Recent Tribunal Ruling

Not all of our readers are in fact our clients. Several remain managing their own properties.

A recent finding from the Tenancy Tribunal indicates the difficulties some private landlords face with the complex and ever-changing Residential Tenancies Act.

  • An Auckland landlord found his tenant was growing cannabis within the property.
  • The tenant was duly convicted and the landlord kicked him out
  • The landlord changed the locks and withheld the tenant’s property for several months.
  • The landlord demanded payment for the storage of the tenant’s goods and refused the tenant access to those goods.
  • The landlord did not ‘respect the tenants rights’ as outlined under the Act.
  • The landlord submitted claims for unfinished work, unpaid rent and a fee for unlawful subletting.

The outcome was that the adjudicator found in favour of the tenant – despite the illegal growing of cannabis and the legal conviction for his doing so – and awarded damages of $10,335 being $4,050 for damage to goods, $3,000 for harassment and $2,000 for seizing the goods.

Despite the circumstances it is crucial that the procedures as outlined in the Act with regards to eviction and the handling of tenant’s goods are followed to the letter. It is essential that all private landlords keep themselves fully informed of the Acts provisions or as in this case it can result in expensive penalties.