A landlady has come under fire for offering to lease her garden cabin to a lodger for about £1,000 a month including bills.
Thembi Mutch advertised the cabin, which she also keeps her bike and other belongings in, on Gumtree and Spareroom for £895pcm plus bills, which in the advert she estimates would be up to £150 a month.
Dr Mutch, a freelance journalist and lecturer, says she recently built the cabin next to her house in Norwich Drive, Bevendean.
She wrote in the ad: “Looking for lovely housemate(s) for cabin … The side part of the cabin has my storage, which I access. PLEASE NOTE I WILL REQUIRE ACCESS TO THE CABIN – but your privacy is ensured.”
The cabin is advertised as having being insulated and heated, with a wetroom, sink, microwave, kettle, blender and fridge, as well as fast internet.
After the ad was shared on social media, internet sleuths tracked down the address and discovered the “recently built cabin” does not have any planning permissions.
Brighton and Hove City Council said its planning enforcement team had received reports and was investigating.
A spokesperson for Acorn, a union which represents private tenants, said: “Putting a glorified shed up for rent for such a high monthly fee is a perfect example of the unsustainable and dangerous situation renters in Brighton and Hove face.
“With little action from Brighton and Hove Council administrations over the years, a ‘wild west’ situation has been allowed to fester, with landlords, comfortable in the knowledge that they won’t be held to account by the authorities, able to exploit vulnerable renters to shocking extremes.
“The fact that the landlord in question also expects to have access to the ‘cabin’ only makes it all the more shocking.
“Acorn is encouraged by the recent movement by the council on plans to implement landlord licensing in the city, but we will keep pushing until this and other policies are finally enacted upon by the authorities.
“Until then, renters will continue to be exploited by unscrupulous landlords.”
A spokesperson for Brighton and Hove City Council said: “Anyone with concerns about possible inappropriate renting out of cabins / annexes or similar as separate units of living accommodation should report their concerns to us.
“Our planning enforcement team investigates all such allegations.”
Dr Mutch was approached for comment and said some of the details in the ad were wrong, but insisted none of her lengthy responses should be published.