Flat that was called a 'slum' on social media was listed by accident, set to be demolished - Harcourts

A rental property listing that came under heavy criticism on social media was listed by accident and is set to be demolished, according to Harcourts. 

The property in central Auckland was being advertised on Trade Me for $180 a week. 

The one-bedroom property was described as being "great for anyone who studies or works in the city". The post on Trade Me, which has since been removed, said the tenant will have access to a common kitchen and lounge. But bad news for smokers or pets, neither were allowed.

Pictures of the property showed a small room with a single bed, a bathroom with visible dirt on the floor and a rundown kitchen. 

The advert went down about as well as a cup of cold sick with Kiwis online, who hit out at the landlord and Harcourts. 

"I'm gobsmacked to see a big name like Harcourts are advertising this slum. I guess there really is no integrity amongst real estate agents? Get some f***ing ethics and turn down landlords like this," someone said on a Reddit post along with the link to the listing. 

A photo of the shared bathroom.
A photo of the shared bathroom. Photo credit: Trade Me

"God, that's vile. I've seen public toilets nicer than that bathroom," one person said. 

"Some adverts at least attempt to make it look nice, but here you can literally see the grime on the shower floor (to even begin with). Does nobody, especially the owner, not feel any sense of shame whatsoever? Jesus," someone else said. 

"It looks so cold, you can smell that musty dampness….also, is there any venting in the bathroom? the smell would linger, ugh," another person said. 

But Harcourts Managing Director Bryan Thomson said the listing was posted by mistake and the building is actually being demolished. 

A photo of the shared kitchen.
A photo of the shared kitchen. Photo credit: Trade Me

Thomson said the building has been awaiting demolition since it was purchased by Harcourts New Lynn director Bobby Sapra. 

"The advertisement was left up in error and has since been pulled down as the building is going to be demolished. 

"The building was always intended to be demolished since the property was purchased. Resource consent was gained about four years ago and the owner is in the last stage of the Building Consent with the Auckland Council.

"The advert was for a ‘room to rent’ within an existing flat. It was not meant to be advertised under Harcourts. This was done in error and the property has not been rented through Harcourts."

A photo of the shared lounge.
A photo of the shared lounge. Photo credit: Trade Me

A spokesperson said flat/house sharing agreements don't come under the Residential Tenancies Act and Harcourts does not engage in renting rooms in existing tenancies.

The Trade Me post said the flat was available from Friday June 18, 2021. It listed Harcourts real estate agent Devin Webber as the contact person.  

Sapra referred Newshub to Harcourts head office when asked for comment. Webber didn't respond.