Otago University’s Students Association says the condition of the flats judged among the city’s worst is a reminder that tenants should issue their landlords with 14-day notices to rectify when things aren’t right.
This week was Mitre 10 Mega Dunedin Flatting week, which culminated in Mayor Dave Cull, Labour MP David Clark, a true Scarfie Lozz Holding, OUSA President Logan Edgar and OUSA student support centre manager Matt Tucker judging the city’s worst and best student flats.
"We're always pushing for better flatting conditions and promoting the over supply of flats in Dunedin," said Angus McDonald, OUSA Campaigns Manager, "Students have to realise that we don't have to sign up early, and don't need to sign up to a rubbish flat."
Edgar said: "If you're in a rubbish flat with a rubbish landlord the chances of you wanting to look after it are low, but having a landlord who cares and also gets the place fixed when it needs to be really makes a difference.
"Of course it goes both ways, some people feel the need to live in a dunger for a year, and some people just want a cheap place and are a bit rough as they get into the swing of living as an adult. But in general most people need a safe, warm and healthy flat and that comes from more than just the people living there."
McDonald said: "The most voted for category was the best landlord so we want to give a big high-five all the landlords who treat their tenants like people, not just a pay cheque. It shows you get out what you put in."
The worst flat, pictured, was described as having six rooms that were all equally damp and cold. “The landlord has deserted us in this hell hole to fend for ourselves. The clothesline is made of string tied to trees and multiple doorknobs have been replaced by mangled cutlery. Every day is a drama.”
OUSA spokesman Alasdair Johnson said the aim of the awards was to recognize good landlords. But he acknowledged there were some shocking entries.
“It's a case of a rubbish flat not looked after by the landlord which doesn't help enthuse the tenants to take much care either sadly. People shouldn't be signing up for this, and they also need to take action if something isn't right.”
The best landlord was David Ojala, who has insulated and put a heat pump in his property and maintains it to a high standard – for $125 a week.