A woman living on a Canterbury farm who claimed her landlord hurt her ducks and complained about noisy roosters and chainsaws has been labelled "frustrating in the extreme".
Tenant Jenny Robinson had earlier lodged a Tenancy Tribunal application against her landlords Sue and Peter Forbes over conditions in the studio apartment she rented on their West Eyreton farm, near Christchurch.
Robinson argued she had no peace because farm roosters crowed day and night and because the Forbes - who also lived on the property - used chainsaws.
She claimed this forced her to buy earplugs that hurt her ears and led her to go to the doctor for antibiotics.
Robinson's pet ducks were also "exposed to hazards". She claimed landlord Sue Forbes was annoyed by the ducks and tipped out their "medicated water", while their housing was destroyed.
She later found "three dead mangled ducks".
"They were irreplaceable as they were the last of a line," she told the Tenancy Tribunal according to a recently published decision.
Rats were another problem. She said this forced her to keep her knives and forks in the oven where the rats couldn't get them.
The Forbes also failed to lodge Robinson's $800 bond to the Government Bond Centre, while the apartment shower either ran ice cold or scalding hot, meaning Robinson had to use a bucket to wash.
However, Sue Forbes disputed the claims.
Rodents and noise were facts of life when living in the country, she said.
Furthermore, Robinson kept "disgusting" duck and cat cages that themselves would attract rats, while she had crammed her apartment "completely full of stuff".
She said she also didn't hate Robinson's ducks, but rather felt sorry for them.
She had "tried everything" to get Robinson to let her nine ducks and two geese out from their "dark cages" but they all ended up dying, she said.
One of Forbes' farm alpacas also almost died when it ate a black polythene bag that Robinson had let blow around the farm.
Robinson had taken over a swathe of land on the farm by having removalists bring seven large loads of possessions with her when she moved in, including cars, containers, machinery parts and cages, Forbes said.
In fact, Robinson had so much stuff about that it was impossible to do maintenance work, such as hedge trimming, she said.
Forbes said she had forgotten to lodge Robinson's bond because her husband Peter Forbes had suffered a head injury and the pair had endured a "year from hell".
The Tenancy Tribunal adjudicator ultimately awarded Robinson $300 compensation because the Forbes' did not repair her shower fast enough.
However, they threw out the rest of Robinson's claims.
The adjudicator accepted Sue Forbes' claim she had forgotten to lodge the $800 bond because she had endured a tough year due to her husband's serious medical condition and didn't penalise her.
The adjudicator also accepted photo evidence provided by Forbes, showing she didn't hurt Robinson's ducks.
"If anything, the photographic evidence shows that the tenant did not care for them well," the adjudicator said.
"I find that the tenant is largely the author of her own misfortune. She has essentially taken over part of the landlord's property in a manner which is objectively unreasonable."
"My assessment of the tenant is that her behaviour had become frustrating in the extreme."