Bad tenants out

Question from Jill updated on 19th February 2014:

We had tenants who gave us false references and didn't pay rent on time for the whole of their tenancy (six months). They were served 10 working day notices four times for rent and water arrears and were been given 90 days notice. They then gave us 21 days notice and told us they didn't intend to pay any rent until they moved out! Luckily the bond covers about half of that and the arrears (we are just happy to have them gone). They moved out on Christmas Eve with the final inspection and handover of keys at 4.30pm. Was this legal and/or reasonable? They had become quite manipulative and threatening in that last month so we were a bit concerned.

Our expert Alan Bruce responded:

The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (the Ministry) provides advice on the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act) and the relationship between landlords and tenants. During the term of the agreement, if either party to an agreement feels that the other party is in breach of their responsibilities (for example: misrepresentation, payment of rent or payment of outgoings) under the agreement, the Act provides a number of avenues to resolve the dispute. You can find information on the Ministry’s website here: http://www.dbh.govt.nz/sorting-out-problems. If the tenancy has ended and you are owed any money for outstanding rent, damage to the premises or outgoings that are over and above the bond, a landlord may seek an order for the recovery of these payments through the Tenancy Tribunal. Information about making an application to the Tenancy Tribunal can be viewed on the Ministry’s website here: http://www.dbh.govt.nz/tenancy-pub-sorting-out-problems#tenancy-info-making-an-application. It is also recommended that you contact our bond advice line if you would like to have the bond placed into dispute (where no action can be taken on the bond without the agreement of both parties or an order of the Tenancy Tribunal), or if you would like to discuss the options available to you with having the bond refunded. You can contact our Bond Advice line on 0800 737 666. To discuss your situation further, or for information about a landlords right when a tenancy ends, you can visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment’s website (www.dbh.govt.nz), or call 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

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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