Tenants whose dogs defecated and urinated throughout their South Auckland home have been ordered to pay more than $2000 for new carpet, curtains and rubbish removal.

It was one of two Tenancy Tribunal decisions last month where tenants were evicted and fleas and cockroaches were found in their wake.

Castaine Tihema and Matthew Tihema lived at a house on Frank Grey Place in Ōtāhuhu which was managed by Barfoot and Thompson.

After the pair were evicted, property manager Alice Harris provided photos to the Tenancy Tribunal showing the property had gone downhill while they lived there.


"The tenants had three unauthorised dogs on the premises which defecated and urinated throughout most of the house," adjudicator R Kee said in the tribunal's finding on August 23.

"Virtually all the carpet throughout the house was affected by dog urine and faeces to the point it had to be replaced."

Claw marks and tooth marks marred various door frames and walls, and many of the house's curtains had been taken down and laid on the floor. The dogs had then urinated on those as well.

"The house was left unclean and became cockroach-infested as a result. The tenants left a very substantial amount of rubbish behind, which required removing and incurred skip hire and labour costs."

Smoke alarms and curtain rails were missing and the pair had not returned the keys.

The ex-tenants were ordered to pay Barfoot's for pest control, cleaning, rubbish removal and the cost of changing the locks.

It was clear the damage to carpet and curtains must have been ongoing and was more than "fair wear and tear", the adjudicator said.

But they were only ordered to pay less than 20 per cent of the cost of replacement - just over $300 - as the furnishings were nearing the end of their useful life, and another $300 to paint damaged walls.

A carpet had to be replaced after tenants left it covered in dog poo and urine, the Tenancy Tribunal found. Stock photo / 123RF
A carpet had to be replaced after tenants left it covered in dog poo and urine, the Tenancy Tribunal found. Stock photo / 123RF

Earlier in August, another tenant was ordered to pay $4000 to her former landlord after she left her Auckland home flea- and cockroach-infested with graffiti on the walls and piles of rubbish under the house.

The tenant - Pania Ngahuia Tangira - also owed more than $3000 in rent to Kingdom Home Property Management when she was evicted in May from the house on Woodside Rd in Massey.

The landlord went back to the Tenancy Tribunal in August having found food and belongings had been left in the house when Tangira left, leading to a cockroach problem. Although the dog was meant to be kept outside, there were also fleas indoors.

Smoke alarms, door stops, a wardrobe door and a roller blind had also been removed, fence palings smashed, and there were nail holes in many of the walls. Graffiti was found on two of the inside walls.

Tangira was required to pay $920 for repairs, which along with her overdue rent, unpaid rates and cleanup work, brought her bill to $4041.

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The bill included $350 in exemplary damages for having two extra tenants at the property without permission from the landlord.

Exemplary damages are meant to deter tenants from making such breaches of the law, the adjudicator said.

There were no obvious ill effects from the extra pair staying at the property, and they appeared to be family members who needed somewhere to live.

But it was in the landlord's interests to be able to identify the people living in their property, and their rental history, the adjudicator said.

It was in the public interest for a landlord to be able to choose who to rent their premises to - not to have unauthorised occupants, the tribunal found.