Bad neighbours

Melanie asks:
(updated on Friday, July 22nd 2016)

My husband and I have just purchased our first home. There are three townhouses on a shared driveway as they are cross lease properties. The middle townhouse has just been tenanted to Mongrel Mob members and this is disrupting the peace of myself and the other soon to be landlord that lives in the other townhouse.

They have wild parties and park across our garage door so we can't get out. They also have violent domestic disputes right outside our garage door, try to run each other over and swear. Myself and the other soon to be owner want these gang members evicted. The police know about this incidents and these people are well known to them.

I am planning to get the bad neighbours' landlord tomorrow but what do we do about this? How does the landlord evict them?

Our Experts Answer:

The Residential Tenancies Act only applies to the relationship between a tenant and their landlord. Under the Act, tenants have a responsibility to not interfere with the reasonable peace, comfort, or privacy of their neighbours. There are steps a landlord can take if their tenant is in breach of their responsibilities under the Act.

However, the Act does not explicitly require landlords to take action against a tenant who breaches this provision of the Act (unless the neighbours are also tenants of the same landlord), and does not provide any mechanism for third parties (unless they are also a tenant of the same landlord) to take action against the landlord.

I would suggest, as you have mentioned, raising the matter directly with the landlord in the first instance, contacting the Police as needed, and contacting your local Council regarding the noise control concerns. Alternatively, you may wish to seek independent legal advice from a solicitor or your local community law centre to determine what other options are available to you in these circumstances to help resolve the matter.

For further information regarding landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities, you can visit our website at www.tenancy.govt.nz.

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