Housing NZ family's year of torment

JAY BOREHAM
Last updated 05:00 06/12/2012
Melanie Daniels and Terry Clarke
JAY BOREHAM/ Fairfax NZ

RENTER TORMENT: Melanie Daniels and Terry Clarke with the remains of their TV, smashed when their Housing NZ home was broken into.

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

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

They claim it has taken months of complaints and appeals to Housing NZ to get anything done.

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,'' Daniels said.

The family has been having issues with one of their Shifnal Dr neighbours and claim 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.''

She said it seems Housing NZ didn't want to know about the situation and claims they led her to believe she'd have to pay for the damage caused during the break-in, something the Government organisation denies. 

Housing NZ Tenancy services manager Denise Fink said staff had met with Daniels and Clarke and are taking their safety concerns seriously.

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

In regards to the family's issue with neighbouring tenants, Fink said Housing NZ expected its tenants to be good neighbours and would 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.''

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- Auckland Now

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