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Recidivist bad landlord put on notice after tenants find bullet on … – Stuff

A recidivist bad landlord, who was also a property manager, has been put on notice after his tenants found a bullet on the property, which was later raided by police.
The landlord has appeared before the Tenancy Tribunal 15 times in two years.
On the most recent occasion the tenants suffered from leaks, mould, rats and mice, but the final straw was the bullet.
Another tenant in another unit on the property was then arrested and then released back to the property on bail.
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The tenants told the tribunal they had moved out of the house despite having to continue to pay rent because it was “uninhabitable” and applied to have their tenancy terminated.
Landlord Quan Shu of ARENT1 Ltd had told the tenants the Epsom property was Healthy Homes compliant because it had a fireplace, but it would transpire that it was covered by a painted plaster wall.
There were two holes in the floor, between 8cm and 15cm, that rodents would use to enter the house.
When a leak sprung, Shu sent another tenant to fix it, five months later.
Shu also failed to lodge the tenants’ bond and explained that to the tribunal adjudicator by saying he “had his reasons”. Shu said the tenants’ claims were “just excuses” to get out of their fixed term tenancy early.
The adjudicator disagreed and ordered Shu to pay the tenants $11,500 for loss of amenity and $1500 in exemplary damages.
The adjudicator also warned Shu he was “on notice” and if he wasn’t careful, he would find himself being investigated by Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s tenancy and compliance investigations team.
“I have serious concerns about the persistent nature of the breaches by this landlord, not only in relation to this tenancy but apparently others.
“Awards of compensation and exemplary damages do not appear to have improved his practices,” the adjudicator wrote.
The tenancy and compliance investigations team is a dedicated team of investigators that brings cases against landlords where there have been serious or ongoing breaches of tenants’ rights.
In October, the investigators obtained an order for a Christchurch landlord to pay $38,600 after their tenant was left severely ill from living in a mouldy home.
The investigation began after one of the tenants’ children was admitted with rheumatic heart disease as a result of their living conditions.
The team also has the power to issue notices to landlords to remedy a breach and make formal warnings. Tenants can request help from the investigations team by filling out a form on its website.
Next year, the Government intends to introduce a bill that will provide yet another layer of recourse for tenants.
Property managers will have to be licensed and have a minimum level of training.
The Real Estate Agents Authority’s role will be expanded to regulate property managers, who will also be able to be called before the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal.
Housing Minister Megan Woods said a change was necessary because a third of Kiwis rented and 42% had a property manager.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development said the disciplinary tribunal would deal with complaints related to property managers’ misconduct and could impose penalties like suspending or cancelling a licence.
They said no decision had been made about how to resource the expanded tribunal, but it was anticipated it would be funded through levies and fees on property managers.
The tribunal has censured property managers before. In November, it held a hearing accusing David Sharma of Property Management Out West of “disgraceful conduct”.
Sharma admitted to failing to lodge $92,000 of his tenants’ bond between 2012 and 2018. He has until January 13 to make further submissions before the disciplinary tribunal makes an order.
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