READER REPORT:

Christchurch is now 'slumlord central'

JEREMY CONNELL
Last updated 12:09 20/02/2013

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Christchurch earthquake

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No problems at all with the shaking, despite having a wife and four kids aged under six.

However, our landlord tried to evict us, so he could get his very minor ECQ repairs done without having to pay to put us up somewhere else (they do all the minor jobs first).

His bid was rejected by the tenancy tribunal, but with just  three months left on the lease he decided not to renew, which for us has meant leaving town and changing schools.

The property managers, who are a very well-known company, with a very bad rep among renters, refused to present for a final inspection; and refused to refund the bond, despite us having very expensive receipts from another very well-known bond-cleaning and carpet-cleaning company, and some two months later, they still haven't said why they won't return the bond, how much they want, or why.

This experience is actually quite typical of the various professional and amateur landlords we've had to work with. Now when I first moved to Christchurch some 20 years ago, it was well-known for its cheap rentals, albeit very-poorly heated and insulated ones that are quite inappropriate for the very cold weather there (yes, they're still like that - insulation subsidies only seem to find their way to the landlords private abodes).

Today it's better known for its pension-bludging, tax-dodging slumlords, who make life very difficult for the small number of younger, working folks that still haven't left yet.

I would rate ChCh as a great place to leave (unless you are much older and own property).

And forget about the rebuild work - the place has long been famous for its low wages, try Aussie.


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