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Evicted state tenants a concern for landlords

Private landlords are concerned about what happens to anti-social tenants, after Housing New Zealand (HNZ) evicted groups with gang associations last week for breaching their tenancy obligations.

Having issued 90-day notices, HNZ is assisting five groups to find accommodation in the private sector by putting them in touch with rental agencies.

Richard Evans, a property manager and chairman of the REINZ Property Management Special Interest Group says most landlords would not tolerate their actions.

“What worries me is that Housing New Zealand is offering to ‘help’ them outside the government sphere.”

Derek Masters, a private landlord in Hamilton, says he doesn’t want them in any of his houses. He’s satisfied HNZ is catering for the public good.

“If they’re not meeting the requirements of their tenancy they have the right, as any landlord does, to evict people. But where can they go?”

The problem is, they’ll apply for accommodation by stealth, Masters says.

“They’ll have a front person who will cruise up in a BMW wearing a nice suit. You’ll have to be really careful with your checks. You can’t always rely on the property management companies.”

Masters believes landlords must become more vigilant when they know gang members might seek houses in the areas where they own rentals.

“Every person living in the house should have their name on the tenancy. If one person doesn’t play the game, they should be accountable. Some people will possibly learn the hard way because I don’t think there are checks in place with many companies.”

Des Ryder, property manager at Anne Duncan Real Estate in Mt Albert says if anti-social tenants are evicted, they will probably just join their relatives in yet another state house.

The majority of property managers and landlords will find out tenants' history by various means, such as tribunal records, "which is a powerful tool for checking history".


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