A Dunedin landlord has been crippled through having to refund his tenant all the rent they paid over nine months because of a minor technicality.
Vic Inglis rented a Dunedin property he used to live in to Natalie Parry from July last year to February this year.
The property was only meant to be used by Parry, her partner and son, but she sublet the downstairs area to others. When Inglis found this out, plus damage that had occurred, he told Parry she would have to move out.
Parry then told him that the original plans for the house did not include the downstairs area and therefore it was not consented, She added that she was going to apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to have her rent refunded, despite the home being perfectly liveable.
Mr Inglis sought a certificate of acceptance for the work which deviated from the original plans. The certificate was issued in March and stated that the work was excellent.
Despite there being nothing wrong with the building work and the tenant enjoying eight months of accommodation, in April the Tenancy Tribunal ordered that all the rent paid by the tenant, $10,960, be refunded.
In addition, the Tribunal refused to find that the tenant should have to pay for damage they had caused.
The Inglis family have been forced to sell the property so they can afford to refund the tenants rent.
"This case makes a mockery of tenant lobbyists claims that tenants in New Zealand are powerless" says NZ Property Investors Federation Executive Officer, Andrew King. "Many people would criticise this poor couple for providing someone with a home. They would call them Property Speculator's and demand that they be treated even harsher. This landlord bashing is completely one sided and has to stop".
"Some politicians say that their policies are aimed at Property Speculators but they aren't. Extending the Bright line test, disallowing tax deductions and a capital gains tax all apply to rental property owners like the Inglis family. They are driving people out of the market and tenants will be the next to suffer from these policies" says King.
Source: NZ Herald