The Tenancy Tribunal has barred a landlord in an affluent suburb from pushing up the tenants' rent by $400 a week.

This decision comes after a landlord raised his tenants' rent to $1625 per week for a $3 million property in the Herne Bay/St Mary's Bay area.

Tenants Andrew Gair and Janine Milne had been paying rent of $1225 a week but a prospective 33 per cent increase resulted in them saying no because it was above the market rate.

The property is owned by Greg Jones and Raelene Castle and managed by Village Estate Agents.

The St Mary's Bay house whose owner sought $1625/week. Photo / Google Maps
The St Mary's Bay house whose owner sought $1625/week. Photo / Google Maps

The tribunal agreed with the tenants and said the amount being asked was not fair.

The four-bedroom, two-bathroom home has views of the harbour bridge, a deck, lawn and "looks like a nice place to live", the decision said.

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But Gair described the house as "tired" and said market rent for the area showed a median $1325 per week from June to November last year. He also pointed to nearby properties and one of a similar size and with a similar view listed at $1150 per week.

The landlord Greg Jones and Village Estate Agents did not provide information about comparable rents on comparable properties.

Gair also provided the tribunal with an article from July last year which said rent increases had slowed in Auckland and he said the house had been listed at $1400 a week last May and that he and Milne had negotiated a lower rent.

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"I find it significant that the tenants negotiated a lower rent in July last year, rented on a willing tenant, willing landlord basis. This must show the market rent at the time," the tribunal decided.

A comparable property a three-minute walk away cost $1150 a week so the $1625 a week being asked for the property at the centre of the case was deemed "substantially in excess of market rates".


The tribunal reimbursed the tenants' filing fee due to the fact they had wholly succeeded in their claim.

It did not hear about the property's value but Auckland Council has the property listed as being worth $2.6m. OneRoof has the valuation at $2.8m to $3m.

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Ray White advertised the house for rent as "drop-dead gorgeous", saying it offered an amazing opportunity to live in luxury in the heart of St Marys Bay.

"This recently fully renovated home offers four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen with all the bells and whistles and open plan living over two levels with magical views to Westhaven, the Harbour bridge and Sky Tower."

The master bedroom was enormous with its own private bathroom, lounge, bar, gas fireplace and walk-in wardrobe opening on to a deck.

"An easy care property with tandem garage and decks on both floors providing fabulous indoor/outdoor flow. This a very special opportunity for a professional couple or family looking for a long term stay in the peaceful suburb of St Marys Bay," Ray White said of the house.