Property Management

Ex-partner’s behaviour not a tenancy breach

Tenant responsibility for the behaviour of other people on the premises can have limits depending on the circumstances, a new Tenancy Tribunal ruling indicates.

Tuesday, September 15th 2020

A South Auckland landlord, represented by their property manager, Sujata Koirala, from Oaks Property Management Limited, wanted to end a tenancy due to anti-social behaviour.

Koirala went to the Tribunal back in May on that grounds that anti-social behaviour was causing problems at the property rented by Ena Mokaraka.

At the time the Tribunal found Mokaraka’s ex-partner, who had been invited on to the property, was responsible for the disturbances but it did not terminate the tenancy.

Further disturbances – all caused by the tenant’s ex-partner- then occurred at the property on several occasions in July and August, with the neighbours reporting loud fighting, swearing, banging and threatening behaviour.

On one occasion, the neighbours recorded a physical and verbal assault on the tenant by the ex-partner. On another the ex-partner entered the neighbour’s property and banged on their door.

The neighbours did not contact the police as they were concerned about their own safety if they did.

Following the reports from the neighbours the landlord issued a breach notice to the tenant and the situation returned to the Tribunal.

However, the Tribunal adjudicator, T.Prowse, decided that it was not satisfied that the tenant had committed a breach of the tenancy.

“While tenants are responsible for the actions of other people who are on the premises with the tenant’s permission, I do not consider that when this male acted violently that he was there with the permission of the tenant,” Prowse said.

“He is clearly being violent and threatening towards the tenant and her children. She is in no position to ask him to leave, and in fact to do so would in my view, jeopardise the safety of her and her children.”

That meant that while the ex-partner was there by invitation to begin with, once he acted in a threatening and menacing way towards the tenant and her children it was implicit he no longer had her permission to be there.

For that reason, Prowse did not consider that the tenant had breached her agreement.

“Even if I had found that the tenant had committed a breach of the tenancy, there have been no further incidents since the 3 August, and I therefore consider that the tenant has complied with her obligations.”

The landlords’ application for termination of the tenancy was dismissed.

But Prowse encouraged the tenant to work with the landlord to be released from the fixed term agreement earlier, if she finds the alternative accommodation she was seeking.

While the circumstances in this case were tied up in family violence, addressing anti-social behaviour on the part of tenants and their guests generally has long been a problem for landlords.

This ruling highlights just how difficult it can be to deal with such situations, even when they impact on people in neighbouring properties.

Comments

On Tuesday, September 15th 2020 12:56 pm PaulusDNZ said:

Could the Landlord trespass the visitor from the property?

On Tuesday, September 15th 2020 1:02 pm AT HOME said:

This is another reason, along with new legislation, why location, location, location will need to be investors theme song.

On Tuesday, September 15th 2020 3:11 pm Bbourke said:

This is why a landlord needs to know everything about a possible tenant. I expect applicants to supply me with any club or sports activity they belong to, I need their facebook, twitter, etc page address and password, I need their expense and income records and anything else they can supply to support their application. I wont ask specifically for these things - but I already supply an application form that sets out the sort of information they should supply to support their application - the more the better.

Heartland Bank - Online 1.99
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special 2.25
ICBC 2.45
HSBC Premier 2.45
Westpac Special 2.49
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 2.49
TSB Special 2.49
ANZ Special 2.49
Kiwibank Special 2.55
SBS Bank Special 2.55
AIA 2.55
Heartland Bank - Online 2.35
SBS Bank Special 2.49
HSBC Premier 2.60
ICBC 2.65
China Construction Bank Special 2.65
TSB Special 2.65
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 2.69
AIA 2.69
Westpac Special 2.69
ANZ Special 2.69
ASB Bank 2.69
HSBC Premier 2.89
SBS Bank Special 2.99
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 2.99
AIA 2.99
Westpac Special 2.99
BNZ - Classic 2.99
ICBC 2.99
ASB Bank 2.99
China Construction Bank Special 2.99
Kiwibank Special 3.19
TSB Special 3.19
Heartland Bank - Online 2.95
Resimac 3.39
Kiwibank - Offset 3.40
Kiwibank 3.40
Kiwibank Special 3.40
Bluestone 3.49
ICBC 3.69
Heartland 3.95
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 4.40
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 4.40
Kainga Ora 4.43

More Stories

Dunedin in demand

Thursday, October 29th 2020

Dunedin in demand

A supply and demand imbalance together with improved housing stock mean Dunedin’s values are on the rise, writes Joanna Jefferies.

Always do your homework

Tuesday, October 27th 2020

Always do your homework

With the housing market running hot there’s growing numbers of buyers out there and that’s left the Real Estate Authority (REA) reminding them to do their homework.

Education for landlords by landlords

Friday, October 23rd 2020

Education for landlords by landlords

Self-managing landlords are signing up in droves for the NZ Property Investors Federation’s new education programme which aims to help landlords run their properties like professionals.

What lies ahead for investors

Wednesday, October 21st 2020

What lies ahead for investors

Election 2020 is done and dusted – and a red landslide has left the Labour Party firmly in charge of the next government. But what could that mean for property investors?