Ten­ant claims dog poo was ‘com­post­ing’

Kapi-Mana News - - WHAT’S ON - JOHN WEEKES

A ten­ant who buried hun­dreds of bags of dog mess at the back of his land­lord’s prop­erty claimed he was com­post­ing.

Land­lord Stu­art Shaw found the plas­tic bags while clean­ing up a house in Whitby he had been leas­ing while liv­ing overseas.

The dis­gust­ing dis­cov­ery was in ad­di­tion to ripped car­pet, a rusted dish­washer, flood­ing and filth at the prop­erty.

Shaw said the ten­ant con­tacted him on Tues­day af­ter the story was pub­lished on Stuff.

‘‘He’s rather em­bar­rassed, ob­vi­ously,’’ Shaw said.

‘‘He’s a fa­ther with three chil­dren. The rea­son for all the dog shit bags out the back was for com­post­ing.

‘‘He’s got his lev­els of clean­li­ness. The prob­lem here is ob­vi­ously the leas­ing agent. I asked them to make sure the place was kept clean.’’

Shaw said the letting agency, to which he had paid about $150 a month, made no men­tion of the home’s un­tidi­ness in quar­terly re­ports over the past 18 months.

He said the agency had of­fered to take the ten­ants to the Ten­ancy Tri­bunal, but would charge him about $60 an hour for that.

The Real Estate Agents Au­thor­ity does not cover prop­erty man­agers, un­less those man­agers are li­censed real estate agents ac­cused of mis­con­duct. Shaw was mulling other le­gal reme­dies.

The letting agency would not com­ment when con­tacted, but, in an ear­lier email to Shaw, ac­cused him of not letting man­agers or sup­pli­ers on the prop­erty to tidy it up.

Shaw said he al­lowed con­trac- tors on his site un­til Good Fri­day.

‘‘Quite frankly, I have re­turned from a four-year ab­sence from my home to find it as if it were pop­u­lated by stray an­i­mals ... which fun­nily enough I do not ap­pre­ci­ate ei­ther,’’ he told the man­ager.

Build­ing and Hous­ing Min­is­ter Nick Smith said Gov­ern­ment ad­vis­ers pre­vi­ously found that the prospect of reg­u­lat­ing all prop­erty man­agers would be like ‘‘us­ing a sledge­ham­mer to crack a nut’’, and costs would out­weigh ben­e­fits.

Al­though the Real Estate Agents Au­thor­ity could not al­ways help ag­grieved land­lords, the Dis­putes Tri­bunal some­times could, Smith said, be­cause of­ten land­lord-man­ager dis­putes were over less than $20,000.

‘‘I do urge land­lords to be cau­tious about en­sur­ing they em­ploy rep­utable prop­erty man­age­ment com­pa­nies,’’ the min­is­ter said.

Land­lord Stu­art Shaw found hun­dreds of bags of dog mess at the back of his prop­erty.

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