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Something for landlords to be aware of - 9th Feb 2018

Something for landlords to be aware of

Another case of damage by tenants being deemed not intentional has been doing the rounds online and in the most recent Property Investor Magazine. It follows the trend set by the Osaki case not too long ago where extensive cigarette damage to the carpets of a rental property, which had a ban on smoking in the tenancy agreement, qualifies as accidental damage by the tenants, the High Court has ruled.

Christchurch landlord Susan Linklater leased a rental property to a group of young people but the tenancy was ended early because of the damage the tenants did to the property.

The damage included graffitiing walls, breaking spouting, damaging curtains, changing a lock, smoking inside and burning the carpets with cigarettes.

Linklater made insurance claims for some of the damage, paying a $1,100 excess for the claims, and also went to the Tenancy Tribunal, which awarded her some costs for damages.

But Linklater appealed to the District Court as she felt the tenants should also pay her the insurance excess she had paid and to replace two carpets which were insured, but where the excess meant it was not economic to claim on insurance.

The District Court dismissed her appeal so Linklater went to the High Court where she argued the District Court was wrong to apply the Holler v Osaki decision to the case.

Read the full article here.

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