Auckland landlord Rinal Kumar has been ordered to pay $24,754 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).
MBIE says Mr Kumar was found to have failed to lodge tenancy bonds on 32 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.
MBIE says Mr Kumar was the sole shareholder and director of Hope’s Management Ltd 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.”