When i was flatting I was living with 2 singles and my partner at the time. One of the single flatmates had a partner

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Customer: When i was flatting I was living with 2 singles and my partner at the time. One of the single flatmates had a partner who started to stay over very regularly, but as mentioned, she was on the lease as a single person and this person was not contributing towards bills to use utilities. When we asked her to contribute towards bills because he was staying every night she refused and on that basis we asked if she could stop having him over. To that, she also didnt agree with and continued to bring him over. Does she have a legal obligation to contribute? When it came to the end of our tenancy I didnt give her any bond back as I knew she wasnt contributing equally for close to a whole year
JA: The Lawyer can help you determine if that's legal. Where are you located? These laws vary by state.
Customer: Im in New Zealand.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: This flatmate has taken me to the disputes tribunal over this with held bond and im now having to build a case to justify my stance based on her failing to contribute
Answered by Chris The Lawyer in 14 mins 11 months ago
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Hi My name is ***** ***** I am a New Zealand lawyer based in Wellington with more than 42 years of experience. I am here to help with your questions.

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

It was probably fair to do this but, the issue may be if there was a specific agreement about the shared expenses. The refree will probably try to reach a settlement about this as a compromise. In preparing your evidence you should include any texts and emails, and also the actual costs of your bills during this time

Customer
we all just agreed to split things between the 4 of us, however when things started to pile up and we realised this 5th person was in the house everyday, we realised that we were paying for 50% of all the bills when we just knew we couldnt have been using that % overall
Customer
I have access to all of the power bills, etc. and can divide them to be paid across 5 people and see what that totals too
Customer
would i be wrong to argue that she would have needed to pay a couples share of rent, where she was only paying as a single to live in the house however he was there daily
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

It is not wrong to argue, but the problem might be that there was no agreement between the flatmates about  the shared expenses when an additional person

Customer
when we asked her to pay more she said no, and then we asked her to not bring him over anymore she said no but then reverted back and said shes happy to pay if hes allowed in the communal spaces of the house
Customer
it was also on our lease that we could only have 4 people living in the house, so she was going against our lease by having a 5th person
Customer
also, the bond money was paid in full from my account and the returned to my account at the end of the lease. we had no contracts between the flatmates as everyone signed the lease and was therefore accountable for paying rent, etc. but the bond form was only signed and paid by me
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

If she later agreed to pay something you should refer to that. The lease itself is really an issue with the landlord rather than this flatmate

Customer
do i need to submit my evidence, things like messages and billing invoices to the disputes tribunal before my court hearing?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

It would help to file in advance

Customer
am i able to just defend my case with this evidence and not necessarily submit a counterclaim
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

You would need to file a counterclaim and get it heard with her claim if you want to push a counterclaim

Customer
do you think its worth fighting this, like do i realistically have a valid argument that would actually have a chance at winning
Customer
i just dont want to go through this whole process to be told i dont have any legal backing
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

There is an argument she should have shared the expenses, and she appears to have agreed in part

Customer
when i make a counter claim it was ask an amount that im asking her to pay however, im really just arguing that i shouldnt have to pay her
Customer
how do i get around that? like would i say the amount that shes claiming that i pay her and they will just look at it as it balancing out
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

You are asking for a set off of her claim against the extra expenses she incurred by having the partner living with her

Customer
right right
Customer
is there any advice you can give me when presenting my case to the court, how to structure my argument? what points to focus on/highlight?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Spreadsheets are always useful with an indexed bundle of documents. For your evidence just tell the story of what happened, and why you wanted her to contribute more to the expenses

Customer
are the dates important? also when i look at all the power bills and create an invoice for this 5th person are they likely to want to see all of those bills to understand my calculations
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

They may want to see those

Customer
right okay
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Thank you for the reply and for using this site. You may ask further questions or rate this answer when you are ready.

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