Several photos showing a rented “attic room” built inside a kitchen in a Hong Kong apartment have gone viral on social media.

The Legislative Councilor Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung uploaded several photos on Facebook which showed an attic room built in the upper half of a kitchen inside an apartment in Kowloon’s Tai Kok Tsui on Wednesday, news website HK01.com reported.

It is understood that five families rent subdivided flats in the 200 square-foot apartment, which has two attic rooms, one of which is used for storage in the bathroom.

The other extra room, which measures two meters by four meters squeezed under the ceiling of the kitchen, is rented by a 70-year-old Hong Kong man for about HK$1,000 (US$127) a month.

The tenant named Hung, said he needed to climb a wooden ladder to get into his room. The ceiling inside the windowless bed space has exposed steel. Hung can only sit or lie down in his room.

Cheung described the environment of the apartment as poor and with a bad odour. Photos showed a worn out kitchen with dirt and dust everywhere. Some tenants complained that fleas were found inside their rooms.

Cheung said it was the worst elderly living environment he had ever seen.

Hung, a retired construction worker, received HK$3,200 elderly living allowance each month from the government. He said after paying the rent, he had not much money left for food and medicine.

People commented online saying that such a place would be miserable in Hong Kong and that the living environment the photos showed were worse than those in the 1960s.

Some commentators expressed anger at the landlord for renting such a space to an elderly man, while others urged the government to address the situation.