Unlawful access by tenant's relative
Question from K updated on 15th May 2020:
My property manager signed a tenancy agreement with a lady who was due to move in to my rental property this coming Friday.
In the meantime, the lady gave her adult son - who was not moving - in the address and specific instructions as to which drive it was as it was up a shared drive. The son took his partner there on the Saturday a week prior to the takeover for the property. They tried the doors to enter and then accessed a vehicle which was still in the property.
I'm the owner and I witnessed them going up the shared drive then and then leaving the property 10 minutes later. I went over as I saw them access the vehicle. The property manager was contacted to say the trespass and vehicle access had occurred.
The property manager phoned the future tenant who confirmed it was her son. I have now said the tenant is not to move in due to this act but the property manager is bullying me making me feel it is my fault and is saying the client might take me to court as it wasn't her personally. The said trespass was a criminal act so I have said that if she takes it further then I would have to also say that she said I was blackmailing her!
What can I do?
Our expert Bernard Parker responded:
The tenant is responsible for the actions of anybody who goes onto the property with her permission. However, it seems that your new tenant has not yet moved in. There is some concern over the behaviour of this (non-occupant) son. In effect he is really in the position of a stranger who went onto the property and “accessed” the car. Your best call is to report the incident to the Police. It may not bear results this time, but it will let the incoming tenant (and the property manager) know that the behaviour was unacceptable.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.