$2m squat: landlord calls baliffs to remove illegal occupants
An Auckland landlord has applied for a court bailiff to remove illegal occupants from her $2 million St Heliers rental property, but has been told it could be weeks before one is available.
A tenant at Auckland landlord Nina Zhao’s property unlawfully sublet her fourbedroom property to four different families — each occupying a different room.
Zhao, 34, took the tenant to the tribunal for rent arrears and damages to the house and the tenant was served a termination notice, which ended his tenancy on July 14.
While the tenant vacated the house as required, he did nothing about the occupants left in the property.
The tribunal ruled that the remaining occupants were not lawfully entitled to occupy after the tenancy ended.
But they are refusing to move on, and are instead inviting friends to move in.
The New Zealand Property Investors Federation said the long waiting times for a court bailiff was unacceptable and was calling for an overhaul of the Tenancy Tribunal.
The federation’s executive officer Andrew King said it now took about two weeks for landlords to engage a court bailiff.
“While this used to be free for landlords and take just a few days to organise, it now costs $200 and takes about two weeks,” King said.
He said about 70 per cent of applications to the tribunal were for rent arrears, and was taking up a “vast amount” of court time.
“Landlords should not have to wait eight weeks to get a hearing and an eviction, this is especially true after likely having to wait eight weeks to get the original hearing and possession order,” King said.
Over two years, Zhao did not make any property inspections because she didn’t think it was necessary.