Harry Potter's closet near UBC listed as a short-term rental

May 4 2020, 9:10 pm

Success with real estate always comes down to how you market a property — everything from a luxurious mansion to, in this case, what appears to be a small closet.

In fact, an Airbnb listing proudly promoted this as the “Harry Potter private room,” located in a house in the Little Australia neighbourhood of the University Endowment Lands (UEL) near the UBC campus. The property, operated as a hostel, has been given the name “Little Australia House.”

“This is a private room in a community house. The roof slants down from one side, as it’s under a staircase. It’s not quite a cupboard, but it’s certainly on the small side,” reads the short-term rental listing, which was taken down just prior to this article’s publication.

Fans of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series will recollect how the messianic young wizard was forced to live in a tight closet below the staircase of his relatives’ home.

Apart from the bed frame and a mattress, shelves use up most of the remaining available space in this closet. And it is not furnished at all, with concrete walls, an incomplete paint job, and dirt stains on both the walls and tiled flooring.

But you get what you pay for; through the Airbnb platform, the owners were charging $16 per night, plus a $10 cleaning fee, $6 service fee, and $5 occupancy taxes and other fees.

The house has a total of eight beds within mostly several shared rooms, including a women’s only shared room. Most of these beds are bunks, and within the same price range.

As for the shared facilities within the house, there are two kitchens, two bathrooms, a “spacious backyard,” and a bike rack. It is also marketed as a five-minute bike ride from UBC, close to the beach, grocery stores, and coffee shops. It is “nestled in the forest with 0 through traffic.”

The listing was under “William and Lindsay,” a couple who have indicated that they reside in Houston, Texas. It was just one of 63 listings under their Airbnb account, with most of their listings also appearing to be rooms with bunk beds. One of the landlords is an English teacher from Canada.

Their other properties are also located near universities — within the UEL and near Blanca Street in West Point Grey in Vancouver, and near the Rice University campus in Houston.

Based on the 810 reviews they have received to date for all of their listings combined, the average rating for the couple is 4.5 out of five stars.