• Invercargill landlord slapped with $38,713 bill for failing to lodge bonds

    An Invercargill landlord has been ordered to pay a total of $38,713.76 in exemplary damages and costs for failing to lodge bonds.

    The Tenancy Tribunal found Strathvale Investments Limited (SIL) and sole director Murray Baird received bond monies from tenants for 54 separate tenancies, which he did not forward to Tenancy Services’ Bond Centre, as required by law.

    “Under the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) landlords must lodge any bond monies with Tenancy Services within 23 working days of receipt,” says National Manager Tenancy Compliance and Investigations Steve Watson.

    “MBIE’s Tenancy Compliance and Investigations team investigated a complaint from a tenant who didn’t receive a bond lodgment receipt for a property rented to them by Mr Baird.

    “Our investigation found non-compliance with the bond requirements of the RTA across Mr Baird’s entire portfolio of residential properties, prompting MBIE to apply to the Tenancy Tribunal.

    Further to the $38,713.76 awarded by the Tribunal, SIL is restrained from committing further similar breaches of the RTA for a period of five years.

    “As a result of securing this order, should Mr Baird be found doing this again we will not hesitate in pursuing criminal charges in the District Court,” Watson added.