Property manager Quinovic criticised by Tenancy Tribunal for multiple offences

Angry evicted couple worried moving house sitting on the floor in the kitchen
Photo credit: Getty

Property manager Quinovic has come under heavy fire from the Tenancy Tribunal for multiple breaches of tenancy law.

Quinovic has had 54 disputes against them lodged with the Tenancy Tribunal since 2016. 

The disputes include including taking six months for repairs, not having working smoke alarms, and a letter that breached tenancy law.

Of these 54 disputes, Quinovic has been found to have breached tenancy law 20 times.

Quinovic were in the headlines in August 2018, when its Te Aro branch posted a series of controversial advertisements to Facebook and mailed them to tenants.

The advertisement, targeted towards landlords, read: "Your tenants may hate us. You will love us!"

One of the advertisements posted by Quinovic
One of the advertisements posted by Quinovic Photo credit: Facebook

Sure enough, tenants do seem to harbour anger towards Quinovic; posts to social media dating back years detail animosity from tenants towards the company.

"You know, and I know that Quinovic are bastards," wrote one user.

"About as nice as syphilis," said another.

"It's been an absolute nightmare to deal with them."

Mirroring the Tenancy Tribunal cases, people on social media allege entry without consent, excessive increases in rent, broken smoke alarms, loss of power, and mould. 

One case lodged against Quinovic with the Tribunal in September 2017 documents the processes through which the property manager entered the premises without consent.

The tenants, Wendy and Edwin Ashton, gave notice to end the tenancy. After this, they were told Quinovic would be bringing through potential tenants.

The email sent by Quinovic reads: "We will contact you when we have prospective tenants to show through the property. If we cannot reach you, we will arrange the appointment with the prospective tenants and leave a business card to show that we have visited the property."

Mr and Ms Ashdown responded by telling the company that their proposal to visit the property without consent was a breach of the Residential Tenancies Act.

Following a slew of emails between the two, with Quinovic insisting what it was doing was legal and the tenants informing them it was not, the case was brought to the tribunal.

Quinovic was found to have breached reasonable peace, comfort and privacy, and was made to pay Mr and Ms Ashdown $800.44.

Wellington renter, Ethan Roberts, who dealt with the Kent Terrace branch of Quinovic, said the experience was "shite".

"When we first moved in there was a few broken windows and the house was in a state. It took them nearly six months of us living there before it got sorted because the landlords brother who was meant to fix it was on vacation or some excuse."

Another case lodged with the tribunal reports a similar waiting period, where the tenant requested a low-pressure shower to be fixed as it was not useable unless he had a cold shower. 

The process took approximately six months - the entire length of the tenancy.

Renters Union organiser Robert Whitaker says that Quinovic has a reputation within the organisation.

"It would be fair to say that we've heard a lot more negative stories from renters about Quinovic than any other," he said.

"That may just be a function of their size, but the evidence from their marketing campaigns and behaviour would suggest that they are particularly hostile towards tenants."

Mr Whitaker says Quinovic's apparent hostility has renters feeling hard done by.

"Many of the renters who have had issues have sworn off ever renting from them again, though that is easier said than done in Wellington's tight rental market."

Quinovic Wellington was approached for comment, but no response was received by the time of publishing.

Newshub.

 

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