Tenant claims dog poo was ‘composting’
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.