‘Bad’ tenants let off the hook for damage after court ruling

  • Bad tenants are being unfairly let off the hook for property damage after a court decision, landlords say.

The Court of Appeal ruled last week that tenants who caused a fire by leaving oil unattended on a stove in 2009 could not be held financially liable.

The Residential Tenancies Act states tenants can be made to pay for damage caused by neglect or carelessness. The Property Law Act says they are not liable for damage from “perils” beyond their control such as fire, storm, earthquake or volcanic eruption.

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Tenants

Randall Walker
This Levin house was destroyed several years ago after a tenant set fire to it.