Domestic violence damage
Question from Trish updated on 7th August 2017:
Can a landlord pursue a tenant for damage done by a boarder during a domestic violence incident? There is a police report outlining the damage - which is a fist-sized hole in the wall - and charges are pending against the boarder. The tenant did not foresee the situation and could not reasonably stop the boarder. So who can the landlord pursue in this instance? The boarder was noted on the tenancy agreement.
Our expert Bernard Parker responded:
The answer to this question depends on the facts of the case. If the tenant or the boarder intentionally caused the damage the exemption in Holler & Rouse v. Osaki does not apply. It is reasonable to argue that a hole made by somebody punching a wall is “intentional” damage. Under the tenancy agreement, the tenant is responsible for the actions of those whom s/he permits into the premises. Therefore, the tenant is the one whom the landlord should pursue in this instance.
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.