Category: Flatting conditions

Rate My Flat – you can have a scarfie experience without being cold!

There are plenty of flats around that are named for their state of preservation or lack of heating: The Fridge, The Fridgette, The Heap, The Manor all spring to mind. You might not be able to do much about the size of your flat, but you can have a say in it’s quality through a new site called Rate My Flat.

If you’ve not heard about Rate My Flat, do check out this article from the ODT.  The lovely people from The (Shit Show) Chateau (rated the OUSA Worst Flat in 2012), are behind this venture through Live the Dream. Rate my Flat is about making a change for good and improving living conditions for students.

“Know what you’re getting BEFORE you sign the lease. Rate My Flat is an online database of ratings, comments and insider knowledge from previous tenants, so you can have the power to decide if your next flat is worth it.” Source: Rate my Flat Facebook page

You can hear Lindsey Horne and Leander Schulz talking with Kim Hill on Radio NZ (8 February 2014).

You can register your flat online, over 1000 folk have,  and it may well make a difference. Landlords who look after their flats will benefit, and landlords who don’t may receive some constructive feedback. The Chateau team have plenty of experience with crappy living conditions having taken on a house in dire need of TLC. You can read more about that experience here, and bless them, they are still living there.


STARS scheme launched today

The Student Tenancy Accommodation Rating Scheme [STARS], a voluntary scheme to rate student housing, was launched today in Dunedin. It’s a collaboration between the DCC, University and Polytech – it’s a Tertiary Precinct Planning Group project.

The aim is to provide students with some qualitative information about available housing so they can make a more informed choice when choosing a flat.

Landlords can create listings for their flats, these need to be revised annually, and are provide a 5 star rating on a number of topics: fire safety, security, insulation, heating and ventilation, and general amenities. Feedback can be made about ratings.

Read the DCC press release.

Go to the STARS website.

Emma Lancaster looks at housing conditions for students in Dunedin

The documentary focuses on housing conditions and health effects of poor housing conditions. Emma also speaks with Sid Brown, Dep Mayor of Dunedin about the tertiary precinct strategy. There’s a short segment on named flats and some great quotes from students about the reasons they choose to live in cold grotty flats.

Radio article about a new 5 star rating systems for student flats
Student Flats (Audio – duration: 6′48″) Radio NZ “Afternoons” 22.06.09
The days of Scarfies freezing through the Dunedin winter could be on the way out, with the introduction of a”five star rating”system for student flats.

Student flat conditions monitored through a proposed rating system
Five star rating proposed for Dunedin student flats (Audio – duration: 4′32″) Radio NZ – 22.06.09
The days of grotty student accommodation in Dunedin could be numbered, thanks to a new ratings system being considered by the City Council and Otago University and Polytech.

Student Accomodation (Audio – duration: 4′10″) Radio NZ – 28.03.09

Otago students say they’re paying higher rents despite the poor condition of their flats.


The intention is to enable students to make more informed choices about student housing, and to provide landlords with an incentive to upgrade the aesthetics and environmental standards of their properties.

Tertiary Plan Update / DCC – 22.06.09

Five-star student flats on the way

A rating scheme was suggested by Amy Spurdle in her thesis “Authentic Scarfie Flats” to protect the Victorian and Edwardian character flats of North Dunedin. I hope the protection of these flats is central to the plan of the Tertiary Presinct partners (DCC, University and Polytech’). I’m looking forward to seeing the report.

Five-star student flats on the way