Aucklanders desperate for flatmates offering rooms with shared beds

Rental listings in Auckland are offering prospective flatmates a shared bed in a flat in an attempt to manage high rent prices in the city centre.

Listings Newshub saw on Facebook and TradeMe show shared rooms available to between $75 and $150 per week with only one bed available.

Not all of them explicitly state the bed will be shared, although many feature only photos of one bed and no room for another while asking for people to share a room.

One ad lays it all out though, explaining that for $150 per week a (male) flatmate could share a double bed with another person.

"Two bedroom apartment with 2 bathrooms. Double bedroom to share with a male student.  There is one double bed to be shared with other person."

The apartment does not allow smokers or pets.

Renters advocacy group Renters United spokesperson Robert Whitaker told Newshub the group has not been made aware of the issue of bed sharing, but he was not surprised.

"It reflects the continued pressure that the private rental sector is under. For the last decade renters have been forced to absorb the problems that our out of control housing market created, with more and more overcrowding as renters try to meet the escalating cost of renting by squeezing more and more people into their houses.

"Lounges are turned into bedrooms, bedrooms become shared and eventually, inevitably, strangers are forced to share beds."

Mr Whitaker said overcrowding in housing comes with its own risks including aiding the spread of various diseases and contributing the extra dampness in the home.

Fixing the situation is going to be a lot of work though.

"We need a lot more stable and affordable housing built across the market," Mr Whitaker said.

"We need more public housing for those on low incomes and owner-occupied housing for those on middle incomes to reduce the pressure on the private rental sector, but that will take time to have an effect.

"In the meantime, we need renting to be more stable and affordable so people aren't forced into overcrowded homes just to make ends meet."