A woman has narrowly missed getting kicked out of her rental home in South Auckland after allegedly breaking into her landlord's granny flat and renting it out while the owner was overseas.
Mel Momoiseā is a tenant living at a house on Matiki Rd in the suburb of Flat Bush. On the same premises is a granny flat belonging to the owner.
Last October, when the owner arrived after a trip overseas, they could not access the unit, a Tenancy Tribunal hearing heard.
"The tenant refused the owner entry to the granny flat. The owner then discovered that the granny flat had been broken into and the tenant had allowed someone to reside in the granny flat without their consent."
Documents show that furniture and goods belonging to the owner - that had been stored in the flat - had been squeezed into one bedroom while the tenant's sister used the other bedroom.
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The sister was also using the owner's bed and mattress.
A 14-day notice was given to Momoiseā as a result and she was told to pay rent of $250 per week as well as $1000 bond for the granny flat.
"While the tenant had initially agreed with this, she did not complete, sign and return the necessary documents and no payment of rent for the granny flat had been received."
As a result, the landlord - KHMG Investment Management Ltd - decided to seek termination of the tenancy altogether and sought compensation of $250 per week from October 22 for the flat and $700 for the owner's bed and mattress used by the tenant's sister.
Despite the tribunal agreeing that Momoiseā had breached her tenancy agreement by effectively using the granny flat without permission, it was not satisfied that it warranted a complete termination of her tenancy.
And because the granny flat was not part of the original tenancy agreement, the Tribunal was unable to consider the landlord's claim for compensation.
"I am restricted to considering matters solely in relation to the tenancy only."
Momoiseā was, however, warned that any further mishaps could lead to bigger consequences.
"Whilst the Tribunal has not been prepared to terminate the tenancy on this occasion, the tenant can likely expect a less favourable outcome if a further application is necessary."
Momoiseā was ordered to instead pay the sum of $20.44 for the application filing fee paid by the landlord to bring the case to the Tenancy Tribunal.