A Melbourne landlord listed six "space pods" that fit a single bed for $600 a month.
Vacancy rates in Melbourne are at a "record low" an expert told the Guardian.
Sleeping pods have been touted as a solution to housing shortages in cities like San Francisco.
In Melbourne, Australia, a landlord has taken a unique approach to housing as many people as possible in one home by renting out capsules that each fit a single bed.
The six pods, described as looking like "space shuttles," go for around $171 USD a week — or $617 a month— and all the pods are full, Frank Chan told the Guardian. The house also has three regular bedrooms for rent upstairs at $1500 a month, while the sleeper pods are set up downstairs.
The white, futuristic pods, advertised on Facebook at 15 Charles Abbotsford Mansion, are stacked on top of each other. Renters do not have to pay for electricity or furniture and do not have to sign a lease. They also have a housekeeper.
Chan told Insider that he was inspired to install the "futuristic and fascinating" pods after traveling through Asia, where he said the sleeper pods are popular.
"I was surprised that Melbourne does not have it, so since I have a boarding house with a license to accommodate up to 12 people, I decided to install them to fill the gap in the market," Chan wrote to Insider.
Each capsule pod fits a single bed and is equipped with a mirror, ventilating fan, USB ports, digital control panels, adjustable color reading lights, a locker, clothes hanger, and a curtain door for privacy.
Chan told Insider the pods were primarily meant for shorter-term stays, but could also help with the rental market by providing extra beds at a low cost and driving down rental prices. Chan said he hopes the pods become easier to install, as he is the only pod renter in the city.
Tim Lawless, a research director at CoreLogic, told the Guardian that Melbourne is experiencing a vacancy rate of 1.3%, which he described as "record lows."
As cities experience housing shortages and soaring rents, pods continue to be touted as a solution.
In California, real estate developers have proposed and developed bunk bed-style pods that can sleep dozens of people in a San Francisco basement. In Palo Alto and Bakersfield, developers built bunk-bed pods that allow up to 14 people to share a house. The rent is $800 with utilities.
Chan told Insider he was happy about the attention that his pods were receiving, but reactions to the pods as a housing solution were mixed. Some accused the landlord of "exploiting desperate people and the dire housing situation," Chan said.
Chan said, however, that the experience with his tenants has been positive so far.
"I think when more people are familiar and comfortable with the capsule concept, and have explored the regulatory feasibility behind it, we should see more capsules popping up in Melbourne, as they have had in Sydney, Tasmania and Brisbane," Chan said.
Read the original article on Insider