A family who lived in a "swamp house" in Papakura has been awarded over $6,495.29 in compensation.

During Winter, Dawn Robbie, partner Cameron Taylor, and their two young daughters slept together in the lounge of their damp, mouldy house to keep warm.

The Tenancy Tribunal said the cold and damp conditions of the house contributed to the then-11-month-old baby Atamarie's hospitalisation with bronchitis, as well as other illnesses suffered by the children and their mother.

Eleven-month-old Atamarie Taylor in Middlemore Hospital. Photo / Supplied
Eleven-month-old Atamarie Taylor in Middlemore Hospital. Photo / Supplied

Avendra Raj was found to be "negligent and 'slack'" by the tribunal, who said he exercised less care than he should have when dealing with maintenance issues at the property.


The young family lived in the house from January 2017 to October 2018.

The tenants told the Raj about the dampness and mould inside their house in August 2017, and were given the "wholly unsatisfactory" response that they should use a mould removal product, the tribunal said.

Raj's management of issues at the property ranged in a timeframe of weeks, for a broken window and a broken, leaking kitchen tap, to months, for dealing with the house's mould and dampness and problems with the hot water pressure.

Every time it rained, water poured under the house, turning it into an undrained swamp, Robbie said.

The "ponding" of water under the Papakura home contributed to the dampness and mould inside, the Tenancy Tribunal found. Photo / Supplied

"An inspection by an Auckland Council compliance investigator revealed that outlets for stormwater pipes had been diverted under the house, causing water to collect and pond underneath the house," the tribunal said.

Raj was issued an insanitary notice on August 31, 2018.

But he had been made aware of the extent of the problem - which contributed to the damp and mould inside the house - by late May that year, "at the latest," the tribunal said.

Water pooling underneath the Papakura house. Photo / Supplied
Water pooling underneath the Papakura house. Photo / Supplied

After being evicted from their home in September last year, the young family moved into a new house.


Yet the Tenancy Tribunal found that Raj's maintenance breaches were not committed intentionally.

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