$2m squat: land­lord calls baliffs to re­move il­le­gal oc­cu­pants

Bay of Plenty Times - - NATION -

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.

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