The Tenancy Tribunal has criticised one of Auckland's largest property managers, Crockers, for how it handled tenancy issues at a Mt Wellington property.
Crockers Property Management and landlord business Anil and Daya Investments have been ordered to pay tenant Josephus Franciscus Van Iersel $2503.29 immediately for issues at the three-bedroom Leonard Rd unit.
A broken and dirty oven, replacement oven which malfunctioned with a "loud bang and spark giving the tenant's mother an electric shock," and a padlock fitted to the outside of a bedroom door creating potential fire safety issues were just some of the problems raised at the hearing.
The money was to cover oven and stove repairs, breach of quiet enjoyment, cleanliness, insulation and the tribunal filing fee reimbursement.
"Crockers were not aware of repair issues from the outset despite their positive legal obligations and even after being notified by email, failed to take reasonable action on some issues," the tribunal said.
The tenant brought the case saying the landlord had provided an unclean property, lack of information about insulation, failed to provide and maintain the premises in a reasonable state of repair to comply with building, health and safety laws and breached quiet enjoyment for him and his flatmates.
The tenant had initially viewed the property in an unclean state but the agent promised to have the place professionally cleaned before he moved in.
"The stove/oven was in a filthy condition and not working. The property walls were smeared with dirt, the drawers were covered with dirt and food residues, the kitchen floors were not cleaned and the bathroom extractor was dirty," the tribunal said.
Crockers arranged for a cleaner to come to the property when the tenant was away but said the first cleaner did not do a thorough enough job.
The tribunal said Crockers had acted as the agent for the landlord from the start. Although the tenant was clear that he intended to get flatmates in, there was a dispute with Crockers over this as well, with the property management business saying credit checks would need to be run. Allowing unauthorised people into the property would conflict with the owners' insurance, Crockers had claimed.
The tenant was also served with a 90-day eviction notice but an adjudicator decided "the landlord was motivated by the tenant's complains about the cleanliness and repairs required at the premises". The tribunal decided that application was "retaliatory" and it set it aside, meaning the tenant could stay.
Crockers has been approached for comment on the decision but is yet to respond.