Regional News

Share house residents are resorting to renting living rooms by the minute

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Living rooms rentable by the minute are inevitable when hordes of low-paid Australians sleep in share rooms, a senior academic predicts.

Pointing to European start-up Ziferblat, which offers “café-style living space” capped at $15 to $20 a day, Dr Christian Tietz, who lectures at the University of NSW, says high-density, high-rent suburbs of Australia are “prime” for the deconstructed housing concept.

There are currently 14 of the Ziferblat “homes as a service” operating across Russia, the UK and Slovenia.

For a few cents per minute, capped at three or four hours, individuals rent access to a fully-equipped kitchen stocked with coffee and snacks, lounge chairs, bathrooms and dining areas.

“I don’t know if there is anything concrete moving to set up in Australia right now, but I do think we would be a prime target and it is only a matter of time,” the industrial design expert says.

“If you look at Australian cities from a global perspective you see we have city markets with very high rent with many people unable to afford the cost of permanent leased home accommodation, and we also have more and more people sharing rooms for sleeping, about 10,000 a night that we know of in Sydney and possibly as many as 100,000, as statistics are patchy.

“But you still need to have an option for how you spend your time during the day, aside from sitting in a coffee shop or library, a park bench or the beach, somewhere you can do things like cook a meal, somewhere you can be active in ‘your’ space rather than a passive agent, which is why Australian cities are ripe for a new option like this to come along.”

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