Glass act: critics see right through Adelaide rental with bathroom ‘cube’ built next to kitchen

·3 min read

Convenience: in every sense of the word, 4/201 O’Connell Street has it.

Ablute without ever having to take your eyes off the television, or interrupting your dinner party conversation.

A studio apartment in inner-city North Adelaide has attracted ridicule online, with its unconventional placement of the … ahem … facilities.

The joint shower-and-toilet glass cube has been installed next to the studio’s kitchen. Critics online described it as akin “to your first custom house in the Sims” or boasting the aesthetic of a “Swedish prison”.

And it can be all yours for $400 a week.

201 O’Connell Street is a heritage-listed late Victorian era building, built in 1892 for all of 900 pounds and since subdivided into seven apartments.

“Perfectly positioned within North Adelaide and set in small complex [sic], this property is perfect to call your next home,” unit 4’s online advertisement says.

“This spacious, fully furnished upstairs studio offers the lifestyle that everyone deserves. Providing fantastic finishes, great access to all amenities and just step out on to O’Connell Street and enjoy some of the best eateries in Adelaide.”

South Australia’s Housing Improvement Regulations lay down minimum requirements for all homes in the states. The regulations state all “residential premises must be provided with … an oven and a cooktop”. The studio does not appear to have an oven or a cooktop.

The regulations also state: “Each room containing toilet or bathroom facilities must afford adequate privacy to the user; each room containing a toilet must not open directly into a room used or intended to be used for the storage, preparation, cooking or consumption of food unless ventilated by means of an exhaust fan or similar device.”

Ray White real estate agent Rachel Lawrie told the ABC the listing met all building code specifications, otherwise it would not have been listed.

“All of the people applying for it have to see it in person, they are aware there’s no cooking facilities,” she said.

“The glass [in the bathroom] is frosted and tempered. Everything is to code.”

Lawrie said she expected the studio to be let by the end of the week.

South Australia is currently the tightest rental market in the country, with just three residential properties in 1,000 vacant.

“Adelaide continues its reign as the most competitive capital city to find a rental,” Domain’s latest rental market report says, “with vacancy rates sitting at 0.3%.”

Rising rents reflect that hyper-tight market: rents in the South Australian capital are up 9.4% on a year ago, Domain’s figures show.

The property caught the attention of Twitter … but it was not well received.

In response to the state budget, delivered this month, the South Australian Council of Social Services said many in the state “continue to really struggle”.

“We have a genuine crisis around rental affordability, and cost of living pressures mount by the day,” a spokesperson said.

“There is absolutely no doubt we need more action and long-term investments in public housing to help address rental affordability. Far too many people are struggling to find a home, let alone one they can afford.”

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