Recovering fees for enforcing tenancy orders

Alan asks:
(updated on Tuesday, January 30th 2007)

I have placed a tenant's outstanding rent debt with Baycorp and have also applied for an order of examination.The tenant has since paid the debt to Baycorp and I have received the rent less the commission or collection cost.The court won't serve the order for exam because the debt has been paid (but not the cost of the order of exam $90) Question: Can I still claim the commission costs from the tenant and the order cost of $90 and request the Court to still serve the notice. The lease states that the tenant is responsible for collection costs. Appreciate your comments

Our Experts Answer:

When an order of the Tenancy Tribunal is enforced through the Courts, for example via an order for examination, the creditor will be able to recover the amount payable by the debtor as stated on the original order. All enforcement activities require a specific action to start the proceedings, for example making an application or filing a document in the District Court. Most enforcement activities attract a fee. All fees paid for enforcement can be recovered from the judgment debtor. This means the fees are added to the amount the debtor owes. However, this will not include any subsequent costs associated with enforcement, such as private debt collection costs.

Last year the Minister for Building and Construction announced proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act, including allowing landlords to recover reasonable private debt collection costs incurred in enforcing Tenancy Tribunal orders. Further work is being done on proposed changes to the Act. Once the final decisions are taken, a draft Bill will be developed for Parliament to consider this year.

The Collections Unit at the Ministry of Justice is responsible for the enforcement of civil judgments (including orders of the Tenancy and Disputes Tribunals). For more information on enforcing civil court orders please contact 0800 658 952 or visit Justice or see the new brochure “Enforcing a sealed mediator’s order or Tenancy Tribunal order” online at DBH Enforcing Sealed Order

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.


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