Evicting dodgy tenant

Question from Rosalind updated on 10th March 2017:

I have a tenancy that's off to a bad start. It's two weeks in and only a bond has been paid - no rent. A third week of rent is due tomorrow.

Meanwhile, neighbours are complaining about extra fences going up, security cameras being added, black polythene being put up in the windows and two snarling dogs in the back yard. Not a good look!

I have a 14-day notice to remedy served re the rent owing. But I have not yet inspected the property since I would be concerned for my safety.

What is the best way to move toward eviction? I have alerted the Police and Animal Control.

Unfortunately, the tenant has a 12 month fixed term agreement.

I aim to get to this to the Tribunal as soon as possible. 

Our expert Allan Galloway responded:

Under the Residential Tenancies Act, where a tenant is in breach of their responsibilities under the tenancy agreement (eg: the rent is in arrears), landlords can serve the tenant with 14 days’ written notice requiring the tenant to remedy the breaches, as you have indicated you have done.

If the tenant does not comply with the notice, if the tenant is utilising the premises for any unlawful purpose, or at any time if the tenant is at least 21 days’ in arrears, the landlord can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to resolve the matter. This may include seeking an order terminating the tenancy.

A template for 14 days’ notice and information about service times can be found here.

If you do not feel safe conducting an inspection, you may wish to follow-up any concerns with the Police and Animal Control to establish any wrong doing, or anything that would be considered a breach of the tenant’s responsibilities under the Act.

For further information regarding landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities, you can visit our website.

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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