26 October 2016
The subdivided flat can only accommodate a sofa bed next to a kid-sized toilet. Photos: Google Maps, Next Plus
The subdivided flat can only accommodate a sofa bed next to a kid-sized toilet. Photos: Google Maps, Next Plus

‘Most inhumane’ flat in the city found in Yau Ma Tei

Netizens have dubbed a subdivided flat in Yau Ma Tei the “most inhumane” accommodation in Hong Kong.

Located at Wah Tak Building on Waterloo Road, the flat is being rented out for HK$2,500 a month, according to Next Plus Magazine.

It has 100 square feet of usable space, but reporters who visited the place found that it could only accommodate a sofa bed, which must be stowed during daytime for anyone to be able to move around.

The tenant will have to sleep next to the flush toilet, where there is a tiny space for shower.

The toilet itself is child-size, which means a person who is a bit chubby will find it very difficult to sit on it.

An estate agent told prospective tenants that “one can easily have quality sleep on the sofa bed with a shower curtain installed for waterproofing purposes”.

The agent is said to have suggested an “innovative” solution for dining space: place a piece of plywood on top of the toilet to convert it into a table.

Netizens hit out at the landlord for trying to make money out of such a cramped space.

According to news website Topick, rents of subdivided flats have remained high while home prices have been heading south.

Prices of subdivided flats in certain areas such as Kwun Tong were even reported to be on the rise.

A Census and Statistics Department survey conducted between May and September 2015 on residential buildings aged 25 years or more showed that some 25,200 flats have been modified into 89,000 subdivided units, with a median rent of HK$4,200 per month, up by more than 10 percent from HK$3,800 a month in 2014.

Sze Lai-shan of the Society for Community Organization, a human rights advocacy group, said rents of subdivided units in Kwun Tong have recorded the biggest increase.

The same flat that would cost HK$4,000 a month in Sham Shui Po fetches around HK$5,000 in Kwun Tong.

That’s why low-income tenants prefer to stay in such districts as Sham Shui Po and To Kwa Wan, Sze said.

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