Uphill battle to evict couple who trashed house

A West Coast landlord has been left with a huge clean-up bill after his tenants left his Hari...
A West Coast landlord has been left with a huge clean-up bill after his tenants left his Hari Hari property in a state of disrepair. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
An elderly man who had to fight to evict tenants from his Hari Hari rental home has been left with a $15,000 bill on top of unpaid rent.

A friend who is familiar with the situation released about 50 photos showing damage throughout the entire house - carpet ripped out, doors smashed and rubbish dumped inside and out.

"They don't show the odour," the man said.

He wanted the pictures released to show how moves to bolster tenants' rights have come at the expense of some landlords.

He said the couple's rent for the first month had been paid by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).

The couple soon fell into arrears, and further help from MSD was required. Now, about $4000 is owed.

They were placed as students, which he doubts they were.

He estimated it would take two of the largest skips available to clear the house. There were also broken windows.

People assisting the owner were still assessing the damage last week, but guessed it could be as much as $15,000. The bond was just $400.

The man said the owner had to fight through the Tenancy Tribunal to evict the couple. At one point, an offer was made to repay the rent at $5 a week - over 16 years.

"That was before we saw the damage."

The tenants had been allowed one dog outside, but apparently had three that lived inside.

The owner had to pay to go to court and to bring a bailiff over from Christchurch.

"This is not going to be the first time they have done this," he said of the couple.

"MSD would have known. They divorce themselves from responsibility. They need a blacklist."

For tenants with "no moral compass", private houses were not the right place.

"It was not a perfect house, but it was a good house." 

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