A tenant who had 18 cats and a volatile relationship with near neighbours has failed to keep a roof over his head.
Renter Stephen Tier has lost his bid at the Waitakere Tenancy Tribunal to overturn a termination notice that will end his
at the end of this month.
But he hasn't walked away completely empty-handed: tribunal adjudicator Bernadine Hannan awarded him $500 in damages after Tier earlier agreed to relinquish the use of a carport.
It later became a flashpoint between feuding neighbours, and the West Aucklander was accused of rifling through their possessions and invading their privacy to reach an adjoining shed where he stored his belongings.
In a recently released decision the tribunal heard landlord City and Country Real Estate issued a termination notice on June 30.
Tier claimed he was being kicked out in retaliation for him challenging a 14-day notice issued on May 25 after a complaint from a neighbour. This was cancelled on June 8 and replaced with the 90-day notice less than a month later.
In her written finding Hannan said the long-standing tenancy of the Kauri Rd property had had
a number of breaches over the years that had led to 28 14-day notices for rent arrears and other minor issues since he moved in.
This included excessive cat numbers - up to 18 at one time - issues with rubbish and car wrecks, police involvement, numerous complaints by current and past neighbours, irregular rent payments, and difficulty in accessing the property for inspection.
But Tier claimed he had been unfairly blamed for the poor behaviour of near neighbours
in a minor dwelling on the property and next-door neighbours.
In turn he sought exemplary damages against the landlord for the notice and failure to provide him with the quiet enjoyment of his home and protect him from neighbouring tenants.
"The tenant admits the rent arrears and that there have been altercations with
neighbours but claims he is the innocent party. The tenant questions the
landlord's evidence claiming that there is no evidence against him. I disagree," said Hannan.
"The evidence of past breaches is clear."
She said the landlord had been called on a number of times since 2017 to deal with neighbour disputes and "other issues".
"In the main this has been caused by the tenant's attitude to his neighbours."
"The tenant admits to having up to 18 cats on the property, the tenancy agreement limits the tenant to a generous four; to be a collector of cars, while also claiming to never
having more than two on site at any one time."
Hannah said the property owner has shown "great patience" over the seven years of the tenancy and
has only reluctantly decided the tenancy cannot
And contrary to Tier's assertions the landlord's move to kick him out was a retaliatory act, that there were genuine and fair reasons for issuing the termination notice, she said.
The tenancy will end on September 28.
the agreement to surrender use of the carport while still having access to the shed was always going to give rise to privacy issues and breached the landlord's obligations.
"Access to the shed is difficult without a right of access to the carport, as access
to the shed is through the carport," wrote Hannan.
"It appears in the absence of any written agreement as to the terms of this access, the neighbours fell into dispute and there were disagreements between the two sets of tenants over this access."