Bad tenants down the street

Question from Wendy updated on 4th July 2013:

I have bought a house down the road from a rental. The tenants are causing huge problems for the entire street, having loud parties every weekend stating from midday and going late at night. They are throwing bottles over neighbouring fences and urinating on fences, aiming fireworks at other properties, being loud and obnoxious with their parties always spilling out onto the street. Not once have they stay contained in their property. Police and noise control have been called multiple times but the problem has still not been resolved after nearly two months. I have recently found out the details of the landlord and am planning on visiting him along with another neighbour to seek support from his end. I would like to know what our rights are and what we can do from here.

Our expert Alan Bruce responded:

The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act) only applies to tenants and landlords.  Under the Act, tenants are prohibited from interfering with the reasonable peace, comfort, or privacy of their neighbours. 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 (such as neighbours who are not also a tenant of the same landlord) to take action against either the tenant or the landlord.

I would, however, suggest you seek independent legal advice from a solicitor or your local community law centre to determine what options are available to you in these circumstances, and to determine what recourse is available to you.  Alternatively, as you mentioned, you may also wish to raise the matter directly with the landlord.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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