House of horrors: Tenant ejected over broken windows, carpet stains, drug use on premises

A Christchurch woman has had her tenancy terminated after knives were used for drug use. Image:...
A Christchurch woman has had her tenancy terminated after knives were used for drug use. Image: Google
Broken windows and doors, a trench dug-out, extensive carpet stains and burned knives used to smoke cannabis are some of the things a landlord discovered when carrying out a routine inspection at one of their properties.

Now the tenant living at the house has been told to get out - but will only have to pay a fee of $20.44 connected to the case being heard by the Tenancy Tribunal.

The tenant, named as Courtney Ferguson, had been living at the Trents Rd property, in Prebbleton, since May last year.

An inspection carried out by her landlord, Red Star Four Ltd trading as Quality Property Management, found countless issues - from missing glass panes, damaged carpets and wallpaper and the glass sliding door cracked.

There was also evidence of drug use at the premises, according to documents, after burned knives and gas bottles with blow torches attached were found in the living room.

Tenancy Tribunal adjudicator R Armstrong, who was given photographs showing the damage in the house, said it appeared much of it had been intentional.

"The nature and extent of the damage means that it is more likely that it has been caused intentionally by the tenant or by others at the premises with her consent.

"She admits that some of it was intentional. The indications are that it was probably all intentional."

Documents show the premises was reported to be generally "extremely untidy" - even after the tenant was served a termination notice.

"Because she was going to move out anyway...she had not kept the premises tidy. The washing machine broke down, which explains why there were piles of clothes around the place," The decision read.

Knives used to smoke cannabis confirmed
The tenant called a witness, Jesse Carter, who gave evidence to say he was the one using drugs at the property.

He is said to have started "spending time" at the property in March for one or two days a week.

When it was pointed out to him that that would mean he was living between at least two residences during the level 4 Covid-19 lockdown, he changed his evidence to say he only started going there after lockdown ended.

"He said that he used the knives to smoke cannabis three or four times," documents show.

"The tenant told him on two occasions not to do it, but he kept doing it.

"The tenant was not at the premises when he used the knives on the last occasion - before the inspection on September 11. He waited until the tenant had left the premises before he began using them."

Armstrong said: "In my view, the tenant's lifestyle has, for some reason, taken a turn for the worse in recent months."

"There has been drug-taking at the premises which the tenant was, at least, aware of."

The witness also revealed that he had damaged the sliding door when he "banged it shut" - causing the glass to shatter.

He told the Tribunal that he was not having a good day at the time. He also said that the tenant had been at home when that happened.

Armstrong acknowledged that Carter had been allowed into the property knowing he was using drugs there.

"The landlord's evidence and to some extent, The tenant's evidence, establishes that the premises have been used for an unlawful purpose of drug-use that there has been substantial damage to the premises during the tenancy - that the tenant has not kept the premises reasonably clean and tidy and she has not reported damage to the landlord as it occurred."

Ferguson, who was served a 90-day termination notice, will have to be out of the property by November 9.

The two parties are due to be notified about further proceedings, after the tenant filed her own application against the landlord.

One of the claims included in the wide-ranging application is that the property itself is unlawful.

 

 

 

 

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