Owners give up after tribunal delays

Andrew King

Frustrations caused by consistent delays at the Tenancy Tribunal have driven property owners to give up on tenanting.

Property Investors Federation president Andrew King told NBR NZPI owners were now getting fed up after delays cost them thousands of dollars.

“Rentals are not a great cashflow business, which is having a serious effect on people – there’s that feeling of being ripped off.

“A lot of people sell their rental properties after dealing with the tribunal because they feel disillusioned. It seriously isn’t good for anybody.”

Mr King said this might affect the supply of rental properties and push up prices.

Mr King said delays had been going on for about a year and he was calling on interested parties,including the government, to meet to discuss the issue. Promised improvements didn’t seem to happen.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment says that last month the national average waiting time for the tenancy tribunal was more than four weeks.

For November 2012, the average waiting time for a tribunal hearing was 24.8 business days in Auckland courts, 23.9 business days in Wellington courts, 16.2 in Christchurch court and 15.4 for the Dunedin court.

Mr King says the waiting times are too long and his organisation is conducting its own research into waiting times for the tribunal.

“We’re not entirely convinced the government statistics are correct.

“We think there are ways they can manipulate them, either by putting things on hold or going back for information which stops the clock on their statistics.”

Mr King expects to release the results of his research in the new year.

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This is a joke. By the time a tenant racks up arrears such that it triggers the tribunal process and then nought happens for weeks the problem has escalated into very big numbers. If landlords start going public (and they should) with the tenants who fail to honour their contracts and by some I have seen conduct their lives such that a packing case under a bridge is still too good for them and them knowing we taxpayers always bail them out then government must share the blame for exasperating the problem.

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