A fake rental listing in Ħamrun claiming to offer capsules that contain a single bed for €330 per month was widely shared on Facebook and other social media this week.
Listed by an individual with a Facebook handle of Nick CT as a one-bedroom, one-bathroom house in the locality, it was described simply as a “bed for rent shared living”.
The image used in the advert showed 12 individual capsules, each with a mattress and pillow, as well as a curtain for privacy.
It was shared across popular Facebook groups with people raising concerns over the quality of rental properties in Malta with some sharing it as an example of greed in the local market.
But was the listing real?
The image used in the listing does not show a property in Malta. A reverse image search of the image reveals that it is taken from the website of a hostel in the Purmerend district north of Amsterdam.
The City Trip Hostels Amsterdam-Purmerend lies 23km north of Amsterdam Central Station and offers several accommodation options for travellers on a budget, including mixed dormitories and female-only dormitories. The hostel describes the capsules as “pods”, offering both single and double pods featuring charging sockets, reading light and a personal locker.
The hostel’s promotional photos include several pictures of the pods in question, including the original picture which was later cropped and used for the local Facebook listing.
Prices for the “Superior Single Pod” in a shared dorm of between six and 14 beds start from €18.40 per night.
The person who posted this Facebook listing also lists several other properties for rental, including some featuring a QuickLets watermark. A QuickLets representative told Times of Malta that Nick CT worked with the agency for a brief period in 2021 and that the listing in question has no association with QuickLets.
Other Facebook property listings posted by Nick CT appear to be genuine. Speaking to Times of Malta, he said that the listing was posted as a test exercise to explore what sort of properties people from lower-income backgrounds would be interested in renting and that this kind of rental property is “nothing new to the world”.
The listing uses a photo of a hostel in the Netherlands, taken from promotional photos published by the hostel itself. The person who posted the listing confirmed that the listing is not real.
This claim is therefore false, as the evidence clearly refutes the claim.
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