Property Management

Illegal car park storage could mean end of tenancy

Two tenants who used their allocated parking space for storage have been told to remove their goods or they will be turfed out of their Manukau home.

Friday, June 09th 2023

Kun Kourn and Dollar Williams have also been told by the Tenancy Tribunal that belongings stored in the car park and owned by the owner of their home must be returned. 

Kourn and Williams ignored a 14-day notice from the landlord and two tribunal hearings demanding they use their car park only for parking vehicles and not for storing personal belongings.

The tribunal first told them to remove their belongings by 19 March or the landlord could dispose of their items. Kourn and Williams failed to do so, even though the tribunal says Best in Bays could do it and  charge them up to $750. 

At a second hearing, where Best In Bays applied for termination of the tenancy, Kourn and Williams were given until 4 May to clear the car park.

Best In Bays says it received letters from the body corporate manager on 1 November and 17 April, saying the tenants are in breach of the body corporate rules.

The body corporate manager indicated the landlord could be fined for breaching its rules, which form part of the tenancy agreement.

The landlord told the tribunal some of the belongings in the car park, for example, a sofa and the TV, belong to the tenants, while other items, such as plastic chairs and a table, belonged to the property’s owner and had been taken out of the unit.

Best in Bays says it is impossible to enforce the tribunal’s order and clear the car parking space simply by disposing of the tenants’ items.

It made a tribunal application to terminate the tenancy. 

Adjudicator M Edison says the tribunal would not usually terminate a tenancy for a breach of this nature, particularly where the landlord could remove the belongings from the car park.

“Here, however, there is the practical difficulty that disposal of the tenants’ belongings would still leave items stored in the carpark that are supposed to be stored in the unit.

“Further, the tenants are in continuing breach of their tenancy agreement. They are causing inconvenience to other occupants of the building by using their car park for storage and the parking space belonging to their neighbour for parking,” says Edison. 

“The unit owner is exposed to possible legal action by the body corporate for breach of the body corporate rules.

“The tenants have ignored a mandatory tribunal order  to remedy the situation.

If the tenants do not comply with this further order, which again directs them to remove their belongings from the car park and return the landlord’s property to the unit, Edison says it would be inequitable to refuse to terminate the tenancy and has granted a conditional termination order.

The order will lapse if it is fully complied with. If the tenant breaches the order, possession of their home is enforceable for 90 days from the first breach.


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