Business Editor for the NZ Herald

Cornwall Park $175k leasehold rent fight in Supreme Court

Yong Xin Chen (pictured) was chased by the  Cornwall Park Trust Board, for close to $300,000 in back rent and repair work on the property, which is now being tenanted. Photo / NZ Herald
Yong Xin Chen (pictured) was chased by the Cornwall Park Trust Board, for close to $300,000 in back rent and repair work on the property, which is now being tenanted. Photo / NZ Herald

A woman who abandoned her leasehold Auckland property and was ordered to pay $175,000 has won the right to go the Supreme Court.

Yong Xin Chen was this afternoon given leave to appeal to the country's highest court.

The Court of Appeal in March found that Chen, who abandoned her house on

Maungakiekie Ave in the Auckland suburb of One Tree Hill, liable for almost $175,000 in back rent.

Chen also failed in a challenge on the nearly $120,000 bill she was ordered to pay by the
High Court for repairs to her property after she left.

Chen bought a house, on the edge of Auckland's Cornwall Park, on leasehold land in 2005 for $450,000, but in 2010 her annual rent increased from $8300 to $73,750.

Chen tried to negotiate to freehold the property and adjust the rent if her lease was renewed but vacated the house in November 2011.

Cornwall Park Trust Board, which owns the land, later chased Chen in the High Court for close to $300,000 in back rent and repair work on the property, which is now being tenanted.

Chen fought the claim and in 2014 a judge dismissed the attempt to get backdated rent at the increased rate.

However, Chen was ordered to pay $119,327 of repair costs.

Both sides took the case to the Court of Appeal and Justices Ellen France, Tony Randerson and Lynton Stevens heard the case.

In a March decision, the trio granted the board's appeal and said Chen was liable to pay "upset rent from the date of expiry of the lease until she vacated the property".

At the time of the High Court case, the board said this amounted to $173,323.64.
Justices France, Randerson and Stevens dismissed Chen's cross-appeal on the repair bill.

Cornwall Park Trust Board owns 110 leasehold properties in Greenlane and One Tree Hill.

- NZ Herald

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