Overcrowded high-rise units ‘disaster waiting to happen’
A Current Affair has been investigating this property black market since the recent Neo200 fire in the Melbourne CBD.
The blaze, likely to have been fuelled by combustible cladding, left a number of apartments requiring major repairs.
Overcrowded high-rise units are a “disaster waiting to happen”. (A Current Affair)
Footage obtained by A Current Affair inside the tower before the fire showed overcrowding.
And that similar scene is played out in countless high-rises.
In one two-bedroom apartment, eight people are bunked down and paying $160 a week for a bed.
They pay over the rent to a woman who calls herself “Prince”.
A Current Affair began investigating the property black market after the Neo200 fire. (A Current Affair)
Just down the road at another apartment block, makeshift bedrooms are partitioned using bedsheets or shower curtains.
Tenants told A Current Affair that when real estate agents arrived, they simply hid the excess beds.
In one apartment, run by a man called Min, six tenants were housed and paid $135 a week each.
Makeshift rooms are partitioned by sheets. (A Current Affair)
Min claimed to A Current Affair he took over the lease from his boss, who Min said runs several other homes like it in inner-city Melbourne.
“My boss said it’s middle of legal and illegal,” Min said.
Ace Body Corporate Management’s Stephen Raff said under the Rooming Act and the under the building code of Australia, such practices were illegal.
“But who’s going to monitor it?” he said.
Landlady “Prince” rents out bunk beds for $160 a week. (A Current Affair)
“You’ve got a disaster waiting to happen.”
Landlords can refuse access to council officers acting on a tip-off, and then vacate the building in the time it takes the councils to get a court-ordered warrant.
Town planner Bill Kusznirczuk said these “slumlords” were opportunistic people willing to break the law to make money and put people in danger.
“Ignorance isn’t an excuse and they shouldn’t use it,” he said.
“I just find it irresponsible.”
© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2019
Credit A Current Affair.