The following news item on HNZ’s successful court ruling enabling them to seek compensation from convicted P manufacturers who used one of their properties is excellent news for all rental property owners. However the key lesson to be learnt from this is that regular property inspections are essential.
If Housing NZ had conducted thorough and regular inspections of their property the damage would have been more limited. Although they have won the right to seek damages from non tenant perpertrators, there is still the problem of actually getting the money from them.
A private rental property owner in the same position would risk not getting insurance, the expense of a District Court hearing and the potential of teh offenders not having the funds to cover their loss. You are far better to conduct thorough property inspections and discover the situation early, mitigating your potential losses and gaining a better chance of getting the money back.
If you do not conduct property inspections, click here for an easy solution and piece of mind.
P house tenants must pay
Forensic scientist Nicholas Powell told Napier District Court that the house in Tamatea, Napier, was the most contaminated of 150 drug- production houses he had seen.
Police raided the house in July 2004 and found a P lab in operation 18 hours a day, five days a week. The house was uninhabitable, so Housing New Zealand chose to demolish it.
Judge Geoff Rea found Housing NZ’s $185,035 claim for the loss and demolition to be completely proved.
Ten people were involved in the production of P but Housing NZ brought a case against only six because two had been declared bankrupt and the two tenants had already been found liable for the damage.
Richard John Samuel Te Rure, Donna Marise Wilson and Joanna Te Rure were found liable for $180,035. The three others, also found liable, have taken collateral proceedings against Te Rure and Wilson for costs they might be found liable for.
A decision on spreading the cost among the defendants was reserved till further evidence from defence counsels.