A woman whose South Auckland bedroom ceiling collapsed during a huge storm has won $1000 in compensation from her former landlord.

Famiza Yasin had sought $30,000 compensation after the lights in her three-bedroom Māngere East flat flickered and she noticed water seeping through them on March 10, 2017 - the night the "Tasman Tempest" storm struck.

With the ceiling clearly collecting water, she initially put two 1.5cm holes in it in a bid to drain the water.

But the ceiling soon collapsed anyway with Yasin telling a recent Tenancy Tribunal hearing that the water damaged a TV, laptop, bed and clothing.


It then took more than three months to repair the damage.

A construction worker brought in to repair the home said a longstanding leak in the roof had caused so much damage that the mouldy timber was in parts so bad it "crumbled in his hands".

Among other expenses, Yasin sought compensation for damaged property, the three-and-a-half months rent she paid while repairs were being carried out and health costs due to cold and damp at the home.

Landlord Sohan Dhillon meanwhile sought $14,737 from Yasin.

He claimed extra people had been illegally living in the flat and that she left it so damaged when she left in 2018, it required a complete repaint.

He also disputed Yasin's compensation for $5750 in rent paid during the repairs.

He said only one room had been damaged by the collapsed ceiling and so "While the remedial work may have been disruptive, the tenant should not have compensation because the rent was below the market rent for the area".

He also queried why Yasin was not able to move and save items like her laptop before the ceiling fell.


However, the Tenancy Tribunal adjudicator found Dhillon "was aware or ought to have been aware of dampness and mould issues at the property and did not take proper steps to remedy them".

"The landlord therefore breached the obligations to repair and provide a house free from dampness."

Clark St in New Lynn flooded during the Tasman Tempest in March 2017. Photo / Nadia Tolich
Clark St in New Lynn flooded during the Tasman Tempest in March 2017. Photo / Nadia Tolich

They said compensation of $1000 was "fair and reasonable", saying Yasin's compensation claims were excessive.

This covered the landlord's breaches in taking too long to repair the home and the damage to her possessions. It also took into account the $400 already paid in compensation.

The tribunal adjudicator said Yasin had not presented independent evidence about health issues caused by the flat and insufficient evidence in relation to her other claims.

Dhillon had also not provided sufficient evidence to prove Yasin had extra people living at the flat and a lack of corroborating evidence backing his claims she damaged the rental.