An Auckland couple who were left terrified when they found their landlord on the property with a bolt action rifle has been awarded more than $3200.
The "completely unacceptable" case is highlighted in a recent decision by the Tenancy Tribunal.
In September, couple Sara Piacun and Leroy Henriksen arrived home to find a strange car parked in the Waitākere property they were renting. Henriksen grabbed an axe and went searching for the car's owners.
It turned out landlord Mark Whinery, who had a bolt action rifle, was on the property with his children and wife.
The tenants called police after a verbal altercation. Whinery says the gun was never loaded and the magazine was in his pocket.
However, he still had to cough up $3260. The tribunal found he went to the property without permission, "where he had fractured the relationship with his tenants, a property where he knew young children lived.
"That is completely unacceptable," the tribunal decision says.
Whinery said he did not think about how having a gun "would look from the tenant's perspective".
He also called Piacun a "f**king idiot" but said it was in response to a racial slur against his wife, which Piacun denied.
"I consider that the landlord has interfered with the peace, comfort and privacy of the tenant by going on to the property," the decision says.