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Property managers Cutlers Ltd have apologised and taken down a Facebook post calling for tenders to rent a notorious flat after backlash on social media where it was labelled by some as exploitative.
The company put out the Debacle, on Cumberland St, to the highest bidder, a move the Otago University Students' Association said it "strongly condemns".
On social media, property consultant Matt Cutler said "we knew that we would have multiple groups wanting it and the only real way to separate them was to give them a chance to make their best offer".
Choosing based on the quality of the tenant was not really an option for the flat, he said.
"We could just randomly select but then the groups that missed out get upset because they didn't get the chance to make their best offer," he said.
"For that particular flat we know that we aren't going to be getting groups looking to have a quiet year so regardless of the quality of the applicants on paper, there are always going to be few things to deal with throughout the year.
"We used to run competitions to decide who got a flat but decided to stop this due to complaints so price became the next option."
Offering for tender would "just speed up the process and make it transparent from the beginning", Mr Cutler said.
"This was 100% my idea, I apologise to those offended and take full responsibility. We won't try this again."
The Debacle belongs to company TDub Limited, directed by rugby players Michael Leitch, who plays for Japan, Johan Bardoul, France-based Maama Vaipulu and the Chiefs' Brad Weber, who played several games for Otago in 2012.