INDEPENDENT NEWS

HNZ Enforces Tenancy Tribunal Order

Published: Thu 15 Jul 1999 12:28 AM
Housing New Zealand
Media statement For immediate release
15 July, 1999
Housing New Zealand Enforces Tenancy Tribunal Order
Housing New Zealand today confirmed that it has taken possession of the property at 249 Balmoral Road, Sandringham, Auckland, following an order made in the Tenancy Tribunal on 10 May, which took effect on 1 June, 1999.
The company also expressed disappointment that it had not been able to reach an agreement with the occupant, Mr Len Parker, on short-paid rent of $6,419 owing since 1993, which would have allowed him to remain in the house.
Mr Parker’s rent for the Balmoral Road property is $112 a week, but he has only been paying $90.50 since he began the partial rent strike in 1993.
We have worked extremely hard to reach agreement with Mr Parker so that he could remain a Housing New Zealand tenant, Area Manager Margrit de Man said.
we discussed his situation with him at length. We have offered him two alternative properties at rentals within the price range Mr Parker says he can afford and offered him options for reducing his outgoings, particularly the costs he incurs having lawns mowed.
we have also facilitated meetings with Work and Income New Zealand which have resulted in Mr Parker’s financial circumstances improving considerably. The lump sum grant from WINZ of more than $6,000 could have wiped his rent arrears, but in declining to reduce or pay his arrears, Mr Parker apparently puts ideology ahead of his obligations.
The Privacy Act prevents us having access to detailed information about Mr Parker’s financial circumstance. However, we understand that as result of the meetings with WINZ, his financial position has improved.
We are disturbed that Mr Parker says he wants to stay on at Balmoral Road at a rental of $95 a week when he is unprepared to consider alternative properties at the same price.
We greatly regret that Mr Parker could not have been more flexible in his approach. We feel we have done all we can to help him remain a Housing New Zealand tenant. His response has been to deface the exterior and damage the interior of the house he occupies.
In these circumstances, Mr Parker cannot expect us to be patient and tolerant any longer. We have no option but to take possession of the property in the interests of the vast majority of tenants who pay their rents in full and on time.
Ms de Man said Housing New Zealand goes to considerable lengths to avoid eviction. On average the company evicts only 13 tenants a year, a much lower figure than most housing authorities in New Zealand or Australia.
She said that Mr Parker’s effects have been placed in secure storage and he has been given a contact name and telephone number to arrange for his effects to be uplifted. He has also been provided with a list of other housing providers to assist him to find accommodation.
It is not impossible for Mr Parker to become a Housing New Zealand tenant in the future. But for this to happen, we would need to satisfy ourselves that he meets our criteria and we would also need an assurance that he would pay his full rental, she said.

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