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Molesworth building in tenancy dispute

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/03/2017

A firefighter looks up at the building in Molesworth St at risk of collapse. © Nick Perry / AP Photo A firefighter looks up at the building in Molesworth St at risk of collapse. The owner of a now demolished Wellington building will front the Tenancy Tribunal over accusations it unlawfully allowed a family to live in office space.

Authorities pulled the eight-storey 61 Molesworth Street office block down when November's 7.8 magnitude Kaikoura quake left it damaged and flagged as a dangerous building.

But the aftermath of the quake also revealed Prime Property Group had unlawfully used parts of the building for residential purposes, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment says.

The MBIE's Steve Watson said an investigation revealed the first floor office had been rented to a residential tenant since June 2016.

"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," he said.

"While there was no written tenancy agreement in place, both parties have stated that $300 rent was paid per week for the tenancy."

The MBIE has submitted an application to the Tenancy Tribunal seeking to have Prime Property Group repay $6000 in rent to the tenant along with a $1000 fine.

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