Alanah Eriksen

Alanah Eriksen is the New Zealand Herald's property reporter, and assistant chief reporter.

Police seeking owner of $1m house trashed by tenants

Police seeking owner of $1m house trashed by tenant.

A hole in the wall in the living room of the Forrest Hill house exposes the kitchen. Photo / Greg Bowker
A hole in the wall in the living room of the Forrest Hill house exposes the kitchen. Photo / Greg Bowker

Police are trying to track down the owner of an Auckland rental property bought for almost $1 million last year which was destroyed by the young tenants after a series of wild parties.

Neighbours say the previous 92-year-old owner, who lived in the three-bedroom home on Forrest Hill's Marsh Ave for several years before she died in 2012, would "turn in her grave" if she saw it now.

It has been left with smashed windows, holes in the wall and ceiling, ripped furniture and a damaged letterbox.

Outside, piles of rubbish and an overgrown lawn surround the property. Photo / Greg Bowker
Outside, piles of rubbish and an overgrown lawn surround the property. Photo / Greg Bowker

Four young men are thought to have lived in the house for about four months and residents say they were constantly having parties, doing burnouts on the road, yelling obscenities at people walking past and letting off fireworks. On one occasion, the police dog team was called and a helicopter was seen shining lights over the home.

The toilet was blocked and a neighbour said the tenants had been defecating on the lawn.

Callum Burson said he called the police and noise control several times after the noise woke up his 2-year-old son.

"It's just disgusting, they were out of control. I do shift work and would come home at 4 in the morning and they'd still be raging. Every neighbour on the street hasn't been sleeping for months," he said.

Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said she heard windows being smashed on Friday night and it appeared the tenants had moved out by Saturday morning.

Yesterday, the home was still in a state with thousands of dollars' of damage. Most of the windows and doors were wide open and a hole in the living room wall exposed much of the kitchen.

The 1034sq m section was overgrown and piled with rubbish, clothing and empty bottles and cans.

Public records show Linwei Yang bought the 1950s weatherboard house for $920,000 in March.

Photo / Greg Bowker
Photo / Greg Bowker

A police spokeswoman said they were aware of the damage and the neighbours' concerns. They were trying to get contact details for the owner to determine whether he wants to lay criminal charges.

An Auckland Council spokesman said there was one noise complaint on record. Officers visited the house on January 4 about 9pm, but the noise was not found to be exceeding the limit.

Harcourts real estate agent Mary Patterson, who sells homes in the area, said she had been trying to get in touch with the owner after becoming aware neighbours were fed up, but she had had no luck.

She said if it had been rented through a property management company "I don't think it would have got to that state".

- NZ Herald

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