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Tenants playing the system for free rent

Tenants working known delays in the Tenancy Tribunal hearing system are forcing some landlords to quit their properties.

Friday, August 3rd 2007, 12:42PM

by The Landlord

By Andrea Milner
Ron Goodwin, an Auckland landlord, says he has heard about people selling up rather than be at the mercy of the bureaucratic system and tenants that turn nasty.

“Tenants know they can get six to eight weeks or more free rent out of every landlord before they finally get evicted,” Goodwin says.

Department of Building and Housing client services manager Jeff Montgomery says there were some delays when new processing systems were implemented but these problems have been resolved.

“There are still sometimes delays due to workload peaks, incomplete applications, unavailability of landlords or tenants to attend hearings or shortage of court facilities,” Montgomery says. 
 
During a recent dispute with a tenant Goodwin says he waited 71 days from lodging the application to the date of the Tribunal hearing. During that time no rent was paid, the place was “trashed” and police raided it for drugs.

“The house was in brand new condition when the tenants moved in,” he says.
“I will now be working seven days a week for several weeks with builders, glaziers, cleaners and carpet/vinyl people cleaning up the mess and damage incurred during that 71-day period when the tenants became hostile and allowed the house to become a party house for a druggie gang, which terrorised the neighbours.”

Goodwin says his rental business built up over 20 years of hard work has been all but wiped out since the processing of Tenancy Tribunal applications has been centralised in Porirua. Processing delays of around 48 to 49 days are common and a Tribunal adjudicator had told him he was lucky if it was that little a time period.
 
“Tenants know they can get six to eight weeks or more free rent out of every poor landlord before they finally get evicted”.

He says he has heard of landlords selling up in frustration.

“The end result will be a shortage of rental houses and higher rents charged by those landlords who manage to survive, plus a total unwillingness to rent to poorer people.”

Andrew King, president of the Auckland Property Investors’ Association, advises landlords in these situations to keep calling the Tribunal until a hearing date is established.

 

 

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Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
AIA 4.55 2.55 2.69 2.79
ANZ 4.44 2.89 3.25 3.39
ANZ Special - 2.29 2.69 2.79
ASB Bank 4.45 2.29 2.59 2.65
Bluestone 3.49 3.34 2.99 3.34
BNZ - Classic - 2.29 2.59 2.79
BNZ - Mortgage One 5.15 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 4.60 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 4.55 2.89 3.19 3.39
BNZ - TotalMoney 4.55 - - -
CFML Loans 4.95 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
China Construction Bank 4.49 4.70 4.80 4.95
China Construction Bank Special - 2.65 2.65 2.80
Credit Union Auckland 5.45 - - -
Credit Union Baywide 5.65 3.95 3.85 -
Credit Union South 5.65 3.95 3.85 -
First Credit Union Special 5.85 2.95 3.45 -
Heartland 3.95 2.89 2.97 3.39
Heartland Bank - Online 2.50 1.99 2.35 2.45
Heretaunga Building Society 4.99 3.50 3.40 -
HSBC Premier 4.49 2.25 2.35 2.65
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
HSBC Special - 1.99 - -
ICBC 3.69 2.25 2.35 2.65
Kainga Ora 4.43 2.79 3.04 3.13
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special - 2.25 - -
Kiwibank 3.40 3.20 3.50 3.50
Kiwibank - Offset 3.40 - - -
Kiwibank Special 3.40 2.35 2.65 2.65
Liberty 5.69 - - -
Nelson Building Society 4.95 3.20 3.24 -
Pepper Essential 4.79 - - -
Resimac 3.39 3.35 2.99 3.35
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
SBS Bank 4.54 2.79 2.79 3.15
SBS Bank Special - 2.29 2.29 2.65
Select Home Loans 3.49 3.34 2.99 3.34
The Co-operative Bank - First Home Special - 2.09 - -
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 4.40 2.29 2.59 2.79
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 4.40 2.79 3.09 3.29
TSB Bank 5.34 3.09 3.29 3.45
TSB Special 4.54 2.29 2.49 2.65
Wairarapa Building Society 4.99 3.55 3.49 -
Westpac 4.59 3.09 3.29 3.39
Westpac - Offset 4.59 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Westpac Special - 2.29 2.69 2.79
Median 4.54 2.79 2.99 2.96

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