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Cockroaches & flats

Cockroaches & flats

Old Dec 31st 2011, 8:07 pm
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Default Cockroaches & flats

Hi all,

Long time lurking and not posting, but still loving NZ!

Well, mostly.....

So the problem is this: I have moved into a flat, and the owner has admitted to having had to bomb the place for cockroaches before I got the keys, and reckons it is clear now. First day (After he and agent have left) I see a few dead ones so sweet as. Next day I kill 25+ of the blighters in the kitchen, lounge and bathroom and ask the agent to have the place fumigated. Meanwhile, I go out and get raid and cockroach traps and put em down.

She refused the fumigation and sent a man in who put down more poision. Next day I kill a heap more, and my traps have caught heaps too. Annoyed, I go and buy a few cockroach bombs (I checked, they were for them) and use them in the 2 worst rooms - Kitchen and bathroom. Come back in the morning and there are still a half dozen live ones in the kitchen - even in the oven!!!

Now, poision is a long-term measure, as are traps, and I have already told the agent I will not move in proper until the problem is sorted (I have lived in Mt. Eden for 18 months, and only ever had the odd one every few weeks that has come in through the window - I can live with this!).

I have spoken to the neighbours, and they both claim to be paranoid about them and have roach-free homes, implying it is just my flat.

I have already spent close to $100 on roach killing products, that quite frankly I shouldn't be dealing with, as I should have been leased a pest-free flat. I am pretty sure that if 2 bombs won't deal with it, then I have a serious problem (I am still killing heaps each day!), and obviously want it dealt with.

My questions are therefore these:
1) Can I force the agent/landlord to have the place fumigated? I need to move in on Tuesday at the latest, as this is when I leave my old place. (I gave it a weeks handover..... Not long enough!!!). Yes, I realize it is New Years!
2) Is there anything else I can do? I mean, roaches in the kitchen are bad enough, but in the cupboards where I will have plates and dishes, the oven and even in the cutlary drawer are just eeeuuueeewwwwwwwwwww gross!

Thanks all!
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Old Dec 31st 2011, 8:55 pm
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Default Re: Cockroaches & flats

Personally I'd see if there is any way you can walk away.....from what you have signed. Take photos of the evidence.

http://www.dbh.govt.nz/tenancy-az-g-k#i
'Infestations

The landlord must provide the premises (including facilities) in a reasonable state of cleanliness to the tenant. In doing this, they should take into account all requirements in respect of building, health and safety so far as they apply to the property. This includes providing the property free of vermin and infestation. Where this is not done, the tenant should notify the landlord and may issue a notice for the landlord to remedy the breach.

Where the tenant does something to attract the vermin or infestation into or onto the property, or causes an infestation, the tenant is liable to remedy the problem. The landlord may ask the tenant to fix the problem and may issue a notice for the tenant to remedy the breach.

Where the infestation was not present at the beginning of the tenancy and neither the landlord nor tenant has done anything to cause it, responsibility for the eradication of the infestation is uncertain. Often in this situation landlords and tenants will agree to divide the cost of eradication between them.'



http://www.dbh.govt.nz/maintaining-property

'Infestations

Landlords should take responsibility for fumigations and any rodent or insect issues before a new tenancy begins.

Some landlords arrange an annual fumigation (at their cost) as part of the terms of the tenancy agreement.

Landlords may also want to record that there are no known infestations or recent infestation issues in the tenancy agreement.

Infestations that can be attributed to a lack of cleanliness by the tenant could be argued to be the responsibility of the tenant as part of their obligation to keep the premises reasonably clean and tidy. In those cases, a landlord could seek an order from the Tenancy Tribunal for the fumigation work to be done and for the tenant to be charged for this.'

Last edited by luvwelly; Dec 31st 2011 at 9:02 pm.
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Old Dec 31st 2011, 9:32 pm
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Default Re: Cockroaches & flats

Just as I thought - It is his responsibility to make sure the place is clean and tidy when I move in.

As I said, he knows he had/has a problem, as he said he had bombed it and put traps down. My tenancy agreement (Through L.J. Hooker) says:

The landlord shall provide and maintain the premises in a reasonable state of cleanliness.

One can therefore argue over the semantics of what is reasonable, but killing 25 odd cockroaches a day would not qualify in my opinion.
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Old Jan 2nd 2012, 7:47 am
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Default Re: Cockroaches & flats

With the amount of stuff you have put down yet still have hoards daily I'd suggest neither you nor the landlord have found the source of the infestation and I'd suggest you get professional help called in, whoever pays for it. I understand your position fully but you seem about to commit to having to move in if you haven't already so if you must, I'd call them in and send him (or Hookers as his agent), the bill.

If you have an option I'd walk or at least delay until resolved.
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Old Jan 31st 2012, 4:56 am
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Default Re: Cockroaches & flats

Just an update here (And more advice sought!)

The problem has been dealt with now and I asked the agent/landlord to honour the contract I signed, and reimburse me for the cost of my dealing with an ongoing problem at the start of the tenancy, which the contract says is the landlords responsibility.

Short of it is that the landlord (Through the agent) has refused to reimburse me for sorting out his problem This means in my understanding of the contract, that they are in breach of contract.

Now, I have 3 options as far as I can see:
1) Roll over and accept I will never get my money, even though they are in breach of the contract.
2) Request reimbursement pointing out the approprate clause in the contract, and if refusual comes along again, haul them before the small claims court (Where logic dictates I would win, as they are in breach of contract).

No. 2 however means that my tenancy would never be renewed, and I would have to move out in 5 months time. Definatly not what I want to happen, which leads to option 3:

3) Wait, and then request reimbursement after I have moved out (and got my deposit back), hauling them before the small claims court if they refuse, knowing that they can't chuck me out or anything.

The ideal solution I hope, which brings me to my question. How long can I wait before pursuing somebody in the small claims court? Does anybody know, or can anybody point me in the correct direction to find out?

Thanks again in advance!
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Old Jan 31st 2012, 7:38 am
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Default Re: Cockroaches & flats

If you want to be able to rent again then roll over until you have found somewhere else and have your deposit back.

If you don't need to rent again or wish to apply max pressure then let Hookers know you intend to name them in the claim jointly with the Landlord as the Landlords agent (i.e. an active contractual party with responsibilities such as pre-letting inspections etc which must have been lacking).

Trouble is, any subsequent rental you take may require a reference from this one, there is I think a tribunal you can appeal to where you will probably be successful but it may still give you difficulty in future Landlords eyes...
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Old Jan 31st 2012, 10:01 am
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Default Re: Cockroaches & flats

I would go to Option 2) you very often will get a positive outcome from a stiffly worded letter. I generally have faith that a formal complaint cannot be ignored and that people (companies especially) will want to do the right thing when faced with the facts so as not to damage their reputation.

You of course can then see how they respond; they may do the right thing and offer a contribution towards your expenses or they may not, but you still have the option to hold fire at that point if they don't offer anything.
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