Should I evict tenant?

Colin asks:
(updated on Tuesday, February 24th 2015)

Dear Sir

I have a property with two houses in one section. The back house has been rented to two younger men, one has moved out but the other constantly has groups of friends over, day and night. In the agreement, it states that each house can only have one car parked in the driveway. The tenants of the back house always park two to three cars in the driveway, and a few cars on the road side. The tenant's father is guarantor and he always pays the rent and outgoings on time. The tenant is quite considerate to the neighbours and is quiet most of time. Sometime he smokes outside but most of time he just stays inside the house. The rental is on a fixed term with six months left. On the agreement, it stated that a rent raise should be based on Residential Tenancy Act. I have checked with DBH but I see no way to raise rent. I am just not happy with so many young guys gathering in the house every day. Should I evict the tenant? Please advise. Thanks

Our Experts Answer:

Under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act), tenants have an obligation to adhere to the terms and conditions agreed to in the tenancy agreement. This would include the maximum number of cars that can be parked on a shared driveway. Tenants also have an obligation not to interfere with the reasonable peace, comfort, or privacy of any of the landlord’s other tenants in the use of the premises occupied by those other tenants. If a landlord feels that their tenants have not met their obligations under the Act, they should raise their concerns with the tenants in the first instance in an attempt to resolve the issue. Where this does not resolve the matter, a landlord can give the tenant a “14 day” notice to remedy the breach, and if not complied with, can make an application to the Tenancy Tribunal to have the matter resolved, or the tenancy terminated. The Act also only allows for the rent to be raised during the term of a fixed term tenancy if the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement contain a provision allowing a rent increase. If the agreement contains such a clause, the Act sets out the requirements whereby the rent may be lawfully increased. Lastly, the Act does not allow for a fixed term tenancy to be ended earlier than the agreed end date specified in the Tenancy Agreement by either party giving notice. A fixed term tenancy can only be ended before the agreed end date by either mutual agreement, by the assigning of the tenancy, or by Order of the Tenancy Tribunal. To discuss your situation further you can visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website (www.tenancy.govt.nz), or call 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

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