An Auckland landlord claims he feared he was infected with Covid-19 after allegedly being spat on by his tenant.
But tenant Ritesh Prasad argued landlord Neel Singh lied, leading to his family of four being evicted and given less than 48 hours to find a new home to live in.
"How can we pack up all our belongings with two kids and move so quickly?" Prasad said.
The two men argued at Singh's Buckingham Cres flats in Manukau on May 23.
They can be heard swearing in English and Hindi in an audio recording Prasad provided to the Herald.
Singh alleged Prasad ended the row by spitting on him.
Singh lodged a police report, claiming he was assaulted and threatened with physical assault, according to a recent Tenancy Tribunal decision.
He feared he may have contracted coronavirus, he said.
Despite his fears, Singh was unable to get a Covid-19 test because only people showing virus symptoms were eligible.
"I have had to continue to feel apprehensive each day about possible infection to Covid-19," he stated in a May 31 letter requesting a tribunal hearing.
"Put simply, such actions are intolerable in the current climate."
Tribunal adjudicator M. Edison said Singh had four witnesses who saw Prasad spit on him.
"I find on the balance of probabilities that Mr Prasad spat on Mr Singh and therefore assaulted him," Edison said.
Edison emailed his decision to Prasad last Monday, ordering Prasad, his partner and two children to vacate the flat by midnight the next day.
Prasad told the Herald, he was shocked to be given less than 48 hours to vacate.
"We have nowhere to go," he said.
Prasad was yet to leave the flat, despite the order to vacate by Tuesday now passing.
He said he had applied for \rental properties, but the viewings were all set for this weekend.
Prasad agreed he spat at the time of the row. But he claimed he spat on the ground far from Singh.
He alleged Singh's four witnesses were relatives who automatically backed his story. Singh disagreed, saying they were all independent of him.
Prasad said he had been taken by surprise by many of the allegations against him.
He said Singh prepared for the hearing with the help of a lawyer, whereas Prasad and his family had no legal experience and were unfairly caught out.
Prasad claimed he also had witnesses to the row who would testify he didn't spit on Singh. He said he had requested a new hearing so he collect his witnesses and other documents to more fairly present his side of the story.
He alleged most of Singh's claims were retaliatory because Prasad had repeatedly asked him to make repairs on the property.
He also claimed the row started because Singh sought to do a property inspection unannounced.
Prasad had been in the middle of planning a surprise birthday party for his wife and had guests inside when Singh arrived and tried to force his way in, he claimed.
But Tenancy Tribunal adjudicator Edison said he was not persuaded by the argument Singh tried to "improperly" enter the flat.
Singh had been there to show other tenants into the flat next door and subsequently knocked on Prasad's door to ask about rubbish at the back of his unit and whether he was subletting a room in breach of the tenancy agreement, Edison said.
Singh also presented an email from a past tenant, claiming Prasad had been involved in other anti-social incidents.
Singh told the Herald it may not seem like Prasad's actions in spitting were such a big deal.
"But in the current circumstances it is culpable. I had no idea of his infection status," he said.