1492066107025 - Owner of pricey Queenstown rental property: ‘I am not going to rob anybody’

Owner of pricey Queenstown rental property: ‘I am not going to rob anybody’

It can house up to 12 and costs more than $2000 a week to rent, but the Queenstown rental property’s owner insists he’s no slumlord.

Dave Early said he built the six-plus bedroom house to provide good quality living for workers and help address Queenstown’s housing shortage.

With the installation of temporary walls, it can house up to 12. The project had left him with a “mind-blowing” debt, he said.

“I am not going to rob anybody.”

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“I see people in shared rooms who are living with a flag between them. My aim is to give them personal space.”

A total move-in cost for the house, including the bond and rent in advance, is more than $13,200, with a weekly rent of $2160. It is furnished with beds, TV, fridge freezer, dishwasher, washing machine and kitchenware.

The property and its cost has generated discussion on social media.

Early said he was not a slumlord. The house was “a lot cheaper” than some in Shotover Country subdivision, which rented for more than $800 a week with far fewer rooms.

He had lived in different “old crapper” houses and understood what tenants were after.

To build a house on the lakeside resort’s Fernhill slope cost Early an “absolute fortune”. His debt was more than $1 million, he said.

“It’s mind-blowing. If I knew what it’d cost to build this house I would never do it.”

However, he was happy with the final product – a warm and well ventilated house, even better than his own.

Early spend more than $20,000 insulating the 300sqm house, plus the cost of heating system.

“It’s a better built home than most people build.”

QAC property manager Craig Dow said the house had been leased to a company that planned to make it a “staff house”.

Queenstown Lakes District Council planning manager Blair Devlin said the house did not need to be registered as visitor accommodation. 

“As there is only one kitchen it would fall within our definition of residential unit,” he said.

“We do not have a limit on the number of bedrooms or people who can live in a residential unit.”