Why wouldn't the tenancy tribunal adjudicator let us speak?

Dopt Nicholson asks:
(updated on Thursday, February 12th 2009)

Recently we had an occasion to take our tenants of 6 months to a tribunal hearing with a multitude of issues. Rent and unpaid water rates totaling over $3000, doing a runner and incurring damages. We had professional help with our application and felt confident we had prepared well. Imagine our confusion and frustration when we were not even allowed to speak. We had asked to bring a video which was brushed aside - no time - no monitor. The adjudicator spoke only to the tenant and was totally disinterested in us, seemingly wanting to end the hearing as quickly as possible. Time approx a half hour. Were we wrong to expect a little more consideration.

Our Experts Answer:

Tenancy Tribunal hearings are usually an opportunity for both the tenant and the landlord to have their say about the issues raised in the application. However, adjudicators may conduct proceedings as they consider appropriate in the circumstances. Presentation of video evidence must be arranged prior to the hearing date. The adjudicator hearing the application will determine whether evidence may be presented by video, taking into consideration time constraints and relevance. If you are concerned about the behaviour of your adjudicator, you can raise the matter with the Principle Tenancy Adjudicator by writing to: PO Box 2124 Rotorua 3040 To further advice and information about Tenancy Tribunal hearings, you can contact the Department of Building and Housing on 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

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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