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Landlord ordered to refund rent

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 17/03/2017

A Manurewa landlord has been ordered to refund rent and pay damages after being prosecuted under laws passed by parliament last year.

Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith says it's the first successful prosecution since the tenancy law reforms came into force.

Satya Silan has been ordered by the Tenancy Tribunal to refund $15,840 in rent and pay $750 exemplary damages for renting an unconsented garage as a home to a family with a young child.

"The prosecution is significant in that it is the first time the government has pursued a landlord for failing to provide a warm, dry, safe home," Dr Smith said on Friday.

"Last year's tenancy reforms enabled the ministry to directly prosecute landlords rather than relying on tenants to take an action in the tribunal."

Dr Smith says it's not the intention to prosecute every case.

"Prosecutions are focused on the worst cases, where landlords have not acted in good faith or where landlords have a track record of poor compliance."

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