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Who Would Have Thought This Was The Result

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Landlords battle to get tenants to leave property

Stuff Report

The owners of an Oamaru rental property in which the tenants fell behind in rent are frustrated at how difficult it has been to remove them.

Leanne and Adrian Tuffley own the property on Kingslea St, Oamaru through their company Tuffley Developments.

They bought the four-bedroom house with the intention to demolish it and build townhouses.

On October 14, they issued its tenants a 90-day notice to vacate the property, which gave them until January 15.

But they said she refused to leave, and also stopped paying rent.

On January 20, the Tenancy Tribunal granted possession of the house to the owners, and the tenant was ordered to pay $2483, plus the bond, to the Tuffleys.

An eviction was carried out on February 10, with assistance from the police.

Adrian and Leanne Tuffley said they had planned to live in this property but the damage done to it is too extensive.
Adrian and Leanne Tuffley said they had planned to live in this property but the damage done to it is too extensive.

But on February 17, a stay of proceedings was issued because the tenant applied for a rehearing. The tenants returned three days later. Leanne Tuffley said there were 11 people living in the four-bedroom house, including seven children, and three dogs.

A rehearing was set for April 20 and the Tuffleys were initially told there was nothing that could be done until then.

But Adrian Tuffley made “four or five” phone calls to the Ministry of Justice and spent eight hours on the phone before he found someone who agreed with them that, once an eviction notice had been executed and a trespass notice given, the tenants should not be re-granted possession.

The rehearing was only about the unpaid rent, not about the 90-day notice.

But he said even then he was told to go to a lawyer to reapply for another eviction notice. “I then rang the bailiff who said no that’s not correct, if they’ve already been evicted you don’t have to apply for another one so I’m going to the police.”

Leanne Tuffley said it had been a difficult and frustrating process that made it clear to the couple why people would not want to be residential landlords. The couple had done what the law required them to do and had issued both a legal 90-day notice and been given possession by the tribunal.

“What right do these people have to our property?”

She said damage to the house had reduced it to below land value.

Adrian Tuffley said they had planned to move in but could not do so.

There were not enough rights for landlords to get problem tenants out, he said. “We can’t afford a lawyer at the drop of a hat.”

New Zealand Property Investors Federation spokesman Andrew King said he had heard of similar situations.

It highlighted how problematic not being able to issue a 90-day notice would be, he said. That change is part of the Government’s latest round of rental law reforms.

“I was speaking to a member late last year who had a tenant causing issues for a neighbour. She issued the tenant a 90-day notice which they left till the last minute then applied to the tenancy tribunal to have it overturned. They lost the case but the tenant appealed. The appeal was lost and she went to the district court. She lost here as well but ended up staying for nine months after the 90-day notice should have applied.

Adrian and Leanne Tuffley wanted to evict their tenants so they could eventually turn the property into townhouses.
SUPPLIED
Adrian and Leanne Tuffley wanted to evict their tenants so they could eventually turn the property into townhouses.

“The original affected neighbour moved because it took so long. The new replacement neighbour came and went before the tenant eventually moved.

“It is totally wrong to make this process harder, especially when it is being put forward as improving tenants’ security when only 3 per cent of tenants receive a 90-day notice each year.”

The tenants have been approached for comment.

 

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13 COMMENTS

  1. The COL are still insisting on pushing through even more laws that make it harder for mum and dads to want to be landlords. With the worst housing crisis in our history, it will only get worse.
    But hey, Cindy and Wynstone are off overseas telling them how to do it all.

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  2. We are experiencing a fascist government using legislation to wage lawfare on landlords.

    You want to see utter insanity. Look at the Healthy Homes regulations that landlords have to comply with.

    The equation that’s used to show landlords what heating capacity heater they have to install is some impossibly complex formula that belongs in a quantum mechanics textbook not in legislation. And even MBIE who administer the regs, can’t make sense of it – they have made an insanely complicated online calculator that even they don’t trust. The calculator is accompanied by screeds of disclaimers which basically say “Even if you use this and do as it suggests, we can still prosecute you because it might not be right.”

    Its a clown show.

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  3. As DP points out, a clown show, as the “man from the government is here to help you”

    A house that had a long term tenancy has become vacant.
    The land lord has simply decided that the cost of further up grades to a well maintained 1960 house was not worth the hassle of doing further upgrades as the returns would be negligible.

    Roof water, tank storage, septic tank, soak-age systems, and how tenants often have no understanding, with modern day washing machines, dish washers, detergents.
    No awareness of preventive control of vermin & rodents through the year, and the seasonal influx with late summer rains.

    Nor risk the hassle of having tenants with their ignorance, combining with their “know their rights” programs.

    So the house remains empty,
    There will not be capital gains in this as it is in a provincial area, and will need much cost in plannings, RMA, fees, surveys, and size of subdivision to sell off.

    Value of removal, remains to be seen, as possibly very difficult as a large part being on a concrete slab.
    Seems like it may be used as a shed, and even talk of turning it into an “unliveable” shed, to confirm its status, to remove all doubt and it make it lower value for insurance, and reduce rates, particularly those “uniform charges”. Seems like a hassle-free win/win

    Do check with electric lines company, as any disconnection can make huge costs in reconnecting in the future.
    Some lines company can have an arrangement where one can remain connected, for a much lower cost and power usage is very negligible.
    Just a matter of asking them and keeping them informed.

    I have become more aware of this dilemma of costs in my area, & how owners twist & turn to keep hassles down, and minimize those costs on having a “spare house” around.
    Councils making even more rules & regulations trying to include airbnb and other such ideas.

    Any one with a newly vacated house, reports how the phone just constantly rings with inquiries, even if they already have a new tenant.
    Obviously rents will rise even more, as government impose more costs, but will that bring some of those “ghost” houses back into the authoritative tenancy system? More than doubt it.

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  4. Meanwhile back at Child Poverty Heroes R Us (aka The Office of the Part-time Prime Minister) the rights of some feral adults take precedence over the seven children who are expected to live in a dirty, rat-infested junkyard because their useless caregivers (I use the term with the utmost sarcasm) are too busy sticking it to ‘da man’ to be able to move their children to accommodation suitable for human habitation.

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    • “…are too busy sticking it to ‘da man’ to be able to move their children to accommodation suitable for human habitation.”

      The tenants will not take their junk pile with them but leave it for the current landlord to pay hundreds of dollars to dump while they build a junk pile at the new premises and make that unihabitable as well. Such tenants need to be housed in buildings you can turn a fire hose on to swill out after habitation.

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      • Correct WG.
        The cost of clearing the land is what makes the property now worth less than land value. Crikey.
        Lefties whinge on about land-banking and ghost houses because they just won’t admit that shit like this happens.

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  5. While I don’t agree with many of the new regulations that favour tenants over landlords I do think that some of our commenters get “over-emotional” about the effects on the lack of rental housing.

    Fact: An existing house is a bloody house regardless of whether it is owner occupied or tenanted. In an age of shortages the only effect of a prospective landlord buying a house is that he/she increases the value of the house because they are another prospective bidder. We are not exactly in a position where there’s a shortage of buyers.

    Additionally, private landlords will NOT build rental stock. With the quality of tenants on offer I don’t blame them but they’re only shuffling people around existing property.

    In short, everything a private property investor does works against the actual problem, that being a lack of houses.

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    • Aaaand ……….?

      Why is it the private landlords’ responsibility to do anything about the lack of housing? We’re talking about a market here. The basis of capitalism (the system that has lifted most of the world’s population out of abject poverty). The market is broken because of scandalously inept mismanagement by government – I don’t see how crushing families (who have worked hard and amassed some capital and are trying to make it work productively through providing a service to a market) addresses the catastrophic failure of successive governments.

      We know exactly where the market failures are:
      1) The psychotically stupid RMA (thanks Bolger you fucking god bothering moron and your ivory tower idiot Minister Simon Power) which sets up an impenetrably complex web of obstacles to even the simplest and most obvious need for infrastructure – like housing!
      2) The refuge for the ambitious indigent of the left – Councils – who took a bad piece of legislation (the RMA) and spun it into an even more obstructive bureaucratic nightmare that has created such insuperable downward pressure on house building that even record housing prices fail to stimulate a building boom.
      3) A bionically retarded Commerce Act – that empowers a legion of idiotic bureaucrats to find anti-competitive some mergers that could allow dying industries to survive for a while longer – ie in the media space – at the same time as they blithely allow gigantically vertically integrated control of the supply side through outfits like Fletchers. Thus guaranteeing that despite us exporting wood to the world, we are faced with suffocatingly monopoly pricing for all building related materials – whilecheap materials and housing solutions that could be available from China is locked out.
      4) Successive governments have flooded this strangulated supply market with immigration for various ideological reasons – in the process doing what amounts to economic vandalism by failing to keep the demand is balance with the supply side for housing

      But you seem to think that mom and pop housing investors should have broader shoulders and suck up a “Fuck the rich” persecution campaign led by the Government?

      We have no incentives at all for pouring savings from a productive life into anything other than housing – I just do not understand why it is that it’s supposed to help the indigent if you execute those that have led a productive life? If we had a NZ government that was prepared to be 1% as innovative as Trump and his latest idea to incentivise through tax relief – investment in the stock market (to increase the availability of capital, in turn making it easier for institutions to take a risk on a mass building project . If we had this kind of option to even avoid a fraction of the suffocating tax burden on my already suffocatingly taxed earnings – then I’d be out of housing like a fucking shot. BUT WE DON’T!

      But yes – by all means. Let’s round up anyone who owns a rental property and send them off to a gulag shall we – better that than maybe the elected government of the day might do their job and fix a simple economic problem of their (the Swamp’s) own creation.

      Or did I miss the point of your post and you had some other message? Was that emotive enough for you?

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      • ……” Was that emotive enough for you?”……

        It exceeded all expectations.

        For what it’s worth I agree with you on 1 to 4 especially #1. Bolger should be taken out & shot with a pellet of his own shit.

        BUT there’s nothing particularly noble about bidding up the price of the small pool of existing housing stock & bleating afterwards about how landlords are providing housing. They’re not & if they had as much business acumen as they have greed they’d discover & make a fortune in some other sphere.

        Disclosure: I with Mrs Nasska own one small well maintained OYO & as soon as the elderly trust funded tenant carks I’m out of rental housing for life.

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  6. Being a landlord myself, I have to ask..did the landlords carry out regular property inspections? Why did they let the rent go into arrears? I monitor my rental income like a hawk, I know when every payment is due and I receive an alert from the bank should anyone ever fall behind. I also have property inspections carried out every 12 weeks.. These guys sound like sloppy landlords to me.

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