In a recent decision, Tenancy Tribunal adjudicator John Hogan ordered Bradfield to pay a total of $6061.43 for unlawfully increasing rent, failing to lodge a bond, issuing an unlawful termination notice, and discriminating on the basis of pregnancy.
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Hogan told Bradfield he should hire a professional property manager if he wanted to continue as a landlord.
Pavic and her husband Milos Pavic were tenants at the property in Browns Bay on Auckland’s North Shore for nearly two years. Their tenancy ended on February 3.
In the termination notice, Bradfield said their apartment was next to his own and the bedroom was located near his lounge.
He wrote that he did not want to have “interrupted sleep due to the new baby”.
He also said he and his wife did not feel the apartment was “designed for the additional person”.
Bradfield gave Pavic 30 days to leave the property instead of the required 90 days, Hogan said.
As she searched for a property to move to, Pavic would wake up in the middle of the night worried about whether she would soon be made homeless.
Her doctor said Bradfield’s notice had created health consequences for Pavic including anxiety, shortness of breath, and a heart rhythm disorder, Hogan said.
“The obvious distress of the experience for both her and her husband was still very apparent at the hearing.”
Bradfield’s discrimination was intentional and not in the public interest, Hogan said.
The discrimination breached the Human Rights Act which makes it illegal to discriminate against someone on the grounds of pregnancy, he said.
He awarded $2500 in compensation for the discrimination, the largest item in a long list of other awards he made against Bradfield.
“In making the award, I have reduced it to some extent, in recognition of Mr Bradshaw’s honesty in declaring his reason for terminating the tenancy, and because at the hearing, he apologised.”
When Pavic found a new house and told Bradshaw they would move out in four days Bradshaw sent her a message saying she needed to give him 21 days notice.
Bradfield had also given the Pavics one day’s notice before hiking their rent up.
On July 31 Bradfield texted the couple to tell them their rent would increase by $30 a week starting the next day on August 1, Hogan said.
“The required notice was not given by the landlord and fell an extraordinary 59 days short.”
Hogan ruled the rent increase was unlawful and ordered $801 refunded along with paying the tenants $460.
Bradfield had returned the couple’s $920 bond but never lodged it with the bond centre, Hogan said.
“He retained the tenant’s bond in his personal bank account, effectively having the use of it for the entire 20 months of the tenancy.
“During that period, the bond was at risk, the very risk having to lodge the bond was intended to alleviate.”
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