Bad neighbours & absentee landlord

Question from Casie updated on 25th March 2020:

I have neighbours with an absentee landlord who keep the property like a disgusting junk heap and create an abysmal amount of noise and disturbance. How do I find out who the landlord or property managers are and what are my rights in this situation?

Our expert Bernard Parker responded:

An absentee landlord, if based outside New Zealand for more than 21 days, must have a local representative. You could call local property managers and ask if they manage the property. However, if the owners live elsewhere in New Zealand and “manage” the property themselves, then I suggest you contact the local Council and ask to track down the contact details for the owner. If you can speak with the owner of the property you may have the best chance of success.

The noise and disturbance can be addressed simply by calling the Council’s noise control number. The same rules apply to neighbours, whether they are tenants or not. They must not make any unreasonable noise or disturbance at any time (not just at night). A noise control officer will attend and speak with the occupants. Repeat offences can result in impounding of the offending equipment (such as a stereo system, television or chainsaw). The junkyard appearance of the property is possibly a matter that you need to refer to the local Council. The property may contravene local authority bylaws which the Council can enforce.

Bernard is principal of Quinovic – Kapiti-Mana. Quinovic's outstanding people and systems provide the most professional, effective and reliable residential property management service in the NZ market for over 30 years.

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