24 Feb 2009

Tougher action planned to deal with troublesome tenants

7:06 pm on 24 February 2009

The case of the so-called neighbours from hell has prompted a toughening up of rules to deal with anti-social tenants, says Housing New Zealand.

The Salt family have told the housing agency they are moving out of their Range View Rd state house after complaints about disruption and youth gang violence triggered a two-year eviction battle.

The family gave notice just before their case was to go to another lengthy Tenancy Tribunal hearing on Tuesday.

Housing New Zealand Chief Executive Lesley McTurk says Housing New Zealand does not have an estimate of how much the case has cost, but it is looking at a range of measures to deal with anti-social tenants, including ways to move people out swiftly.

Dr McTurk says the family's decision to go saves time, money and the need for up to 10 people to appear as witnesses in the case.

She acknowledges that two years is too long to wait to get the matter clarified.

Housing New Zealand will help the family find alternative accommodation outside of state housing.

Sharron Salt's lawyer, John Foliaki, says the stress at the prospect of another lengthy Tenancy Tribunal Hearing drove her family from their home.

Mr Foliaki says Ms Salt has lived in the house for 14 years, bringing up her children there, so the decision to move was not easy.