7 March 2017

An application has been submitted to the Tenancy Tribunal against Prime Property Group Limited for unlawfully renting parts of the 61 Molesworth Street building to residential tenants.

The application seeks:

  • An order preventing Prime Property Group from committing an unlawful act of the same kind for the full 6 years available under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act). 
  • An order for the rent paid by the tenant totalling over $6,000 to be repaid.
  • Exemplary damages of the maximum of $1000 for entering into a prohibited transaction. 
  • Repayment of the filing fee and any witness expenses.

The application comes on the back of an investigation by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Tenancy Compliance and Investigations team.

“When the 61 Molesworth Street building was evacuated after the November 2016 earthquake, it came to light that people were living in what appeared to be a commercial building,” says Steve Watson, Manager of the Compliance and Investigations Team.

“Our team then began an investigation and subsequently found that since June 2016, the first floor office space had been rented to a residential tenant.

“The kitchen and cubicles were being used as bedrooms, the toilet was in a corridor through the fire exit, and the family was using a shower on the ground floor of the building.

“While there was no written Tenancy Agreement in place, both parties have stated that $300 rent was paid per week for the tenancy,” Mr Watson says.

The 61 Molesworth Street building was an earthquake prone building, and has since been demolished.

MBIE will not make any further comment on this matter, as it is now before the Tenancy Tribunal.


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