Mum takes Housing NZ to tribunal
An Invercargill mother says problems with a Housing New Zealand property have left her with no option other than to move out and take the corporation to the Tenancy Tribunal.
Rebecca Smith said her Ross St house had several issues, including a leaking bathroom, sewage problems and flooding from blocked drains.
Her issues with mouldy walls were highlighted in The Southland Times last month.
Repeated efforts to get Housing New Zealand to fix the problems had been to no avail and she had since served them with a 14-day notice for breaching landlord responsibilities, she said.
Ms Smith said she planned to lodge a complaint with the Tenancy Tribunal.
However, Housing New Zealand has disputed her claims and says it has done everything possible to ensure the home is healthy.
Housing New Zealand tenancy services regional manager Symon Leggett said the agency had worked closely with the tenant to resolve the issues with the house.
A contractor had been sent to the property to review the mould and found it was common household mould and not toxic. However, the contractor suggested wall insulation could be placed in the wall cavity, but it would not entirely remedy the issue, Mr Leggett said.
The house already had ceiling insulation as part of a nationwide insulation programme, but it was not common practice to insulate walls because it was intrusive.
During the past month the organisation had addressed three complaints from Ms Smith and responded immediately to all.
"Even though no significant issues were found with the property, we wanted the tenant and her family to be happy . . . so we offered them a transfer."
However, Ms Smith said she had little confidence Housing New Zealand would find her a house in the same area and she had started looking for a private rental property.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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