Landlord had to pay ‘meth-using’ tenant’s Airbnb after being locked out
Airbnb accommodation was $5,884 on a two-and-a-half-week stay
An Auckland landlord has been ordered to pay for his tenant’s stay at an Airbnb after the building’s corporate body locked out the tenant for allegedly using methamphetamine.
According to the Housing Court ruling, tests carried out at tenant Yuriko Unno’s apartment showed methamphetamine contamination readings of 230 micrograms. The limit considered safe is between 1.5 and 15 micrograms.
Used methamphetamine pipes and “other drug use instruments” were also found on the premises. A broken meth pipe was found on a side table in the bedroom.
Referee Jack Tam awarded the landlord $1,500 in damages due to tenant contamination, but the landlord would ultimately have to pay.
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In August, the legal person of Metropolis Apartments informed the landlord that he had revoked the tenant’s key card and that the tenant would only be allowed to return once to collect his belongings.
In the ruling, Tam determined that landlord Vicky Zhuang failed in her duty to ensure the tenant could occupy her home unhindered.
Landlords are also not allowed to change their tenants’ locks, or key cards in this case, he said.
“A landlord must ensure that the actions of others, including the legal entity, do not impair the tenant’s right to occupancy, possession and enjoyment of the premises during the term of the tenancy”, indicates the decision.
Absolutely, Tam ordered the owner to pay $2,000 in damages for the breaches. However, Tam refrained from the maximum penalty, noting the circumstances in which the tenant was locked out.
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The lessor was also ordered to reimburse the lessee for his Airbnb Hosting which amounted to $5,884 for a two and a half week stay.
“Airbnb’s costs were incurred as a direct result of the tenant being evicted from the premises without the landlord first obtaining a possession order from the court,” Tam wrote.
Tam noted that the landlord had asked the court to terminate the lease two weeks prior and should have waited for that order to be issued.
“There is no provision in residential tenancy law which allows a tenant to be immediately dispossessed of the premises for illegal activity of taking or manufacturing meth, without a court order.
Tam ordered that the tenant have two days to retrieve their belongings from the apartment, after which the tenancy would be terminated.
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