Rental crisis summed up by bed in 100-person dorm room

The cost of one single bed in a 100-person dorm room has been advertised for rent at an insane price in what has been described as a grim indicator of Australia’s rental crisis.

For $350 – the price for a whole room in a nice suburb in Sydney or Melbourne – the Tequila Sunrise Hostel, in Surfer’s Paradise on the Gold Coast, a “tenant” can secure one bed.

Not just any bed – a bunk bed in a room with up to 99 other people.

The business is advertising the bed as a long-term accommodation option on room-share marketplace, Flatmates.com.au, where it was spotted by TikTok user Keira Ashley.

“The rental crisis is no joke … a hostel charging this much?” she wrote with a video of the ad.

She told viewers: “This should be f***ing illegal”.

“I’m not kidding, a hostel, for $350 a week.

“This is absolutely disgusting, honestly. The rental crisis is so real.”

Insane cost to rent bed in dorm

While the cost did include breakfast, dinner and internet for anyone game enough to share a room with dozens of others, the business was slammed for its move.

“I finally got an apartment in Brisbane, and I’m paying at least $200 less per week than I was in an eight bed room in the hostels. It’s crazy,” one person wrote in reply to the video.

“For real like what do you mean you’re gonna charge that much for a bed?” another responded.

Someone else said it was a strong “yeah, nah”.

“Yeah … Tequila Sunrise in Surfer’s is a 100 bed dorm. $350 for 99 roommates. Yeah nah. I just paid $75 a night in a hostel last weekend,” they wrote.

Some respondents said that for $50 a night short-term accommodation for solo backpackers, the price wasn’t too bad.

The woman behind the video however said they weren’t understanding the problem.

“Y’all are missing the point as to why I’m upset – this is a website for permanent rentals, not booking a hotel for a holiday,” she said.

The hostel was, according to a few people, not a bad option for people in between homes.

“I stayed there for three weeks. You get free breakfast and dinner which is good but it’s one big open room with 100 beds in it and you could never sleep well,” one wrote.

“If you’re travelling it’s actually quite cheap,” another said.

The nightly fee attached to beds for non long-term visitors was between about $100 and $130.

news.com.au understands the set up is legal and is not suggesting otherwise.

There are no rules stipulating how much property managers can charge for an offering, nor any provisions on the maximum number of occupants in a certain dwelling.

Separate to the questionable set up, the business has attracted criticism from some visitors who were not happy with their stay.

One person who stayed over the weekend reported issues with the cleanliness of the space and another who stayed last week said they were unhappy the two beds they booked were on opposite ends of the room.

Many others however reported having a pleasant stay, saying they enjoyed the free meals, community layout and social activities.

The expensive bed highlighted the dire rental situation in most parts of the country, with the woman behind the post saying she had been hunting for somewhere to live for six weeks.

While there were potential signs earlier in the year of the crisis drawing to a close, it has since somehow become even worse – vacancy rates have dropped to historic lows and rents have set off for the moon.

According to data from SQM Research, the rental vacancy rate fell or remained the same in all the state capitals in August. Meanwhile asking rents across the capitals were up 0.2 per cent for the month and 16.1 per cent over the past year.

Louis Christopher, managing director of SQM Research, said: “After the slight easing in vacancies over the first half 2023, this is somewhat of a disappointing result for tenants. Clearly, acute rental shortages remain with us. And besides more people grouping together to share the burden, there is no significant solution on the horizon.

“Australia currently has, by far, the fastest growing population for any OECD country and clearly the rampant increases are currently breaching the country’s capacity to house all our people.”

brooke.rolfe@news.com.au

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