4 Mar 2009

Evicted state tenants must wait for another house

8:35 pm on 4 March 2009

The Government says state house tenants evicted for intimidating their neighbours will have to wait before reapplying for a house.

Housing New Zealand on Tuesday issued eviction notices giving five tenants 90 days under the Residential Tenancies Act to leave state houses in the suburb of Pomare in Lower Hutt.

The evicted tenants are gang members or associates.

The agency says it will no longer use the Tenancy Tribunal in cases of serious intimidation or anti-social behaviour.

Minister of Housing Phil Heatley says he fully supports the new approach and is looking at further changes.

Mr Heatley says officials are looking at a stand-down period in which evicted tenants would have to wait before applying for another house, or a probationary period once a tenant is allowed back.

He says agency officials will report in the next few weeks on how the changes can be implemented.

Meanwhile, Housing New Zealand says it could end dozens of tenancies for serious anti-social behaviour.

The agency's chief executive, Lesley McTurk, says it has begun reviewing all cases of intimidation and loud partying, and expects to find hundreds of serious cases.

Ms McTurk says eviction notices will be issued whenever tenants refuse to meet their obligations as a good neighbour, or to care for the state-owned properties.