Tourists Can Be Pesky Tenants

Photo: Instagram @staryeyes1986

At this time of the year we often get young couples from the Northern Hemisphere coming to town for our summer. I generally find they are great tenants who pay well and put up with some primitive flats from time to time. I often supply them with a few basic bits of furniture like beds, couches, and white ware.

This year I have some Argentineans, Canadians, and Dutch.

The Dutch couple seemed nice. They were not sure how long they wanted to stay. I have been occasionally caught with tenants only staying for a few weeks on a periodic tenancy so I signed them up for a four month fixed period. All was fine for one week then the calls started. We want out of here they say. The stove does not work, the fridge keeps stopping and there is a bad smell. Well I soon fixed the stove by turning it off automatic, swopped the fridge, and could not smell anything apart from the pollen on the trees outside. We want our entire bond back in cash they demanded.

If you do not give it back we will go to the police and write to the newspaper saying you let stinky flats. Well this statement was like a red rag to a bull to me.

I pointed out that we have different laws in NZ and what ever goes in their country counts for nothing here. I said to them they have signed up for four months and that I would return at the end of the lease to pick up the keys.

Next day they rang and were far more conciliatory. Can we please give notice they say. I met with them again. It turned out they had been off to the police, and the city council environment department. The health inspector could not smell anything but they said their noses were more sensitive than our so they could not stay in the place any longer. It was affecting their health. What a con job I thought. They were just trying to avoid paying a premium at backpackers.

Then they say when we go can you give us a cheque for the bond. You should have seen their faces when I said the Government now has the bond money and that they will put the money into their bank account when work recommences. I can not make the Government work over the Christmas break. I can see we are going to have another childish squabble in three weeks when they want to leave.

I find it interesting how people want to use the services of civil servants like the police and sanitation inspectors when it suits them to win their argument but then flip flop and want to avoid following any laws at all if it is in their interest to do so.