A mountain of trash has been left behind at a $2 million Auckland rental property which has been occupied by squatters.
A court bailiff who went to the West Tamaki Rd house on behalf of the District Court at 1pm on Tuesday found the illegal occupants gone.
But they left a mountain of trash - including a broken pet cage, used shoes, mattresses and damaged car tyres.
The garden is an overgrown mess, unfinished food left in the kitchen, graffiti on a door and the toilet was not flushed.
The bailiff said he did not have the authority to speak to media, but told the landlord Nina Zhao, 34, that it was her responsibility to "securely store" what was left behind by the squatters - until she got approval from the Tenancy Tribunal to dispose of them.
Zhao had rented the four-bedroom house to a tenant, who unlawfully sublet the property to four different families, each occupying a different room.
The tenant was served a termination notice after Zhao took him to the tribunal for rent arrears and damages, but although he vacated the premises as required on July 14, the remaining occupants refused to.
According to Zhao, about six people had continued to stay in the house illegally without paying any rent.
"It seems so unfair that after all the wrong that they've done, I am now still obligated to store all the rubbish they left behind," she said.
"They have left, but it is far from over for me. I still feel angry and shocked, and at a loss of what to do next."
David Ding of Jim's Mowing West Harbour estimates the cost of cleaning up the property and the garden to be upwards of $4000.
This excludes the hire of skip bins or repairs to physical damages to the house.
A locksmith was also present yesterday to change all locks to the property.
Zhao is scheduled to attend at tribunal hearing at the Auckland District Court on Thursday.
She estimates the clean-up and repairs will cost over $10,000.
Her mother Grace Yin, 60, who was also at the property to provide support to Zhao questioned New Zealand's tenancy laws.
"The law seems to protect the wrongdoers but not good landlords," Yin said.
"Our family has tried to do everything right in following the law, but in the end we are the ones who get punished."
Yin said the illegal occupants turned the front yard into a vegetable garden and had also been growing vegetables in the living and dining rooms.