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How a hard-line approach to Tribunal claims can end up hurting you

On the awarding of legal costs by the Tenancy Tribunal RE: Thomas and other v Novus Vita Limited [2021] NZTT Wellington 4266110, 4266355 The basis of the Tenancy Tribunal is for parties in a dispute to achieve a just outcome swiftly and inexpensively. Lawyers do not generally get involved and as such, the Tribunal isn’t often concerned with issues relating to the award of legal costs...
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What is a tenancy?

Rent is a key pillar to support a claim of a residential tenancy. It is never super nice to see family disputes play out in the public domain. The venerable Miss Manners will likely scold us for even taking a second look. In saying that, a second look is exactly what is warranted for Wallath v Wallath [2021] NZTT 4272191 on this platform seeing that it explores the meaning of a (r...
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Maximum occupancy - don’t sit on your rights

Knowledge or acquiescence of a tenant exceeding maximum occupancy could invalidate a subsequent claim for exemplary damage. RE: Driskel v Zoetebier [2021] NZTT Hutt Valley 4271298, 4277832 This is a claim and counterclaim hearing that covers a number of issues in connection to the tenancy. For the purpose of this discussion, we will be addressing the breach of maximum occupancy limit ex...
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Bond - it is the tenant’s money

We generally understand and talk about bonds as security deposits; on the one hand, they give a landlord the peace of mind to rent to a stranger and on the other hand cushion a tenant against onerous financial burden should a claim be made against him at the end of the tenancy. What we tend to be less mindful of is that ultimately, the bond is the tenant’s money and the law recog...
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Personal properties vs chattels

In an $11,476.87 order made against the tenant, Kieran Jie-Wei Cheng, that in part, penalised him for damaging the premises, the Tribunal clearly articulates the limits of its jurisdiction. In short, personal properties belonging to the landlord do not enjoy the same s49B protection against tenant damages as rental chattels otherwise would. RE: Newman v Lalor and other parties [2021] NZTT C...
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{{name}} - APIA Auckland Property Investors

Landlord held not liable for co-tenants' pets

Re: Whether a landlord is liable for breaching the quiet enjoyment of one tenant for failing to enforce the terms of the tenancy agreement against a co-tenant Zama v Feng [2020] NZTT Wellington 4276448 This is a strange one. Bear with us. Alessandro Zama took his landlord to the Tribunal alleging a number of breaches. On the face of it, many if not most certainly look vexatious to us (in...
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{{name}} - APIA Auckland Property Investors

Hard for you but su*ks for me

An example of how the Tenancy Tribunal weighs up a landlord’s and a tenant’s respective hardship in determining the merits of an application for early termination (of a fixed-term tenancy) RE: Ayaz v Rentex Ltd [2020] NZTT North Shore 4278514 Facts The tenant and his family moved to New Zealand in May 2020 and took out a one-year fixed-term tenancy from 20th June 2020 to 18th ...
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{{name}} - APIA Auckland Property Investors

Cause and consequence are two different things

Landlords seeking compensation for damages caused by tenants should take care to prove the cause, not just the consequences, of the damage as VNG RENTALS LIMITED vs Xu [2020] NZTT Auckland 4269426 demonstrates. Facts On or about 2 May 2020, the bathroom of the apartment flooded. Water leaked into the adjoining apartment resulting in an approx $4.5K damage. In an email to the ...
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{{name}} - APIA Auckland Property Investors

Rent increase after substantial work: not a case of $1-in-$1-out

From time to time, investors almost flippantly assume that any expenses incurred improving the property can be directly recouped from the tenant by way of rent increase on a $1-in-$1-out basis. Monarch Realty Ltd v Alchin-Boller [2020] NZTT Hamilton 4277248 is a reminder that this is not the case. At least not quite. Facts The landlord sought the tenant’s consent to increase th...
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{{name}} - APIA Auckland Property Investors

Termination invalidated by a mere diary entry

Re: Atkinson v Monarch Realty Ltd [2020] NZTT Hamilton 4279083 Facts 5th July 2020 - Leak discovered at the property due to lack of maintenance 11th August to 9th September 2020 - Remedial work carried out 1st September 2020 - Citing a lack of confidence that the tenant would property ventilate (and therefore look after) the property, the property manager recommend...
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