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May 28, 2007 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Renting with Ali

Welcome to this new fortnightly column on life as a renter in Wellington. I am a post-grad student here at Vic, and have been renting and flatting for 24 years throughout the North Island. During this time, I have had one or two good landlords and loads of abysmal ones. I have been to the Tenancy Tribunal twice, and the District Court once on matters related to renting. I’m writing this column because I am sick of getting shat on by greedy landlords and the courts. I want all students to get through the renting process without going through it, too.

There is a big difference between what the law says landlords can do, and what they actually do. A landlord can continue to break the law for months, because that is how long it may take to get a hearing in front of the Tenancy Tribunal. There are methods for getting the best out of your landlord, so it is worth knowing what your rights are and what you can get away with.

Your place of residence should be your home – your haven. We are paying more and more to live in places where we can maintain good health, not be too cold, and have a decent quality of life. Getting the basics out of a rental property on a student income is almost impossible. And guess what? Your landlord doesn’t give a damn!

The process of renting can be a smooth ride if you have a one-in-a-thousand really good landlord, but it can quite often become a nightmare. Just as a taster:

Scary things about your rights (or lack of) as a renter:

Once you sign a fixed term lease, the landlord can make you pay to get out of it early.

When your term is up on a fixed term lease, your landlord can make you leave without telling you why.

Your landlord can tell lies with no proof at the Tenancy Tribunal. These lies can be used to charge you money you don’t owe – and you may have no right of appeal.

Your landlord can have right of veto for any of your flatmates, even if you are losing money when they keep turning potential flatmates down.

If you have a dispute with your landlord, you may never get your bond back.

Your landlord may take months to get some ‘non-emergency’ things fixed even if it makes your life hell – there may be nothing you can do about this without going to court.

If a landlord says you damaged the place, and you have no proof otherwise, you may have to pay for that too.

If you go to the Tenancy Tribunal and you lose your case, you have to appeal to the District Court, as there is only one Tenancy Tribunal adjudicator at Wellington.

At the Wellington Tenancy Tribunal, the adjudicator’s decision is the last word, unless you appeal. He doesn’t even have to provide proof to back up his decisions.

I will also answer your specific questions about renting every other week in Salient. Please send your questions to


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Comments (4)

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  1. chris says:

    sorry man..we too are being fucked over (for the 3rd time in 1 year!!!) again!! been to tenancy .We had a stack of evidence …refs etc…landlady had nothing. Just her ‘word’…but that was enough for her to effect an eviction because we ‘questioned’ her about jacking our rent up after only 6 weeks into the tenancy..and now we are being thrown into the street at the courts pleaure despite NO REASON WHATSOEVER for this???.We did nothing to breach our agrreement. where the fuck is justice here??..we’ve faxed Capbell Live TV3 and the Minister of justice just last night…now waiting to see what happens. NZ makes me sick. fucken evil parasites/. Greed is a virtue here in this shit-hole republic of vindictivness..better in Thailand or Russia…or north Korea!

  2. Matthew Anderson says:

    have you thought about letting Fair Go know?

  3. chris says:

    Man Ive been so depressed and busy moving etc, Ive only just today checked back here to see whats happening with this blog… ‘Fair go’ are too pussy-assed to take on tenancy. been there done that. Ended up going to Investigate magazine. Had Ian Wishart at my flat all day..last Wednesday…not just about tenancy…but immigration too. fixed up David Cunliffe a treat..check out >>> to see! hehe. anyway..check out my video revenge on ‘’…just search this name>>> Jill Engle…and see the results!!! heheheh. sorry no sound on some of those vids. but the text under ‘more’ is worth a read!!! Now that evil bitch is even coming after us for a slow leak from the ‘crappily installed’ shower, which was leaking into the wall cavity…how the fuck could we have known that?! They build these houses from paper and spit and then complain when something breaks?…and for $320 p/wk rent ..1X bedroom Mt Roskill “In-fill- kit-set- crap house’!!! unbelievable! anyway we have sent complaint letter to minister of justice …re- corrrupt tenancy tribunal..gave response to Ali already the other day..Did you get all that mate?..havnt had a reply yet?..a lot to read huh? Kill your landlords people! take back our right to a home and castle!!

  4. chris says:

    Hello folks!
    Just up-dating you on what happened earlier today in tenancy court with us tenants (the good guys) and our ex land-lady (the evil-slag)
    Well, she tried robbing us through the courts, as you may or may not know, for $$$$. For water damage that was caused by our leaking shower. We were upstairs, she was downstairs. She wanted thousands! A completly unfounded and vexatious case gainst us. Built on her vindictive and malicious desire to damage our life, simply because we are young, happy and have love in our lives. We have friends, jobs, hobbies and interests…you know? LIVES!..Whereas, she has none. She went absolutly barking mad in the courtroom, like it was the trial of the century..a murder case or something??..flinging papers this way and that…yelling and ranting, making little or no sense. Demanding all kinds of payments for ridiculous and frivolous matters. All absolutly groundless and frivolous reasons. Long story short. WE WON! CASE DISMISSED!!! AND !!! We are to recieve $60 we accidentally OVER-PAID in Rent! ROFL!! NOw everyone, since I know youre young, hip, and got wads of time on your hands..look up my vids about her on youtube! searc…New Zealands Most Evil Woman…and, …Auckland Rental Property From Hell. Check out the others as well! hehehe, better yet, Give her a ring! you’ll find her Ph # on the ‘more’ section of those youtube vids. But dont think this lets the courts off the hook! ..Tenancy, the tribunal and all its infrastructure is BENT!. And bent on HELPING SLUMLORDS, without a doubt. So be aware! you DONT have very mant rightsd…and not nearly as many as you think!. Be warned! You rent at your peril!!

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