Thursday, October 1, 2020
Landlords

Tenant awarded $12,000 after living in dilapidated property

Tenant

Landlord Tim Eustice was ordered to pay former tenant Janine Reichert after the case was heard at the Tenancy Tribunal

Rats, multiple leaks, and a rotting deck were among the reasons an Auckland landlord had to cough up $12,000.

Landlord Tim Eustice was ordered to pay former tenant Janine Reichert after the case was heard at the Tenancy Tribunal.

Reichert moved into the beachfront property, which had a main house and boat house, on Peacock St in Karaka Bay, Glendowie in January 2018.

The home’s deck offered uninterrupted sea views and was used to get in and out of the house.

However, Reichert told the Tenancy Tribunal she could not use most of the deck as parts were rotten and could not support weight and it was therefore dangerous.

She was also worried about her three young children using the deck, according to the recent Tenancy Tribunal decision.

Throughout the tenancy Reichert said she complained of rats and mice coming into the house and nesting. She often had to clean up rat droppings and the loft smelt of rat urine and faeces, the decision said.

There were also issues with leaks throughout the roof of the house and boathouse, while water also entered through the walls and there were issues with the guttering, Reichert said.

The landlord told the tribunal he agreed there were problems with the deck, which he had been made aware of early in the tenancy.

It was difficult to source materials and get them delivered to the bay as there was pedestrian access only, Eustice said.

Concerned about the state of the deck, Reichert contacted Auckland Council and Gerry Cruikshank, senior specialist in the Building Targeted Initiatives Team, confirmed it was an issue of safety.

I have no doubt at all that the structure meets the definition of a dangerous building and it’s likely to cause injury or death to those using it, Cruikshank said.

He recommended Auckland Council issue a notice to the landlord to fix the deck and issue a dangerous building notice.

The deck was eventually rebuilt, but only after the tenancy had ended.

Tenancy Tribunal adjudicator Toni Prowse said it was lucky no one was injured at the property.

Prowse said Reichert had to “put up” with leaks throughout the tenancy and repairs were not attended to within a reasonable amount of time by Eustice.

Prowse ordered the landlord to pay Reichert $12,050 after he was found to have failed to maintain the deck, allowed the rat infestation, and not repaired leaks.

Eustice also failed to lodge bond, did not appoint an agent while outside New Zealand and breached the tenant’s quiet enjoyment.

The tenant moved out in August 2019.

Eustice also made claims against Reichert, seeking $1500 because the garden had not been maintained, illegal modifications were made to the boathouse and a washing machine was not left at the property.

Prowse rejected all of Eustice’s claims as they had not been proven.

Important:
This article is for information purposes only.
Please remember that financial investments may rise or fall and past performance does not guarantee future performance in respect of income or capital growth; you may not get back the amount you invested.
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