Communication break-down

Question from Jenny updated on 20th June 2018:

As my current tenancy come to an end, I told my property manager to hold off advertising for a new tenancy over the phone. The agent then signed a new 12 months tenancy without my consent and denies the phone conversation ever took place. To resolve this dispute, the property management company gave me two options:

1.They continue to manage my property until the new tenancy runs out. Or

2. They can hand over the new tenancy to me to manage if I pay them a fee to cover their cost.

I am not interested in doing either as there is no trust anymore for option 1, and they have already charged me management fees for the month and the new tenant letting fees. Is there any way I can hold them accountable for acting without consent and get my house back without the new tenancy and without paying them more fees?

Our expert Bernard Parker responded:

There appears to be a breakdown in communication between your property manager and you. Whether the phone call carried specific instructions not to re-let, or whether there is a misunderstanding on one side or the other is the crux of this issue. You cannot solve this problem by asking a third party for an opinion. You and your property manager need to try to work out this issue by discussion.

If you are sure that the property manager acted beyond their authority, then you may consider taking your dispute to the Disputes Tribunal. The Tribunal’s focus is to try to mediate an agreed solution, but it has the power to make a decision if the parties cannot come to an agreement.

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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