Faeces, drugs and death threats: The Wellington apartment 'no paying tenant' should have to endure

The building is located in what police call a "high-risk" area.
The building is located in what police call a "high-risk" area. Photo credit: Google Maps

Tenants of a Wellington Central apartment say they feel "threatened" and "stuck" in their building, where drug use and crime is rampant and there's no end in sight. 

The complex sits between two main Wellington streets deemed at "high-risk" of criminal activity by police in November. 

Police committed an extra 50 to 60 officers to patrol the Wakefield St and Manners St area after assault rates skyrocketed, but residents of the flats say they don't feel any safer. 

A previous tenant told Newshub she experienced death threats and abuse when entering or leaving the apartment. 

She says one man, who she believed to be homeless, took a "liking" to her and her female flatmate and would often follow them to and from work. 

"[He] followed us to and from work each day and slept in the foyer. He threatened to kill us and would follow us around the city. [He] tried to take a swing at me one day he got arrested twice." 

A current resident nearing the end of his lease says he feels sorry for the students moving into the flat after him.

"If any of the girls want to leave or come in, I escort them through to the end of the alley. Even I felt threatened, being a 120kg [man] and 6'4". So what do you think it's like for a 42kg girl?" 

He claims he once arrived home from work one evening to find a "homeless guy" on the floor of his hallway injecting drugs.

"He then proceeded to pee down the stairs then go to sleep in the hallway. They left the used needle in the hallway." 

Another resident said they found human faeces in the staircase to their apartment, which their flatmate accidentally stepped in. 

Geordie Rogers from rental advocacy group Renters United told Newshub "no paying tenant should ever have to go through this." 

Roders says more tenants from across the country are coming forward with tough living situations as the rental market grows increasingly dire. 

"Housing is not a luxury or a commodity to be traded. It is a human necessity. People will be willing to go to extreme lengths, like put up with these living situations, just so that they can have a place to live," said Rodgers.

Murray Edridge from Wellington City Mission told Newshub he's aware of the "on-going challenges" faced by the homeless population that frequent the building, and that there is some disruption for others in the community. 

He said the Mission is working with other community agencies and local and central government to find solutions - but there's no word on what these solutions are.

"The responsibility for the issues, and for the solutions, lies with all of us."

Police back the sentiment. They say where there has been criminal offending, they've taken action - but they can't solve the wider issue alone. 

"We need the community to continue to report crime or suspicious behaviour," said Inspector Warwick McKee.

Renters United recommends tenants file any complaints about harassment with police, and approach the Tenancy Tribunal where possible. 

Newshub has approached one of the building's property managers for comment.