Manurewa landlord Satya Silan has been ordered by the Tenancy Tribunal to refund $15,840 in rent and pay $750 in exemplary damages for renting an unconsented garage as a home to a family with a young child.
Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith has welcomed the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) Tenancy Compliance and Investigations Team’s first successful prosecution of a landlord for renting a substandard property, under the Government’s tenancy law reform passed last year.
“This prosecution is significant in that it is the first time the Government has pursued a landlord for failing to provide a warm, dry, safe home. Last year’s tenancy reforms enabled the ministry to directly prosecute landlords rather than relying on tenants to take an action in the Tribunal. The law change also introduced a requirement for smoke alarms, home insulation by July 2019 and strengthened tenancy protection when taking Tribunal cases over substandard rentals,” Dr Smith says.
“The strong message to landlords from this prosecution is that properties should not be tenanted unless they are warm, dry and safe. I also encourage councils, welfare groups, student associations and others to pass on to the new Tenancy Compliance and Investigations Team more cases of this sort, particularly those with vulnerable tenants.”
The Tenancy Compliance and Investigations Team was established late last year following the passage of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act and has been provided with a budget of $2.6 million this financial year and $3.3 million next year. The team has received 242 complaints to date, found 26 involved no breach, reached a compliance agreement with landlords in 76 cases, provided advice to landlords in 55 cases and to date has lodged cases with the Tribunal in three cases involving 199 properties.
It’s fair to say if you are a landlord managing your own property or properties its important to make sure you do provide safe and healthy homes for your tenants. The government (as stated above) is taking extreme measures to implement a system to help tenants. A lot of the time it is an easy fix by the landlord to make sure it is a safe and a healthy environment for the tenant.
The MBIE is not out to prosecute all landlords but to improve the health and safety of tenants. Most of the time when a case does come up it generally involves a poor track record of compliance from landlords. MBIE still encourages tenants to take issues to the Tribunal.
Inspire property management takes extreme care and steps to make sure our landlords are providing safe and healthy homes to our tenants. We offer many services to help landlords with fixing any issues or problems with their property.