Rental nightmare on Elgin street

‘I gave her notice and she trashed the place’

‘I gave her notice and she trashed the place’

WHEN TENANTS GO BAD: A tenant who went “off the rails” and was given a 90-day notice to vacate this rental property ended up trashing it. The landlords are covered for insurance for most of the damage but not the clean-up costs.

A TRASHED property in Elgin is an example of why Gisborne has a housing crisis, a landlord says.

Littered though every room of the four-bedroom home were piles of broken glass and mirrors.

Animal faeces and cigarette butts were scattered on the carpet, and discarded sheets of pills and personal belongings strewn inside and out.

At least six windows had been broken, paint had been poured on the carpet, thrown at the walls and words written in black paint — including a hit list — on inside walls.

Knives were also left in one wall and holes made by an axe in others. The landlord of five years says this is why there is a shortage of rentals.

“I gave her notice and she trashed the place. Why would you want to put yourself through this?”

The large home has two bathrooms, a log fire, double garage and a sleepout on a big section in Elgin. It was rented out for $300 a week and completely trashed over two days.

The landlord said the tenant was a woman in her mid-20s and a mother of two.

“She’s been here for five to six years and was an awesome tenant. We used to get on so well.”

The landlord said the tenant was 19 years old when she was given the tenancy in her name because they wanted to give her a chance.

But the landlords were recently given a heads-up that their tenant had “gone off the rails”.

An inspection a few weeks ago showed the property was “generally tidy” but the tenant had moved in four or five people who were not on the tenancy, said the landlord.

“She had not notified me and it was going to be extra wear and tear on the house.”

The tenant was given three months to move out. Her tenancy did not expire until the end of next month.

The next thing the landlords knew, they were being told their tenant was posting on social media about how she was throwing her things out the window, and doing burn-outs on the property.

When they went to the house, they found carnage and devastation.

Rotting food and faeces

Inside and outside the property was the stench of rotting food and faeces.

A dog with puppies had lived inside the house and even after three flea bombs, one of the bedrooms was still so infested fleas could be seen jumping on to legs when anyone entered the room.

“She has threatened us and gone to our home and tried to smash our car windscreen.”

The landlords are covered by insurance for most of the damage but not for the clean-up.

“The insurance company has said because most of the mess is classified as belongings. They don’t want to get involved in case they get accused of stealing.”

The insurance company will be conducting a methamphetamine test.

Gisborne has a chronic shortage of rental homes, and rents have increased.

The Trade Me rental price index for November showed Gisborne rents jumped 18.8 percent in one month, the third-highest increase in the country.

A Gisborne Herald online poll last week showed more than half of respondents felt that trouble with the tenants was behind the rental shortage.

Some former landlords said they would never rent out a house again.

Nothing worse

Bronwyn Kay Agency property manager Steve Phillips said he sympathised with the landlord as there was nothing worse than having your home wrecked or vandalised.

“Landlords are not allowed to act in a retaliatory manner but it seems it's OK for tenants to do so when they are given a 90-day notice to vacate,” he said.

“The only recourse open to this landlord is to seek recovery through the Tenancy Tribunal.”

Mr Phillips stressed that over 90 percent of the tenants were reasonable people who would not dream of doing this sort of thing.

“It is a shame that probably 5 to 10 percent of tenants act in this manner.”

The Elgin landlord said she knew there was a supply and demand problem contributing to the chronic shortage of rentals but there was also a huge problem with tenants not respecting property.

Unfortunately for tenants who have good references, the shortage is affecting them as well.

The landlord said she and her husband had lived in the property for four years before they bought another house.

They decided to keep this one as a rental and an investment for their children.

A TRASHED property in Elgin is an example of why Gisborne has a housing crisis, a landlord says.

Littered though every room of the four-bedroom home were piles of broken glass and mirrors.

Animal faeces and cigarette butts were scattered on the carpet, and discarded sheets of pills and personal belongings strewn inside and out.

At least six windows had been broken, paint had been poured on the carpet, thrown at the walls and words written in black paint — including a hit list — on inside walls.

Knives were also left in one wall and holes made by an axe in others. The landlord of five years says this is why there is a shortage of rentals.

“I gave her notice and she trashed the place. Why would you want to put yourself through this?”

The large home has two bathrooms, a log fire, double garage and a sleepout on a big section in Elgin. It was rented out for $300 a week and completely trashed over two days.

The landlord said the tenant was a woman in her mid-20s and a mother of two.

“She’s been here for five to six years and was an awesome tenant. We used to get on so well.”

The landlord said the tenant was 19 years old when she was given the tenancy in her name because they wanted to give her a chance.

But the landlords were recently given a heads-up that their tenant had “gone off the rails”.

An inspection a few weeks ago showed the property was “generally tidy” but the tenant had moved in four or five people who were not on the tenancy, said the landlord.

“She had not notified me and it was going to be extra wear and tear on the house.”

The tenant was given three months to move out. Her tenancy did not expire until the end of next month.

The next thing the landlords knew, they were being told their tenant was posting on social media about how she was throwing her things out the window, and doing burn-outs on the property.

When they went to the house, they found carnage and devastation.

Rotting food and faeces

Inside and outside the property was the stench of rotting food and faeces.

A dog with puppies had lived inside the house and even after three flea bombs, one of the bedrooms was still so infested fleas could be seen jumping on to legs when anyone entered the room.

“She has threatened us and gone to our home and tried to smash our car windscreen.”

The landlords are covered by insurance for most of the damage but not for the clean-up.

“The insurance company has said because most of the mess is classified as belongings. They don’t want to get involved in case they get accused of stealing.”

The insurance company will be conducting a methamphetamine test.

Gisborne has a chronic shortage of rental homes, and rents have increased.

The Trade Me rental price index for November showed Gisborne rents jumped 18.8 percent in one month, the third-highest increase in the country.

A Gisborne Herald online poll last week showed more than half of respondents felt that trouble with the tenants was behind the rental shortage.

Some former landlords said they would never rent out a house again.

Nothing worse

Bronwyn Kay Agency property manager Steve Phillips said he sympathised with the landlord as there was nothing worse than having your home wrecked or vandalised.

“Landlords are not allowed to act in a retaliatory manner but it seems it's OK for tenants to do so when they are given a 90-day notice to vacate,” he said.

“The only recourse open to this landlord is to seek recovery through the Tenancy Tribunal.”

Mr Phillips stressed that over 90 percent of the tenants were reasonable people who would not dream of doing this sort of thing.

“It is a shame that probably 5 to 10 percent of tenants act in this manner.”

The Elgin landlord said she knew there was a supply and demand problem contributing to the chronic shortage of rentals but there was also a huge problem with tenants not respecting property.

Unfortunately for tenants who have good references, the shortage is affecting them as well.

The landlord said she and her husband had lived in the property for four years before they bought another house.

They decided to keep this one as a rental and an investment for their children.

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Peter Jones - 11 months ago
How about telling the story of the decent 90 percent instead of using this story to demonise renters and blame them for rental shortages that are actually the result of more people coming to the district?

Robyn, Palmerston North - 11 months ago
That is real sad for people like us - tenants who have never missed a payment on rent and looked after the property like it is ours. Very sad for the owner. We are thinking of coming back to Gisborne to live, so hope we can rent a nice property. Cheers

Marie - 11 months ago
I feel for the landlord - the tenant should have been named and shamed. Insurance doesn't even cover the pain of the clean-up this landlord has to suffer. No wonder it is becoming harder to get rentals in Gisborne. A lot of tenants are disgusting, treating rental homes like pigs. I know this from personal experience, and have given up renting out my property - it's not worth the stress.
To future tenants out there who love to destroy a home they rent, you only make it harder for the next person who is clean and takes pride in the house they are renting - and most of all pay their rent. Most landlords are not not rich. For many it's a business for their children.

wasn't me!! - 11 months ago
I'd be taking it to court, have her arrested for wilful damage and get her black-listed from renting anything in Gisborne.
I am a landlord and there is no reason to treat a house or its owner in that way. I totally agree why there is a shortage - look at the way HNZ homes are treated, thousands of dollars spend and weeks of repairs before the next tenant. I had one bad tenant and there are crap tenants out there . . . I didn't wait the 90-day notice because the rent wasn't being paid; got in two jumbo bins and in went their belongings - they came back and got what was worth anything. Lucky the bond money did cover my expenses. Bad tenants suck
I feel sorry for you and hope you do find a good one to take over - not all are bad, just most.

Williem - 11 months ago
P fuelled - and other drugs and alcohol - have sent these people off the rails. Get the police to test the house OK.

-! - 11 months ago
This is horrible!! I feel for the owners

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