A Whanganui pensioner has denied he is keeping his council flat in an unclean state as a Tenancy Tribunal hearing with Whanganui District Council resumed on Friday.

The council is trying to evict Donald McMillan from his Eugene Crotty flat in Tawa St arguing he is refusing to properly clean his flat or co-operate with council staff.

When the hearing began on July 24 council staff said the flat has urine on the floor, filth, food and dirt pressed into the carpet, and a washtub caked in scum and full of odorous dirty water.

In an April 11 letter to Mr McMillan, council asked him to vacuum the floors, mop the vinyl, wipe the kitchen bench, scrub the toilet clean, clean the wash basin and the shower.


On Friday Mr McMillan told the tribunal he felt he was keeping all of those areas reasonably clean.

He also submitted four exhibits; a toilet brush, a cockroach in a envelope, a Splash Centre pass and a lace curtain in a raft of counter-claims against the council.

His shower could not be dirty because he hadn't used it all year, he said.

"Every day I go off to the Splash Centre for an hour. I have a sauna, shower and a spa ... Since last year I have not used the shower stall at all."

Mr McMillan also argued he could not adequately clean the toilet with the brush he said council had provided.

"I'm expected somehow to use that brush which is short, use it on the s-bend, down up and down again, all the way to the wall. It's impossible. How can I possibly do that?"

But adjudicator C Lyon said that was his responsibility.

"And what is your issue with this? The council does not have an obligation to provide you with cleaning materials," she said.

Council's pensioner housing property officer, Carly Barton, said the council position had not changed since the hearing began and they were seeking eviction.

"The evidence of the photos which clearly show the [flat] has not been kept in a clean and tidy manner, the evidence that we've tried to work with Mr McMillan to come to an agreement and we've tried to get him help, I believe that does show my claim adequately," she said.

The tribunal also started hearing Mr McMillan's claim that the tenancy agreement with council goes further than what is required under the Residential Tenancies Act.

The act states that a tenant must keep the property reasonably clean and tidy.

Mr McMillan is arguing this clause in his tenancy agreement excludes the word reasonably and therefore puts added responsibility on him.

"They don't like that word so they chopped it out," he said.

"The way it's worded at the moment it just provides the council staff to get niggly about a dead fly on the windowsill."

Mr McMillan also said the council had unfairly put a clause in the agreement allowing it to enforce an $80 cleaning fee upon termination of the contract.

But when asked by Ms Lyon to point it out he couldn't.

Council were to have their say on Mr McMillan's claims on Friday afternoon and the tribunal's decision was expected to be reserved.