The higher yield from approving small apartments means more ratepayers for Council and higher profits for developers.
The majority of the Manningham permit application reports indicate that council is allowing at least 40% of the total number of apartments in major high rise buildings to have only one bedroom. These buildings appear to be targeting the lower end of the market by the provision of very small one bedders ranging in size from a minimum of 43 sq m to an average maximum of 50 sq m. One building had 75 one bedroom apartments no larger than 44 sq m.
According to research, the proportion of one bedroom apartments was once only 10%. It is now
four times that at 40% and three or more bedroom stock is less than 5%. One bedroom apartments used to be 70 m2 but are now 50 m2 or less. Many of Doncaster Hill’s apartments (Gun Barrel) are accessed from a single corridor, are very narrow, have no window to the bedroom and kitchens are often located in hallways.
A high number of one bedroom apartments in a building does not necessarily mean more residents you might think, however students and couples are taking out leases and then sub-letting to other parties, no doubt making a profit themselves. It is becoming a racket with a wall of silence around it as long as the money comes in. If there is no policy on overcrowding then it is time we introduced one. How they monitor it, given privacy issues, is another matter. They need proper evidence, and this is where the Real Estate person comes in. The considerable water usage in some of these small apartments is also an indicator and can be measured, but who can be bothered? Also excessive amounts of garbage is another tell-tale indication.
Excerpt from Age article by Aisha Dow;
It is illegal for apartments to be separately rented to more than three people without being a registered rooming house, but units shared with up to seven people are freely advertised on online classified websites such as Gumtree.
In Docklands, six girls are squeezed into a one-bedroom apartment, with four in the bedroom and two in the living room.
They each pay $140 a week, meaning the landlord is able to earn up to $43,000 a year, potentially doubling their profit in an area where the median annual rent is just over $22,000. In a Russell Place tower, three people are being asked for $99 per week to share a lounge room. Many of the listings ask for Asian housemates only due to “living culture”. Click on link below for full article
Another problem is the non payment of owners corporation fees especially when the owner is an overseas investor and cannot be contacted. They can be recovered in due course but it becomes a problem when items of maintenance can’t be funded.