25 Jun 2018

Student to leave Wellington over 'terrible' landlords

5:38 pm on 25 June 2018

A Wellington student has had enough of property managers who fail to fix basic issues with homes, he says.

Alex Holland said he had to fight for more than two months to have a leaking hole in his ceiling fixed, and said it was only done after he refused to pay any more rent.

He said his flatmate first contacted Oxygen Property Management in March, after black mould appeared on Mr Holland's ceiling.

"Initially, when I told her there was mould on the ceiling, she said 'open your window'.

"That's what their solution was for the mould on the ceiling. They didn't investigate or anything they just said 'open the window'."

The mould got worse, and soon a large crack appeared on his ceiling, which then turned into a hole.

Water from the upstairs shower began dripping through the hole onto his bed, which he was unable to move due to the small size of his room.

"Every time [flatmates] used the shower, water would come through to my room and so I've literally had to move my bed base up against the wall and I've been sleeping on a single mattress on the floor," he said.

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Photo: Supplied.

He continued to contact Oxygen, but said his complaints fell on deaf ears every time.

"When the roof cracked in, she said 'Oh, we'll get it fixed straight away' and things like that.

"And then a couple weeks went by and nothing had really been done about it. So then I called tenancy services, I think it was on the 9th of May ... I'd been paying rent the whole time up until this point."

Tenancy Services advised Mr Holland to serve Oxygen with a 14-day remedy notice, which he did the next day. He said no repairs had been made by the 24 March deadline.

"This is when I started getting real angry and I refused to pay rent and I've told them that I'm not paying anything until it's fixed and I applied for the Tenancy Tribunal," he said.

On 22 June, the hole was finally repaired, but Mr Holland said the repairs were shoddy and a quick fix to a larger problem.

"They've put vinyl down on the floor ... I told them that I wanted them to fix the floor boards and then put in a new shower so that water wouldn't get on the floor...

"But they didn't do that, all they did was put silicone around the hole and then just put the bath back in like normal," he said.

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Silicone was used to stop the water leaking through, but nothing was done about the floorboards. Photo: Supplied

He said the leaking had stopped but he did not know how long that would last: "It's kind of like they patched it rather than repaired it."

Mr Holland said the situation has been a nightmare and he would be moving out of the city as soon as he could.

"This is the worst thing that's ever happened to me living-wise ... I don't even want to live in Wellington anymore," he said.

He would finish his degree this year and then planned to move home to Hawke's Bay because he had had enough: "This is terrible."

Mr Holland and Oxygen will attend a hearing in the Tenancy Tribunal tomorrow. Mr Holland said he hoped to recover some of the rent he paid while living with the leaky roof.

Oxygen declined to comment.