Breaches of tenants’ trust and non-compliance costs landlord
Auckland landlord Rinal Kumar has been ordered to pay $24,754.08 by the Tenancy Tribunal for deliberately and knowingly failing to lodge tenancy bonds as a result of 33 applications brought by MBIE’s Tenancy Compliance and Investigations Team (TCIT).
Mr Kumar (commonly known as Danny) was found to have failed to lodge tenancy bonds on 32 separate occasions and to have failed to provide documentation to TCIT in accordance with his obligations under tenancy law.
“The legal requirement to lodge tenants’ bond money with the Bond Centre is a fundamental responsibility landlords have under New Zealand’s tenancy law,” says Steve Watson, National Manager Compliance and Investigation, Housing & Tenancy Services.
Mr Kumar was the sole shareholder and director of Hope’s Management Limited when the rental agreements started. The company was removed from the Companies Register in January 2019, but the Tribunal found that it was still Mr Kumar who was ultimately responsible for lodging the bonds.
“The outcome from the Tribunal sends a message to landlords who blatantly disregard the law that they will not be able to hide behind a company name and will be held accountable,” says Mr Watson.
“In addition, having the Tribunal acknowledge and penalise a landlord for failing to provide documentation when requested by TCIT is fundamental when it comes to us being able to do our job effectively.
“I am extremely pleased with the outcome of these applications as a tremendous amount of time and effort went into this investigation.
“Securing this type of complex Order allows TCIT to continue to pursue those landlords who deliberately attempt to avoid their responsibilities under New Zealand’s rental laws.
“TCIT will continue to focus on landlords who systematically and cynically breach the Residential Tenancies Act. We will also continue to identify and hold to account those landlords whose non-compliant behaviour is causing harm to their tenants.”