Let­ters on dodgy land­lords, dodgy guys and the dark side of kea.

Dodgy land­lords, dodgy guts and the dark side of kea.

North & South - - North & South -

HOUSE OF HOR­RORS

I en­joyed the story on the per­ils of flat­ting in your Oc­to­ber is­sue ( Home Ad­van­tage). Un­for­tu­nately I know first-hand that land­lords can be worse than neg­li­gent. In 2001-02, I was a stu­dent in Auck­land be­tween part-time jobs, with lit­er­ally $20 a week left af­ter rent, bills and food. With few cheap places in flats avail­able, I took a room in a house where the builder-owner lived. He turned out to be the worst hu­man I've ever met, a bully and per­haps a psy­chopath.

I'm al­most 100% sure he im­ported hu­man growth hor­mone; I heard from some­one that he had un­der­age porn; and he showed de­grad­ing adult porn to my brother and to a male friend of mine. He also made neg­a­tive com­ments about my ap­pear­ance and what I ate, and asked my friend if they were “dirty girls”.

Dis­gusted by and a lit­tle scared of him, I started be­ing out of the house most of the time, or stay­ing in my room when I was “home”. He be­gan talk­ing loudly about “get­ting that chubby girl in there” and told his girl­friend I had hit on him (un­true). The next day, I fled from the house to stay with a friend, leav­ing my stuff there un­til I could get a friend with a van to col­lect. I told a cop about the hu­man growth hor­mone and porn but didn't hear any up­date and didn't pur­sue it for fear he might “get me”.

I guess the les­son is that po­ten­tial ten­ants should be able to do checks on their prospec­tive land­lords, not just vice versa – and don't move into a house with a male live-in land­lord. NAME AND AD­DRESS SUP­PLIED

MIND FOOD

I was in­ter­ested in Ali­son Adams- Smith's ar­ti­cle on rent­ing, in light of the Labour Party's ef­forts on be­half of renters. Per­haps I am part of the ex­cep­tion that proves the rule?

In 1987, I im­mi­grated to New Zealand and my par­ents found a granny flat for me in Hamil­ton. They got ap­proval to paint and car­pet it. This re­sulted in my rent re­main­ing un­changed for 10 years, even though I was on a month-to-month agree­ment. My weekly rent started at $65; when the fam­ily sold the prop­erty in 2012, it was $102 a week.

Over the years, my land­lord hap­pily re­placed or re­paired any ma­jor faults, paid for paint and took care of the gar­dens, as long as the ten­ant in the rest of the house mowed the lawns.

In 2012, I had to move, and found a sim­i­lar flat. Dur­ing my three years

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