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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22166
Experience:  37 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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I had an agreement with a family memeber to "rent" out the

Customer Question

I had an agreement with a family memeber to "rent" out the downstairs of our home. They have on several occasions breached the agreement we had, admitted in writing they have breached and will continue to breach and refuse to leave after given 21 days notice. I have been in touch with Tenancy and been informed that as they are family and my husband and i reside at the address that they are not covered by the act. We were advised by tenancy that if they did not leave on the 18th of june (last day of the 21 days) that we would be able to trespass them and if they refused that the police (as advised by the police) would remove them. We had been verbally abused by the flatmates so would not have gone down this road if we thought nothing would happen. The police have refused to remove them and said it is a civil matter. How do i get rid of them please as my husband and i do not feel safe in our home and we are having these people dictate to us what is going to happen in our home
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 4 months ago.

Is the main tenant a family member or are there just flatmates living there? Do you know if they have any agreement with the main tenant?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The main tenant is the family member and we had an agreement that she has admitted to breaching and has continually breached and has no intention of complying with. I uave this admission in writing
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 4 months ago.

Is this for non payment of rent? What are the breaches? What does the agreement say?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The main breaches are that they had work done to our house that was not authorised by us and has damaged our house. They brought another cat onto the property and hid it from us after being told on several occasions that we didn't want another cat there. They gave our address out to a government department saying that someone else lived at the address who didn't live there and when we have tried to talk to them about these issues we are verbally abused
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 4 months ago.

If this is a contractual arrangement with family, then if you have cancelled the contract, which would be the effect of the 21 day notice, then if they will not leave you will have to apply to the District Court for an order for possession. It is a pity that the police will not act on the trespass notice, but I am not surprised. They are reluctant to get involved in issues which they see as family or civil disputes. My recommendation would be to apply for summary judgment for possession of the property in the District Court but you would probably need to get a lawyer to help you with the paperwork because there are particular forms and procedures which are needed.

However another alternative might be to try to mediate the issues. If you get an experienced mediator you might be able to sit down in a safe way and negotiate something which resolves the problems. It would certainly be considerably cheaper than going to court and enable the issues to be resolved with more dignity and less antagonism.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
the face that the agreement has been breached has made that null and void?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 4 months ago.
There have been breaches of the contract, but you can only cancel the contract for a substantial breach. The house alterations may be such a breach although the cat and the address issues are not serious. All together it may be enough. It doesn't make the agreement null and void but under the Contractual Remedies Act you can cancel a contract for a breach

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