Question from Sheryldene updated on 14th April 2015:
I have been issued a rent arrears from my landlord. In return I have applied to the Tenancy Tribunal because I had given my landlord a notice to remedy that he did not act on. I have no tenancy agreement and no receipts for my rent, no bond has been lodged either. I think he is a fraudster and I have just found out he went bankrupt in 2011. I want to know if it is likely we can settle this in court? He seems dishonest and untrustworthy.
Our expert Alan Bruce responded:
When considering an application to the Tenancy Tribunal, an adjudicator will consider all the facts and evidence presented in support of a claim and will make an order that it feels is appropriate and fair given the circumstances. You should ensure that your application contains all the relevant documentation that will give your application the best chance of success. You will be given the opportunity to discuss the specifics of your application at the time of the Tribunal Hearing. Under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 your landlord is legally required to provide a written copy of a tenancy agreement and receipts for rent paid in cash. Note there is no requirement for receipts to be provided for electronic payments. The landlord must also keep proper records of rent payments made and lodge any bond payment received within 23 working days. Except in a boarding house situation, where a bond of one week rent or less is not required to be lodged. Where a landlord is found to have breached these obligations, and where the applicant can demonstrate they have suffered a direct loss or impact as a result of the breach, the Tribunal may, if it feels it is in the public interest to do so, award “exemplary damages” to the applicant.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.