I lost $160 per week in rent due to a property manager who was the daughter of my tenants. We had a tribunal court

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Customer: Hi there! I lost $160 per week in rent due to a property manager who was the daughter of my tenants. We had a tribunal court hearing about my rent increase. The Tenants daughter gave evidence as a witness in court. She described my house to the adjudicator as a run down derelect house when it is actually a mansion. The Tenants had already done a runner during Covid Lockdown so the adjudicator awarded rent arrears at the rate of $169 per week less than market rent. After the judgement was made I rented it out for $160 per week more. I want to sue this property manager for my rent loss of $169 per week which amounts to over $5,500. Can I have this matter heard in the Disputes Tribunal?
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I'm in Hawera, South Taranaki NZ
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: None yet
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Answered by Chris The Lawyer in 11 mins 1 year ago
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Hi
I am a New Zealand lawyer based in Wellington and will help you with your question today. Please give me a minute to read the question

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

That could be possible but what evidence did you or the property manager give about the state of the property

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

I assume your case is that this was a jackup between the property manager and her mother.

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Did you give evidence to counter what the daughter said?

Customer
Hi
Customer
Oh it works!
Customer
If you could email me that would be good.
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Yes, can you advise the answers to my queries? What evidence did you give on the property condition at the tribunal?

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

I am not sure what you are using to access the site but it works best with a dialogue, until you have what you need

Customer
My texts won't send. CAN WE Do this by email please
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

I have seen your last reply-how did you send that? Are you emailing or texting? I cannot tell from my end

Customer
I sent an email because my texts wouldn't send
Customer
It would be rather long to type that again into this box
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Thats ok-can you see my query? What evidence did you give on the property condition at the tribunal?

Customer
Photos, and a letter from the Tenants to me stating why the rent was so cheap. I described the size & condituon
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Did the tenancy adjudicator prefer the daughters evidence over your evidence?

Customer
Hi
Customer
Hi Chris,
I tried texting you back but they would not send. I don't know why.
My name is*****
I bought a mansion with Tenants in place on a fixed term tenancy, paying very cheap rent. My lawyer for the purchase said don't worry, you can put the rent up as the Residential Tenancy Agreement allowed for the rent to be increased during their fixed term. The tenancy was to end on 7 December 2020. My Tenants surrenderd the property back to me after leaving during Covid 19 lockdown. It went to a Tenancy Tribunal hearing on 1/7/20. The Tenants daughter is a property manager & was the one who signed the Tenants up on the agreement. Before the Tenants left I had put the rent up to market rent but the Tenants continued to pay their usual rent until they left.At the hearing the Tenants property manager daughter came as a witness. She made claims such as the house was 5-6 bedrooms, & as the house was built in 1929 it had not been maintained & it was tired & no floor covering in one of the bathrooms with the same fixtures as in 1929. She claimed it was small, the bedrooms very small, small lounge & no wallpaper in the dinning room & ripped wallpaper in the bedrooms. She claimed the owner had it on the market for about 3 years & then it was on the rental market but nobody wanted it because of the condition of it. She said she didn't think that any rewiring had been done & that a light switch was crackling & she believed it was a serious fire risk etc etc.I gave evidence of 3x rental appraisals & the For Sale photos that had the Tenants furniture in them, as they had bought the previous owners furniture off him, (which was the same furniture as in the photos)I gave evidence that the house was a massive 350sqm(not including the garage which was separate), 7 bedroom (huge bedrooms) mansion with French chandeliers throughout, 2x new bathrooms with a spa bath & a massive entertainers kitchen with 2 ovens & servery windows that open onto the deck, 2x lounges, 2x dining, central heating, infinity gas, designer wallpaper & curtains throughout, & up to the minute services on a park like section, one minute walk from bars & restaurants. I said the house looks exactly the same as in the photos. I had an offer to rent for over $200 per week more in writing which I filed, but I couldn't except the offer due to them wanting it long term. But due to a custody case for my grandchildren, I had planned to move in on 8 December when the tenants were due to move out. I needed short term tenants. I finally got a Tenant who is short term for 5 months, but I did not secure this Tenant until after the hearing. This Tenant is paying over $200per week more than the Tenants who left during Covid Lockdown & has lived in Hawera for over 20 years.This property managers evidence caused the adjudicator to believe the house was worth less as a rental & he ruled an increase but it was still $160 per week less than my new tenants are paying. Particularly because he couldn't understand how the property could increase so much from the low rent they signed up for. I supplied the court with a letter from the Tenants to me, as to why the rent was so cheap in the first place. The Tenants were to make further improvements to the property & do all the maintenance etc for cheap rent. I think the adjudicator missed that evidence because the case matter was huge, about 400 pages of evidence for so many claims to be heard on one day.Also the Property Manager slipped up in court, claiming the condition for her parents to rent the house was that the owner take it off the market. It's all there in the court transcript which I purchased. In the tenants filing against me, they also claim that they would only rent it if the owner took it off the market. It was never on the rental market at any time. The owner, a lawyer, was advertising it too high at the time for almost $700,000, so he couldn't sell it. I put in my offer when it was not on the market anymore, which he excepted, to the extreme anger of the tenants, who wanted to rent it for three years & then buy it-which I thought was rather odd.Turns out the husband (tenant) is bankrupt, but the 3 years of his bankruptcy concluded less than one year after our Fixed Term Tenancy expired on 8/12/20 hence he was going to purchase it then. Probably with money he has under other family members names. Only the wife signed the tenancy agreement but both of their names are ***** ***** agreement. Don't know if any credit checks were done. Their daughter goes around getting high end houses for them very cheap in exchange for work on the properties.I hope this letter explains it all.
Regards,
Carol
Customer
I rented it out again after the hearing for more than $200 per week more
Customer
Oh I also supplied 3x Rental Appraisals. I rented it out again after the hearing for more than $200 per week more.
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

If you want to sue the property manager that finding would make it hard to prove you have lost rent because of the adverse finding of the adjudicator on the condition. If you sued her you would need to do so in the Disputes tribunal which you could do yourself, and claim this was an arrangement where the property manager had a conflict of interest which was a breach of the property management agreement

Customer
The daughter said it was a 5 bedroom but small house & that it did not look like the For Sale Photos I suoplied. She said it was built in 1929 but had not been maintained. She said a light switch crackled & she didn't know if it had been rewired but felt it was a fire risk. She said the lounge was very small & the house was tired. She said there was no wallpaper in the dining room & wallpaper peeling off in the bedrooms. She said there was no floor covering in one of the bathrooms & the fixtures were the same ones as when it was built. I gave evidence of photos with the Tenants furniture in them. But the adjudicator didn't get that it was their furniture. I said it was a 359 sqm house (not including the garage that was separate), a massive 7 bedroom house with very large rooms, 2 lounges, 2 dinning, an enormous designer kitchen with 2 ovens & huge servery windows that opened out onto a huge wrap around deck, 2 designer bathrooms with spa bath etc, French chandeliers throughout, designer wallpaper & curtains & drapes throughout, up to the minute services, on a park like section, one minute walk from bars & restaurants. Enormous 4 car garage with front & back entrances etc as per the photos
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

While it is odd a property manager contracted to you would give evidence against you, the real proble is the finding of the tenancy adjudicator. Did you consider appealing the decision?

Customer
No because I broke down in the hearing shaking & crying because of all the lies. I found it impossible to present my case because I could not find or read my papers because I couldn't stop shaking. The tenants had been suing me for money for an entire year. Though unsuccessful it had taken a huge toll on me. The daughter only signed them up & the lawyer owner managed it himself with the agreement for cheap rent being that the tenants further improve the property & do all maintenance & repairs themselves. I purchased the court transcript with her saying all that about the condition of the house. Turns out the tenant(the husband) is bankrupt. The tenants were very angry when I bought the house, because they had planned to increase their fixed term for a 3rd year then buy the house, which I thought very odd at the time. But his 3 year bankruptcy would end then in time for him to buy it, probably with money stashed away under a family members name. They used to own many house selling them when he went bankrupt 4 months before signing up to the house I later purchased
Customer
The daughter signs them up to rent high end houses for cheap rent. I do not know if any credit checks are done
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

If you had trouble presenting a case in the Tenancy Tribunal, do you think another case in the Disputes Tribunal for the difference in rent would be a good idea? Court cases can be very stressful and I have some doubt you would succeed.

Customer
The hearing was encumbered with around 400 pages of evidence for many claims made by the Tenants. It was exhausting & the daughter lied about everything
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

You would face a defence of similar proportions in the Disputes Tribunal from your description of events. Do you really want that?

Customer
Well it would only be one matter now- the lost rent due to misrepresentation. So not 400 pages of evidence which was so overwelming
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

My question is whether you can prove this was misrepresentation, in the face of the Tenancy Tribunal finding, which you have not appealed.

Customer
I also now have 2 x letters from an independent property manager & a work college of the daughter stating the true condition of the house & it's size. They have both signed all the For Sale Photos stating that on veiwing the property it is exactly the same condition as in the photos. The house is rented out for the true market rent as well. The daughter is trespassed due to stalking the house & coming onto the property taking photos of the exteria. She said in court that she took those photos from the road. The 2x letters I got from the independent property manager & the daughters work college state you can not see what she photographed from the riad so she would have to have come onto the property to take them. The daughter stalked all the renters veiwings of the property taking photos of them coming & going. I have just received a text from the tenants that they have friends that will rent it for $145 more than what my current tenants are paying
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

That may all be able to be proved but would the Disputes Tribunal be prepared to overturn the earlier finding on the issues of breach of the property management contract? For the sake of $5500 you would have another stressful day in the Tribunal.

Customer
they have friends wanting to rent it for$350 per week more than they were paying. There was another hearing after the rent judgement & that is when the adjudicator found out how much I rented it out for. I asked at that hearing if he would amend the house value for the public record. He said no, that the new tenants renting it for that is proof of market rent
Customer
It's just that property managers have no governing body & she should be held accountable
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

If you are determined to pursue the property manager you can do so. I have explained that it may not succeed and that it will be stressful. But if you want to do so, then file a claim

Customer
it is the Disputes Tribunal, I just wanted to be sure what court to go to. My rent is my only income, & I'm currently on a top up benefit, so $5500 is a huge amount of money to me & I have new evidence. It's probably not that important whether I win or not, but if I do she will be found out
Customer
I bought the mansion when I sold my Auckland house
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

The Tribunal is not a public forum although any result can be made public

Customer
There is also the harrassment of my property managers, I lost 4 property managers due to the daughters harassment of them.
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

That is an issue you can raise in the tribunal

Customer
38; the stalking because she filed her stalking photos. And emails from property managers saying they are being harassed with emails & phone calls
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Produce that in the Tribunal if you want as evidence of the breach of contract as property manager
Customer
The substantial amount of claims made against me, none of which prevailed, except the market rent question is my reason I could not find the documents in the room, plus harassment & intimidation of my family & extended family is why I could not stop shaking. In the next hearing I was Ok
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

If you feel better about appearing then file your claim. I still have reservations about success
Customer
The tenants sent emails to my family members, one they knew because he was the mayor of South Taranaki at the time. They claimed the emails were from me. It was terrible, the whole family split up over it. When there is any argument even now, it goes back to things the tenants did that caused the problems
Customer
OK I understand
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

I may be conservative in my opinion but of course we have only had a sample of the issues discussed
Customer
Conservative is best. It is hard to prove thing in court & she will probably really up her other lying mates to give evidence. However the house had about people wanting to rent it & is rented out for $655 in a small town like Hawera. It has to be some house to get that rent. The tenants text to me says their friends want to rent it for $800. My son signed up for it for $700 but was staked so much he pulled out
Customer
7 people wanted to rent it plus my son
Customer
All the property managers said there is no comparison to my house. The two letters I got that I told you about said that the daughters comparisons should never have been considered because it's like comparing an apple with a stone
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Those issues can be raised as breaches of her property manager contract
Customer
I'm not sure what you mean by property manager contract
Customer
Contract with who?
Customer
She is not my property manager
Customer
My son is fairly talented at para legal & won a case against the Auckland City counciI, costing the council about $200,000.00. Is he allowed to present my case at the Disputes Tribunal instead of me.???? He has been stalked by the property manager daughter & his family harrased by the tenants. His fiance is willing to be a witness to physical abuse by the tenants & emoinal abuse by the Tenants & stalking by their daughter property manager who was not my property manager. When you are free please, it's too late now
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

You can have support persons but you would need to ask the tribunal for permission to have your son speak.
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

I thought the daughter was your property manager, but if she was not, and was acting for her parents, then it would be difficult to sue her if there was no contract with her
Customer
Should I appeal the judgement in the District court out of time
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

That is too late now
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