An Auckland landlord has been ordered to pay nearly $25,000 for non-compliant behaviour and failing to lodge tenancy bonds.
Rinal Kumar, also known as Danny, was the sole shareholder and director of property management company Hope's Management Limited when the rental agreements started.
The company was removed from the Companies Register in January 2019, but the tenancy tribunal found that it was still Kumar who was ultimately responsible for lodging the bonds.
He was found to have failed to lodge the tenancy bonds on 32 separate occasions for the properties his company managed and of failing to provide documentation requested by the Tenancy Compliance and Investigations Team (TCIT) at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
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It is a legal requirement to lodge tenants' bond money with the Bond Centre under the Residential Tenancies Act, according to Steve Watson, MBIE's national manager of compliance and investigation, housing and tenancy services.
"The outcome from the tribunal sends a message to landlords who blatantly disregard the law that they will not be able to hide behind a company name and will be held accountable," Watson said.
"In addition, having the tribunal acknowledge and penalise a landlord for failing to provide documentation when requested by TCIT is fundamental when it comes to us being able to do our job effectively.
"Securing this type of complex order allows TCIT to continue to pursue those landlords who deliberately attempt to avoid their responsibilities under New Zealand's rental laws."
Watson said TCIT would continue to focus on landlords who systematically and cynically breach the Residential Tenancies Act and also continue to "identify and hold to account those landlords whose non-compliant behaviour is causing harm to their tenants".