Property

Lodge bonds or expect a penalty

Failure to lodge multiple tenancy bonds has earned another Auckland landlord a hefty penalty from the Tenancy Tribunal – and prompted a general warning to landlords.

Monday, September 23rd 2019

Rinal Kumar (commonly known as Danny) has been ordered to pay $24,754.08 by the Tribunal for deliberately and knowingly failing to lodge tenancy bonds on 32 separate occasions.

Kumar was the sole shareholder and director of Hope’s Management Limited when the rental agreements started.

The company was removed from the Companies Register in January 2019, but the Tribunal found that it was still Kumar who was ultimately responsible for lodging the bonds.

The Tribunal also found that Kumar failed to provide documentation to MBIE’s Tenancy Compliance and Investigations Team (TCIT) in accordance with his obligations under tenancy law.

Housing & Tenancy Services national manager compliance and investigation Steve Watson says the legal requirement to lodge tenants’ bond money with the Bond Centre is a fundamental responsibility landlords have under tenancy law.

“The outcome from the Tribunal sends a message to landlords who blatantly disregard the law that they will not be able to hide behind a company name and will be held accountable.

“In addition, having the Tribunal acknowledge and penalise a landlord for failing to provide documentation when requested by TCIT is fundamental when it comes to us being able to do our job effectively.”

Securing this type of complex order allows TCIT to continue to pursue those landlords who deliberately attempt to avoid their responsibilities under New Zealand’s rental laws, he says.

TCIT, which was established in July 2016, focuses on significant or ongoing breaches of the RTA which pose a significant risk to vulnerable tenants.

Watson says that TCIT will continue to focus on landlords who systematically and cynically breach the Residential Tenancies Act.

“We will also continue to identify and hold to account those landlords whose non-compliant behaviour is causing harm to their tenants.”

The Tribunal ruling against Kumar is the second in recent months which relates to a landlord or property manager’s serial failure to lodge multiple bonds.

Back in June, property manager Widhani (Debbie) Iskandar was ordered to pay $177,720.56 by the Tribunal for deliberately and knowingly failing to lodge tenancy bonds.

Read more:

Serial failure to lodge bonds earns massive fine 

Tardy repairs earn $2,000 fine 

Comments

On Thursday, September 26th 2019 11:04 am Ururoa said:

Tenants should just lodge their bonds direct; never give a landlord the bond.

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