Wellington rental listing expecting paying tenant to moonlight as security guard torn apart online 

  • 06/12/2023

A since-deleted Wellington rental listing on TradeMe has been called out for blurring the lines between tenancy and servitude.    

The listing for the one-bedroom, $475-a-week dwelling above a storage facility says the ideal tenants would be a semi-retired couple or person.   

Here's the catch though, tenants were expected to "undertake a role as Resident Custodian".   

"This primarily involves keeping a 'watching eye' on the storage facility after hours."   

The duties of the Resident Custodian are as follows:   

"If you are away overnight, arrange for our security company to send security patrols to visit and check on the facility.   

"Attending to any security alarms and take the necessary course of action. The facility is monitored by an off-site security company that dispatch security guards in the event of an alarm activation. This only occurs after hours. During office hours the staff attend to security issues and alarms.   

"Walk the facility at the end of each day to check that everything is in order. Check doors, lift, office, outdoor areas.   

"Any issues need to be reported to the Duty Staff next day both verbally and written. Also on a regular basis (usually weekly) meet with the store manager.   

"If interested, some light property maintenance duties are available by mutual agreement which would be paid at an hourly rate."   

Screenshots taken from the since-deleted TradeMe listing.
Screenshots taken from the since-deleted TradeMe listing. Photo credit: TradeMe

The landlord seems to have anticipated the blowback to the living arrangement and was sure to include some 'benefits' for the role.  

The Resident Custodian is allowed to "stay away for up to two nights per month (not accumulative)" and "for up to four weeks a year (not accumulative)".   

The tenant would also receive renumeration of $50 per week by way of a service contract.    

The listing was posted to the popular Facebook group Vic Deals where social media users promptly tore it apart.    

"What the hell. Surely accommodation would be free at the very least and the person should be getting paid for the job," one person said.   

"What a joke," another added.    

"How entitled does someone have to be to even think of posting that as a listing," someone asked.   

Kiwi Self Storage Kilbirnie was contacted for comment and said, "All enquiries can be directed through the TradeMe listing".  

The apartment pictured from the outside on the since-deleted TradeMe listing.
The apartment pictured from the outside on the since-deleted TradeMe listing. Photo credit: TradeMe