Tormented tenants flee

JAY BOREHAM
Last updated 08:52 06/12/2012
SMASH
JAY BOREHAM

SMASHED UP: Melanie Daniels and Terry Clarke cannot believe they have been left to deal with abuse for so long.

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A year of dead rats, arson, tagging and burglary has finally driven a family out of their Housing New Zealand home.

Melanie Daniels, Terry Clarke and their three-year-old son Simon have been the victims of a campaign of torment since March.

But they say it has taken months of complaints and appeals to Housing New Zealand to get anything done about their situation.

Dead rats began appearing in their Randwick Park mailbox in March and then the mailbox was set on fire.

Tagging came next, but the last straw came on Guy Fawkes night when someone broke into their home and smashed it up.

"It's ridiculous - Housing New Zealand's not helping," Ms Daniels says.

The family has been having issues with one of the neighbours and say it was just a matter of time before something like the break-in happened.

"We've warned them and the police have warned them that this was going to happen.

"It needs to be sorted out now - there's a three-year-old child here and it has just gone too far."

But Ms Daniels says it seems Housing New Zealand does not want to know about the situation.

She was even led to believe she would have to pay for the damage done by the vandals. "They say I've got to pay for it out of my benefit to be repaired. I don't know why - it was a burglary."

But Housing New Zealand says the family will not be expected to pay for any damage after the alleged break-in.

Tenancy services manager Denise Fink says staff have now met the family and are taking their safety concerns very seriously.

The family was given the option of applying for a transfer which they have taken, she says.

In regards to the family's issue with neighbouring tenants, Ms Fink says Housing New Zealand expects its tenants to be good neighbours and will take action if they are not.

"Our Encouraging Good Neighbour Behaviour policy clearly sets out our expectations for all tenants living in state rental properties.

"The policy also sets out what the consequences will be if there are repeated incidences of the anti-social behaviour."

Responses range from meeting the tenant to formal action including a 90-day end-of-tenancy notice.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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