Frustrated landlords call on the Government




Frustrated landlords call on the Government to provide protection from rogue tenants.

Landlords have called on the Government to grant them greater protection under the law after more tales emerged of “nightmare” tenants causing tens of thousands of dollars damage to rental homes.

But the Government says the reform will look at both sides of the relationship and aims to strike a balance between providing tenants with security of tenure and allowing them to make their house a home, while protecting the rights and interests of landlords.

Recently a South Auckland rental home reduced to a shell as if it had been torn apart in a war zone.

Simran Gill said the former tenants at her parents’ Manurewa rental not only smashed in the doors and windows but also chased the property manager down the road with a hammer before finally being evicted in a police raid.

The family’s home has now been in a state of disrepair for almost one year as they wait for their insurance company to decide whether it will pay for the repairs.

Their tale follows earlier stories of an Auckland landlady being unable to remove tenants living illegally in her $2 million St Heliers home and another who was left to foot a $42,000 repair bill for tenant damage.

It’s led some landlords to now call for a register to be made to alert them to bad tenants and for the Tenancy Tribunal to be overhauled so it responds to complaints much faster.

Property Investors Federation executive officer Andrew King would also like to see wilful damage laws strengthened so landlords can more easily bring charges against tenants.

“We would like to see that tightened up so that if there is a high level of damage then it can be considered vandalism and is a criminal offence and the police are involved and potentially there is jail time,” he said.

Landlord frustration comes as much of the Government’s current review of the Residential Tenancies Act has instead been aimed at improving the lives of tenants.