An Auckland couple has been ordered to pay almost $2000 in compensation after a massive swimming pool they had installed without permission left the backyard like "a bog" after they moved out.
Rachel and Hamish MacDonald appeared before the Tenancy Tribunal, where they were ordered to pay a total of $1750 to their former landlord, the Higgins Investment Trust.
The landlord's application for compensation was made because of the damage done to the grass beneath what was described as a "huge above-ground swimming pool" on the property in Stonefields, near Mt Wellington.
The couple moved into the property, on Vialou Lane, in late March, 2017. Shortly afterwards, they had the 30,000-litre swimming pool installed in the backyard - without telling the landlord.
The landlord learnt of the pool three weeks after the couple moved in. However, despite concerns, the tenants were not asked to have the pool removed again.
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In documents released by the tribunal, Brenda Higgins - the agent for the Higgins Trust - said she was shocked when she first saw the swimming pool on the lawn.
She said it "took up the whole backyard" and permission had not been given for it to be installed.
When the MacDonalds moved out in May this year, they had the pool removed and made attempts to re-sow the grass.
However, Higgins told the hearing that a significant amount of water was left behind and that the backyard "was a bog".
A lawn specialist had to be called in to do remedial work that involved digging up the whole ground.
In its findings, the tribunal acknowledged that the pool had clearly caused damage to the lawn.
"The likely cause is the weight of the swimming pool resting on the lawn," the decision reads.
A specialist provided evidence that showed the grass where the pool had been had been left a lumpy and uneven surface, poor drainage and was now patchy with sparse growth.
The ground was also said to be extremely firm underfoot.
Another claim for compensation for damage to the property's curtains was dismissed by the tribunal.