castor Bay property showing mould on the walls and cracked, peeling paint on the window frames. Photo / Trade Me
A room inside the Castor Bay property showing mould on the walls and cracked, peeling paint on the window frames. Photo / Trade Me

Labour campaigned promising to ban letting fees, a practice the Herald labelled a rort in a September editorial.

Photos loaded of the Beach Rd property show mouldy walls and window frames in most rooms, cracked and peeling walls inside and what appears to be water damage around one set of windows outside.

In its favour, the house is close to the beach and a shopping centre, according to the listing.

If that captures your interest but you smoke cigarettes, tough luck - no smokers allowed.

The house is only on offer as a short-term rental though the dates were not specified in the listing.

Fast Rental agent Snow Zhu, who is organising the open home, agreed the house was "not in very good condition" and said anyone interested should take a good look at the photos.

"If you look at the photo and think 'great' you can come to the property."

The rental price reflected the property's location, which was a one-minute walk from the beach, she said.

Fancy washing your clothes here? The laundry in the $420 a week rental home. Photo / Trade Me
Fancy washing your clothes here? The laundry in the $420 a week rental home. Photo / Trade Me

A horrified local landlord who called the property a "hovel" said when she first saw the listing she thought it was a joke.

Sue Andrews owns a Castor Bay apartment which she rents for $510 a week and saw the listing while comparing prices in the area.

"I just think it's disgraceful really. It's ironic - the disparity between those clowns that get away with even asking for money for that hovel and people like me who are paying Barfoot & Thompson monthly fees to manage our property."

Andrews said she supported Labour's Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament on Thursday.

"Raise the standards you know, weed out the rubbish. It's only going to get worse in Auckland - people are ripping people off."

The bill requires minimum standards for heating, insulation, ventilation and drainage in rental homes - passed its third and final reading in Parliament.

It passed with the support of Labour, New Zealand First and the Green parties. It is the second major law to be passed by the new Government.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford said rentals like the Castor Bay property would likely fall short of the standards set once the bill came into effect - about 18 months from now.

"I doubt very much whether that property would meet the standards that will be set under the housing guarantees bill, and I doubt it would measure up to what many Kiwis would think is decent accommodation," he told the Herald.

"This is exactly why we have to raise the standard of housing in New Zealand.

"We have to drag some of these landlords at the bottom of the market into the 21st century. It's no longer acceptable to be renting out homes that are a threat to the health of the people who would live in them."

Industry and community consultation was needed to make sure the Government designed the bill's standards right, Twyford said.

From mid-2019 once any tenancy agreement lapsed the landlord must prove their property met the new standards in order to rent it out again.

- NZ Herald

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