Who We Help
We work with a wide range of people in the Manawatu community, but our main focus is educating and supporting renters. Here are some case studies of people we have supported with their tenancy issues.
A young family
A couple with four young children came to MTU extremely concerned because they were about to become homeless. They were farmworkers who had been provided with accommodation as part of their work contract. However, this meant that when they were dismissed without warning (during their 90 day work trial period) they were not only unemployed, but also homeless. As accommodation that is provided with a job is not considered under the Residential Tenancies Act, they were not given the usual 90 days to find new accommodation. Rather, their employers asked them to get out of the house within the next few days. The MTU worker got in touch with Housing New Zealand and arranged an appointment for the family to check they were eligible to access a state house. He accompanied the family through the assessment process. The family were able to move immediately into a state home.
A student flat
Two students, who lived in a five person flat, visited MTU for assistance in dealing with their landlord. Their landlord frequently visited the house without warning, looking through the windows and knocking on the door, asking to check up on something. This disturbed the tenants. The MTU worker let them know that the landlord was acting in breach of the tenants’ right to quiet enjoyment. The landlord can only visit the house for specific purposes, and must give notice of this. The MTU worker advised the tenants and accompanied them to their Tenancy Tribunal hearing, which found in favour of the tenants. When the landlord appealed the decision, the MTU worker accompanied them to their rehearing, which they also won. The tenants won several hundred dollars in compensation and were pleased to live out their tenancy in peace.
A rural tenant
A rural tenant was experiencing problems with sewerage ponding in her front lawn, contaminating her water supply. The MTU worker arranged for the health protection officer from city council to visit the house and sort out the problem.
A student and his mother
A student who rented with his mother started to have issues with the landlord when his mother moved to another city. The landlord claimed the tenant had not paid rent and asked him to move out. The tenant did not wish to move out until the end of the academic year. The MTU worker advised both tenants on their rights and called the landlord to try to sort out the situation. Despite these efforts, the landlord wished to take the tenants to the Tenancy Tribunal. The MTU worker supported the tenants through this process. The Tenancy Tribunal ascertained that the rent was up-to-date and awarded compensation to the tenants for loss of quiet enjoyment. The tenant stayed in the home till the end of the academic year.
A tenant contacted the MTU after becoming frustrated with the landlord building another house on the property. Her house became a construction site. With her door blocked, she could only access the house via a window. The MTU worker supported her to take her case to the Tenancy Tribunal. She won compensation for the weeks her right to quiet enjoyment were breached.