Tenancy Tribunal: Rogue tenant fined $47,000 for trashing rental property

A north Auckland tenant has been ordered to pay $47,000 in damages after completely trashing his Whangaparaoa rental property.

Clinton De Marcy Chelin put holes in every wall and some floors, ripped and cut the curtains, destroyed the stove and significantly damaged the plumbing and wiring, the Tenancy Tribunal found.

He has been ordered to pay $47,096.29 in damages to Barfoot & Thompson Ltd Whangaparaoa immediately after he was found to have deliberately vandalised the property, including ruining the bathroom and kitchen, leaving the landlords with a massive repair bill.

The kitchen required fixing and the oven had to be replaced after it had been destroyed and then dumped in the backyard.

Pipes had been damaged and the bathroom needed a refit.

The solid wooden floorboards were riddled with holes and had to be replaced with a cheaper particle board.

Every wall in the house was deliberately holed, broken or moved, the tribunal said.

The damage was so extensive that the implement used to damage the walls even pierced through some parts of the exterior cladding.

Doors and windows were also broken and required urgent repairs to make the house secure again.

The tribunal found the claims for repairs only related to the damage caused by the tenant and the costs reflected that it was a “modest house”.

“The damage is more than fair wear and tear, and the tenant has not disproved
liability for the damage,” the decision said.

The tribunal awarded the landlord $47,096.29 in damages, which included $44,850 in building repairs, $1610 to remove rubbish, $221.60 in lock services and $100 to replace the curtains.

The landlord was not insured for intentional damage.

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