Re­solv­ing is­sues through the Ten­ancy Tri­bunal

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

The Ten­ancy Tri­bunal spe­cialises in dis­putes be­tween land­lords and ten­ants. If you are un­able to re­solve the is­sue by talk­ing di­rectly with the other party, you can file an ap­pli­ca­tion to the tri­bunal. That can be done on­line at­ancy-in­dex or a lawyer can as­sist you to make your claim.

There is a $20.44 fee that can be paid on­line, at any West­pac bank or at the Min­istry of Business, In­no­va­tion and Em­ploy­ment of­fices in Wellington (and other main cen­tres).

The ap­pli­ca­tion needs to set out what you are claim­ing and why.

That needs to be done in a log­i­cal and clear way so the tri­bunal ad­ju­di­ca­tor can follow your claim.

You will need to pro­vide sup­port­ing doc­u­men­ta­tion with your ap­pli­ca­tion. You should in­clude all rel­e­vant pa­pers to as­sist the tri­bunal reach a decision.

Once the ap­pli­ca­tion is filed, a copy will be sent to the other party. It then files a re­sponse. The tri­bunal will check with the par­ties whether other peo­ple need to be in­cluded in the claim and that copies of all rel­e­vant doc­u­ments have been ex­changed.

Once that has been com­pleted, the tri­bunal will set a date for the hear­ing. If the date is not suit­able, you need to con­tact the tri­bunal im­me­di­ately to ex­plain why and seek to have another date or, in some cases, to give your ev­i­dence from another cen­tre by video link.

For mat­ters in­volv­ing less than $6000, it is not usual to have lawyers rep­re­sent­ing the par­ties, un­less the tri­bunal agrees to that.

Peo­ple usu­ally han­dle their own claims for the less com­pli­cated mat­ters.

Even though lawyers do not ap­pear in the less com­pli­cated mat­ters, you can still seek as­sis­tance in pre­par­ing for the hear­ing.

Get­ting help in pre­sent­ing your ev­i­dence and what to ask the other party may be a good idea if you are un­sure what to do.

The tri­bunal can deal only with mat­ters up to $ 50,000. Claims over that have to be re­duced to that limit or filed with the Dis­trict Court (up to $200,000) or High Court.

You will have to at­tend the hear­ing to give your ev­i­dence. The other party must also at­tend if they want to give ev­i­dence or make sub­mis­sions. Any wit­nesses also have to at­tend.

An af­fi­davit can be in­tro­duced as ev­i­dence, but car­ries lit­tle weight if the ev­i­dence is con­tested by a wit­ness present.

That is be­cause a writ­ten af­fi­davit can­not be tested by ques­tions from the ad­ju­di­ca­tor or par­ties, un­like a wit­ness who at­tends.

The tri­bunal ad­ju­di­ca­tor will lis­ten to the par­ties and wit­nesses and ask ques­tions.

It helps if you have writ­ten down what you want to say so you get it out clearly and log­i­cally and do not for­get im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion. Each party can also ask ques­tions of the wit­nesses.

It is a good idea to make a list of ques­tions you wish to ask so you do not leave any out.

The ad­ju­di­ca­tor will make a decision after lis­ten­ing to all the ev­i­dence, but that may not be on the day of the hear­ing for more com­pli­cated mat­ters.

You will be sent a copy of the decision, which will set out the ad­ju­di­ca­tor’s rea­son­ing.

De­ci­sions can be ap­pealed to the Dis­trict Court. If the other party does not com­ply with the decision, you can take steps to en­force com­pli­ance. H asks what can be done about en­sur­ing the per­son ap­pointed by a power of at­tor­ney re­ports to other mem­bers of the fam­ily.

It can be dif­fi­cult in fam­ily sit­u­a­tions when one child/sib­ling is granted an En­dur­ing Power of At­tor­ney and that leads to is­sues within fam­i­lies to do with with­hold­ing of in­for­ma­tion from oth­ers etc.

There are op­tions when set­ting up En­dur­ing Pow­ers of At­tor­ney for the per­son giv­ing away the power (the donor) to re­quire their ap­pointed at­tor­ney to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion to other chil­dren/sib­lings and/or con­sult with their other sib­lings be­fore mak­ing de­ci­sions.

It is also im­por­tant to be aware that you can ap­point more than one at­tor­ney in relation to a Prop­erty En­dur­ing Power of At­tor­ney.

In relation to a Per­sonal Care and Wel­fare En­dur­ing Power of At­tor­ney, you can ap­point only one at­tor­ney though, so it is im­por­tant your lawyer dis­cusses your op­tions with you in depth.

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