This flat in London is currently to let for $1835.75 per calendar month.
What’s 10sqm, costs $1835.75 a month and is much like sleeping in a bathroom? Why, it’s a home in London, of course.
According to the Metro’s scathing review of the flat, this home in Baron’s Court, a posh suburb halfway between Hammersmith and West Kensington in South West London, is just 3.73 metres by 2.95 metres – roughly the size of a potting shed. It has a tiny kitchenette and easy access to a private shower unit – you can just roll straight out of bed into it – but does not have a toilet.
The flat, let by UK agency Foxtons, costs £216.92 per week, or £940 pcm; that’s NZ$419.63 a week, or NZ$1835.75 a month. One bonus: there’s no deposit or bond; instead, tenants sign an agreement to pay for any damage at the end of the tenancy.
Small though it is, the shoebox flat is NZ$591 a month cheaper than the median rent in New Zealand in 2022.
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In November 2021, TradeMe reported rents in New Zealand are at “record levels” and predicted steeper rises to come in 2022. The national median weekly rent listed on the site in the month was $560, up 8 per cent on the same time a year earlier.
That makes the per-calendar-month median rent $2427.
The bed is next to the kitchenette in the London flat. The only cooking facility is the microwave.
North Shore and Porirua, in Auckland and Wellington, respectively, had the highest median weekly rents, at $650. New records were seen in Bay of Plenty ($520), Gisborne ($570), Manawatū/Whanganui ($480), and Marlborough ($485).
In Canterbury and Northland, the median asking rent was up 10 per cent compared to 2020. In Hawke’s Bay, it was up 13 per cent.
Auckland’s median rent remained at $600 a week. In the central city, prices were up 7 per cent year-on-year.
By January 2022, Stats NZ showed rents had already increased by about 3.6 per cent, with some new tenancies in January seeing 5.5 per cent increase.
In New Zealand, properties must meet certain criteria in order to be fit rentals.
The London flat is in adjacent to some of the city’s poshest neighbourhoods.
They include having a kitchen or kitchenette with a sink and tap connected to useable water; a bathroom with a bath or shower, running hot water and a toilet, connected to an adequate waste system; and artificial lights and windows in every room.
While the London flat does not have a toilet inside the room, it does have access to a shared toilet, in the manner of many UK studios and bedsits.
In New Zealand, however, a single person dwelling for rent must be at least 11sqm, while a dwelling suitable for a couple must be at least 14sqm, and in both cases the property has to have a separate kitchen or kitchenette, which means the London flat would likely not meet the criteria for a rental here.
Tiny, grotty flats are common in London.
At 10sqm, it is still far from the smallest flat to let in London’s overheated rental market.
In January, a flat came on the market with a single bed, less than half a metre from the sink, comprising half a room that had been subdivided.
In 2020, a flat came on the market that seemed innovative and spacious by comparison, with the bed on a mezzanine platform over the kitchenette and washing machine.
The same year, a London flat with a shower in the bedroom came up for sale for just under $400,000 that makes the 2022 shower flat look like a mansion.