Tensions boil over between tenants.

Owners of inner-city apartments believe their buildings are being used as "halfway homes" by Housing New Zealand - leaving them scared to use lifts, foyers and facilities.

An increasing number of long-term homeless, drug and alcohol users and people on home detention are now living in central Auckland after the government agency increased it's apartment stock last year. The policy has not been well received by some private tenants.

Body corporate members say maintenance fees are now used to pay security guards and to repair damage. "Unfortunately, Housing NZ is putting people here who need support and should be somewhere else," one owner told the Herald on Sunday.

"They need mental healthcare or drug rehabilitation support and cannot cope with shared living of apartment life. We are being used as a halfway home."


Housing NZ owns or leases 267 apartments in central Auckland. In some buildings it has reached its limit of 15 per cent.

Residents at buildings such as Imperial Gardens in Hobson St and Aura in Cook St say they feel intimidated entering their apartments and avoid using the spa pools, swimming pool and gymnasium because of anti-social behaviour.

Housing NZ owns 40 of the 278 apartments at Imperial Gardens. A stabbing in the foyer last November involved a Housing NZ tenant.

Other regular complaints have involved intoxication, domestic violence and intimidation.

One resident found a naked man in the spa pool at night. Another was shocked to share the pool with a man wearing a home detention bracelet.

Tenants stuffed chewing gum or paper in door locks to give friends access to all floors.

Since January last year, Housing NZ has made 18 applications to the Tenancy Tribunal relating to the Imperial Gardens Apartments. Of those, 14 resulted in terminations of rental agreements. Nine were for rent arrears, four for abandonment and one was for damage.

The Herald on Sunday was told this week body corporate members of Imperial Gardens were in regular contact with Housing NZ and had written to Housing Minister Nick Smith to ask for support.

Apartment owners want Housing NZ to do background checks and involve other agencies, saying many of the tenants were from the streets and were "ill-equipped" socially.

Another owner questioned why high-risk tenants were housed in the city "with drugs, drink and temptation on their doorstep".

Domestic incidents were common, the owner said.

A night guard is on the front door at Aura Apartments and residents speak of smashed doors and a "gang-affiliated" presence.

Housing NZ's Julia Campbell said tenants were expected to be responsible, considerate, tolerant, concerned and law abiding.

"We advise our tenants of the consequences if they permit or commit anti-social behaviour," she said.

She urged residents with complaints about behaviour to report to the building manager or Housing NZ directly.