House hunter horrified as dome in landlord's back garden listed on SpareRoom for £750
Tenants were invited to pay £750 a month to sleep in a plastic dome in a landlord’s back garden.
An ad for the room said: “Looking for someone who appreciates the outdoors and someone who loves nature.”
But the occupant would have to go inside the house to cook or use the loo.
A listing on the SpareRoom website said it would suit “someone who is minimalistic” and described it as “the most beautiful place to sleep in the spring and summer months”.
That could be due to the fact it has no visible central heating. Another dome sits alongside – but looks to have fewer windows and could be a glorified shed.
Both structures sit between established trees and seem to share a common space, with tables and chairs.
The listing – in trendy Highgate, north London – came as rents across Britain continue to rocket and millions face a cost of living crisis.
A woman in her 20s was horrified to spot the dome while looking for a home in the capital. She said: “I was shocked. I thought there were regulations to stop this kind of thing.”
Housing campaigner Alasdair Mcclenahan, of Justice for Tenants, said: “The cost of living is increasing but wages and income are not.
"People have to do whatever they can to get a roof, or in this case, a dome, over their head and not be out on the street.”
Anyone offering accommodation which fails to meet basic standards can face criminal prosecution and fines of more than £100,000.
There are strict rules governing ventilation, electricity, cooking and bathroom facilities.
Portia Msimang, from Renters’ Rights London, said the dome was “cute for a weekend but a really horrible housing situation.”
She added: “I fear plenty of people would willingly pay £750 per month to sleep under PVC in this back garden, such is the extent of the housing emergency in London.”
Local one-bed flats in Highgate – home to stars like singer Harry Styles and actor Jude Law – can cost £1,900 a month. Yet the average monthly salary nationwide for 20-somethings is £2,257.
Highgate MP Catherine West was aghast at the dome set-up. She said: “While a ‘geodesic dome’ might be a good way to go glamping, spending £750 a month for one in London is a damning indication of our housing crisis.
"Far too many young people are being forced into completely unacceptable solutions like these.
"The Government needs to build the housing we need.”
The dome was listed as a residential let several times, most recently this month.
But when contacted, the woman who placed the advert denied she ever had ever intended to let out the dome.
She said: “It was a meditation area for my mental health during lockdown.
“Not for renting. The listing is out of date, it should have been taken down and it has now been removed.