Otago Property Investors Association executive member Cliff
Seque is annoyed a member was fined when tenants put out
rubbish earlier than the official rubbish day. Photo by
The Otago Property Investors Association says the Dunedin
City Council has displayed a lack of common sense by fining a
member whose tenants put out their rubbish three days before
official rubbish collection when they moved out.
The $100 infringement notice for illegal dumping was issued
on Friday, January 3, after council staff found rubbish and
recycling in front of 57 Grange St.
The rubbish was found three days before the designated
rubbish day in the area.
The rubbish was in the correct containers and had been put
there by tenants leaving because their lease had expired.
The infringement notice suggested the landlord seek
reimbursement from his tenants.
The property owner contacted the council and was invited to
send in a letter of explanation, which he did. So far no
response has been received.
The owner also contacted OPIA executive member Cliff Seque,
who was asked to speak to the press on his behalf. Mr Seque
also contacted the council.
''This seems pretty unreasonable. The tenants had done
everything correctly ... They were leaving town and did not
want to leave stinking rubbish in the house.
"The council often collects large items ... and rubbish in
non regulation bags from around the university without
"Yet these tenants tried to do the right thing and they are
penalised. Where is the common sense?'' he said.
Mr Seque believed the council should have contacted the
landlord before issuing the fine and sorted out some kind of
compromise. He had never heard of a landlord being fined
under these circumstances.
As of yesterday, the fine still stood.
Council solid waste manager Ian Featherston said it was
important households did not put their rubbish and recycling
out for collection earlier than the night before the
scheduled collection, as it could attract pests and present a
hazard to footpath users.
'' If householders will not be at home on the day of
collection, they should either take their rubbish to the
transfer station or arrange for someone to leave it out for
them at the appropriate time,'' he said.
''The DCC does not provide a service to collect large
furniture items from the kerbside. However, we are obliged
under the Litter Act to clear illegally dumped rubbish.
''We work closely with the student community to encourage
appropriate waste disposal. Once tenants have vacated
properties, we have no way of tracing them.
We are authorised to issue the fine to the owner of the
property under The Litter Act 1979, amended 2006.
We strongly encourage landlords to ensure that household
waste has been appropriately disposed of as part of their
final property inspection when tenants leave and before
The council had approached the OPIA to speak at its executive
meeting about the issue and was awaiting a response.