A Palmerston North tenant who left cannabis plants in the lounge during an open home viewing for potential buyers of the house has been given the boot.

Tenant Anthony Kenneth Murrell had been renting the granny flat of the Fairs Rd home when owner Ravindra Pal Singh put the house up for sale.

It was during an open home viewing for the sale that Murrell left several marijuana plants clearly visible on a big table, the agent selling the house has told a recent Tenancy Tribunal hearing.

This led two groups of buyers to comment on the plants, the agent said.


"Murrell must have come into the house at some stage during the open home because by the time the house was locked up, they were gone," she said.

The agent said she also earlier found a marijuana plant growing in a bucket in the laundry cupboard. She took a photo of the plant and submitted it to the tribunal as evidence.

Property owner Ravindra Pal Singh also found marijuana plants at the rental.

He said he first noticed something amiss when he saw a power cord running from the granny flat Murrell rented to the property's garage.

When asked about the cord, Murrell said he had used the cord for a house party.

However, Singh later saw the cord still connected and subsequently found marijuana plants growing inside a cupboard in the garage with the aid of "a very high-power heating and lighting system".

Singh removed the plants and tore down the foil papers and lighting system.

But a few days later he found more marijuana plants in the vegetable garden and
about 20 other baby plants growing elsewhere.


Shortly after that, he found 15 more plants growing in "small packets" in the garden.

Singh chatted to the industrious Murrell, telling him it was illegal to grow the plants and warning he could take him to the Tenancy Tribunal and report him to police.

Murrell agreed he was growing the plants "and making a bit of money out of it, but not a lot", Singh told the tribunal hearing.

Murrell then said he would move out by June 25 as long as Singh didn't take him to the Tenancy Tribunal.

But a short time later, he went back on his word, according to Singh.

Murrell denied any knowledge of the plants or his past discussions with Singh and said he required at least 42 days' notice before he could move out.

Singh subsequently reported Murrell to the police and gave them the heating and lighting system. He also lodged an application with the Tenancy Tribunal.

Murrell didn't turn up to give evidence to the tribunal hearing.

It led the tribunal adjudicator to find that - in the absence of any evidence to the contrary - Murrell had been growing cannabis at the rental and so was in breach of the Residential Tenancies Act.

The adjudicator ruled landlord Ravindra Pal Singh could end the tenancy and claim $510 in unpaid rent from Murrell.