A landlord has been slapped with a fine of more than $8500 after tenants were forced to live in a home with mould, broken windows, rotten floors and rodent issues for years.
Tenants of Krishna Rani Saha complained about maintenance issues after moving into the property in 2015, however, they weren't acted upon until early 2019.
Black mould could be found in the kitchen, the bathroom's floors were rotten, the hot-water cylinder overflowed and there were ongoing issues with rodents.
She was also found to have breached the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (RTA) by failing to provide insulation statements to 35 of her tenants.
The tenants related to seven residential properties in Christchurch, five of which were run as boarding houses.
Following 36 applications from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Tenancy Compliance and Investigations Team (TCIT), Saha was ordered to pay $8515.84 by the Tenancy Tribunal.
TCIT acting national manager Paul Coggan said Saha had persistently and repeatedly breached the RTA in relation to the insulation statements.
"Ms Saha has acted as a landlord and property manager for a number of years and has frequently appeared before the tribunal," Coggan said.
"Given her previous experience at the tribunal and her tenure as a landlord, it is most concerning to see an ongoing disregard of the RTA.
"It also demonstrates failing in her business operations and lack of commitment to meeting her responsibilities and obligations."
Under the RTA, landlords must include a signed statement in the tenancy agreement about whether insulation has been installed in the ceilings, walls, and floors.
These statements are to ensure tenants have certainty and choice when it comes to choosing which rental property to live in, Coggan said.
"Landlords need to be aware that by renting properties out to tenants they are running a business which comes with obligations that need to be met to comply with the RTA," Coggan said.
"The most important obligation is the provision of housing that is safe, warm and dry as this directly affects the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders.
"Landlords need to consider the effects that their actions have on their tenants."
Before July 1, 2021, all boarding houses in New Zealand must comply with health homes standards, including insulation standards.