An Auckland landlord has been ordered to pay up after going into a house unannounced and scaring a woman who was home alone having a shower.
The incident was brought before the Tenancy Tribunal as part of a claim by both the tenant and landlord for a property in Botany Downs, east of the city.
The issues brought by the landlord were in relation to rent arrears, water rates and damage to the property.
Among the issues raised by the tenant, who had lived there for almost seven years, was an incident that happened in August last year.
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Documents show the landlord stored items in the basement of the property and an agreement was made that he give adequate notification before he came to the house when he needed to.
"There was one occasion that the tenant's female flatmate was in the downstairs shower, which is next to the basement storage room.
"The flatmate heard noises in the room and thought someone was in the house and was very frightened.
"The flatmate then found out that it was the landlord in the storage room."
Woman felt vulnerable and upset in her home
The landlord presented evidence showing he regularly text his tenant before turning up at the property to enter the basement - which had its own outside door.
He also said he had tried to contact the female flatmate beforehand.
"The tenant says that he nor his flatmate had received any notification on the day that the landlord was found at the property while the flatmate was in the shower."
The tribunal heard that the tenant had approached his landlord about the breach - telling him the incident had left his flatmate feeling "vulnerable and upset in her home".
The Tenancy Tribunal adjudicator agreed that the landlord had breached the quiet enjoyment of the tenant.
The $250 awarded to the tenant was based on factors including the acknowledgement the flatmate and tenant felt vulnerable and that their privacy had been violated after the incident.
It was also to recognise that landlords must give tenants reasonable notice of their intention to go on to a property.
"The landlord is being paid rent for the property and the tenant is entitled to exclusive occupation of the property."