Horsey business in rental market

AIMEE GULLIVER
Last updated 08:24 03/02/2014
horse
Landlord Assist

HORSEY BUSINESS: A tenant kept this miniature horse outside but would bring it in and take it upstairs to wash and groom it.

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Make sure your tenant doesn't have a horse as a roommate is the message from a service provider for landlords as the changing house market demands more stringent tenant checks.

As the rental market booms, checking prospective tenants is more important than ever, Landlord Assist managing director Kareena Lundy said.

The number of properties occupied by renters increased 14 per cent from 2006, according to the 2013 census, and the trend was expected to continue given recent home loan regulation changes.

Several high profile cases where tenants had caused significant damage to a property, often exacerbated by rent arrears, highlighted the importance of getting the right checks completed before a tenant moved in, Lundy said.

At the weekend, there was graffiti, abandoned bongs, broken windscreens and smashed letterboxes at a Christchurch property home to repeated out-of-control parties.

"It is so important to get the right checks completed as it's not just about protecting your asset from damage but you may find it difficult to move someone on when they are defaulting in their agreement with you," Lundy said.

A recent case involved a Christchurch man who let his house while he worked in Ashburton and was left with thousands of dollars' worth of damage and rent arrears, she said.

As for the equine roommate, the Timaru horse case was one of the strangest Lundy had seen over the years.

Lundy took over a tenancy from another management company, and shortly afterwards received reports from a neighbour a small horse appeared to be living in the house with the tenant.

The reports proved partially correct when it transpired the tenant kept the miniature horse outside, but brought it inside and took it upstairs to wash and groom it.

She did not know the name of the horse, saying "all I know is that there were holes. They were very steep stairs and obviously he had trouble turning at the top, and he's hit the wall so there was a hole."

"I haven't come across a case like that one again but you just never know, which is why we are encouraging people to make sure they dot their 'i's and cross their 't's to reduce the risk of renting to tenants who may not be the best for their property."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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