South Auckland landlord ordered to pay tenants $6000 after failing to repair mouldy, water-damaged home for two years

A stock image of a mouldy window.
A stock image of a mouldy window. Photo credit: File

An Auckland landlord has been ordered to pay their tenants $6000 after failing to repair a mouldy, water-damaged rental home for two years. 

The decision comes after tenants Brenda and Cyprian Patrick took their landlord to the Tenancy Tribunal in 2018 over maintenance issues at the south Auckland property including a broken gutter and spouting on the garage, a broken window and mould in the bathroom and kitchen. 

The Patricks then complained again in 2020 claiming some of the damage had not been fixed and gave their landlord a 14-day notice to carry out the repairs in October. Lulu Wang has owned the property since 2015, according to property records. 

Brenda Patrick said the house smells because of the water damage which has caused breathing problems for her husband. 

She said water from the bathroom leaks into the wall which backs on to the kitchen making several cupboards unuseable  She also said that one of the bathrooms was unusable due to extensive damage. 

A maintenance company described the bathroom vanity as "water damaged and beyond repair" and said a liner around the bath has failed in multiple places. 

"You can see where attempts have been made to silicon these areas previously. The infill between the bath and the vanity has rotted away," the report said. 

Water is also leaking through the roof causing the ceiling to become swollen and water-soaked and creating electrical issues. 

The Tribunal ruled in favour of the tenants, finding that the landlord had failed to maintain the property despite having a period of at least two years to address the issues. 

The landlord was ordered to fix the issues by January 29, 2021. The rent was also reduced by $80 a week to $520 until the work is completed and the landlord has been ordered to pay the tenants $6180.44 immediately.

Crockers Property Management Limited, which manages the home, told Stuff that all of the issues were addressed when they were raised two years ago. 

A spokesperson said everything was either fully or temporarily repaired at the time. They said they recommended the owner carry out long term repairs but that was rejected and temporary repairs were carried out instead. 

"Recently, some of the temporary repairs expired and as a result, the concerns were raised again by the tenant," the spokesperson told Stuff. 

"All maintenance ordered in the decision has now been approved by the owner of the property, and work has commenced. The bathroom works were completed on Wednesday, and the balance should be completed before Christmas."