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Forget about nightmare tenants, what about nightmare neighbours?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

It is one thing to deal with nightmare tenants but what about nightmare tenants who are not yours?  So often at APIA we get asked by frustrated landlords and tenants what can be done to renting neighbours who are causing significant nuisance in the neighbourhood.  This week we put the question to Scotney Williams for his views: 

APIA Ask An Expert

A neighbouring tenant is causing some distress to my own tenants and other neighbours.  The offending acts include blocking my tenants from accessing their homes, being verbally abusive, and parking their cars on my property (i.e. my tenant's home).  I have spoken to this particular person's landlord but nothing has happened.  Are there any actions I can take against someone else's tenant either through the Tenancy Tribunal or other avenues? 

APIA Ask An Expert

This is a difficult issue.  

It is actually an owner-to-owner issue and your cannot take proceedings under the Residential Tenancies Act (i.e. apply to the Tribunal) because the Tribunal only hears matters between a landlord and one of his/her tenants. 

Generally the only thing which can be done is to talk to the landlord which you have done already.  If the behaviour of the neighbour actually costs you money in lost rent with your tenants leaving because of the bad behaviour you should see your solicitor and obtain advice.  A tort of economic harm may be pursued but you will have to weigh up the cost-benefits of the legal fees and time involved.  

Scotney Williams
Craeg is a principal of Tenancy Practice Service, a tenancy consulting firm which advises major property management brands.  Scotney and his team are also involved in providing support for private landlords by way of training seminars, best practice protocols, drafting applications, advice about re-hearing and appeals, tenancy debt collection as well as human rights and privacy issues.  

Do you have any property related questions for our panel of experts?  Comment below or email us at questions@apia.org.nz.  

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