Auckland landlord to reimburse illegal garage tenants


An Auckland property agent must pay back more than $30,000 in rent - after it was found tenants were living in an illegally converted garage.

Open the gates into what the tenants describe as a nightmare and you'll find black mould, dodgy gas fittings and rats in the walls.

But for Jordan and her partner the unconsented garage was home - for nearly two years.

"We felt trapped - we, we felt like we couldn't do anything," she said.

The fear of Auckland's housing crisis pushed them into taking the first thing that came up.

"We started off at $320 - which we thought was a bargain - and it gradually went up every six months," she said.

That was on top of a bond of more than $900 for the one-bedroom home - an unconsented, illegally converted garage.

However, the cost to their health was even pricier. 

"We were getting sick all the time - we just couldn't explain chest infections after chest infections, cold after cold.

"I'd never taken so much time off work living at that place than I had any other time."

Newshub wasn't able to get inside the building, but photos show the state it was in - broken walls and rotting carpet hiding an ant infestation.

"We had to even put little bits of wood there to stop the rats coming up from the creek," Jordan said.

Documents from the Auckland Council show the dwelling was illegal, unsafe and unconsented - and now the tenancy tribunal has ruled the landlord must pay back the tenants $30,000 in rent he shouldn't have collected.

And with a warning from the council to the landlords, the cost could be even higher.

The landlords who own the property refused to answer Newshub's questions.