PHOTO: Instagram. FILE
Two Auckland reality stars have been ordered to pay their landlord $1780 after losing their Tenancy Tribunal case over a series of issues they had with their St Heliers rental property.
A recently released Tenancy Tribunal ruling found against influencers Sabina Jeyasingham, known as Sabby Jey, and Si (Judy) Gao.
Jey, who is known for her appearance on the Bachelor last year and a reality dating show this year, has a combined 60,000 followers on Instagram and TikTok. Meanwhile, Gao, a 2018 Project Runway contestant and fashion designer, has 1.8 million followers on TikTok and 152,000 on Instagram.
Judy Gao and Sabby Jey. Photo credit: Tik Tok / Instagram
The pair threatened to expose their landlord on their social media accounts over issues with the house including the pool not being good enough for filming and a lack of space for “dressmaking”.
But in the ruling, the Tenancy Tribunal noted the property is a “superior quality dwelling” and said the tenants seemed to be expecting a commercial property when it was very clear it wasn’t one.
The issues first arose just three days after Jey and Gao entered a written tenancy agreement on January 11, 2022.
The ruling said Jey, who was planning to film for a television show at the house, asked the landlord to have the pool cleaned. The landlord, who has name suppression, agreed but the cleaning wasn’t up to Jey’s standards.
The tenants then raised several other issues including the gas not working properly, rubbish on the property, a dispute with a neighbour over the shared driveway, cobwebs and an ant problem.
Just five days after moving in they threatened to file a complaint with the Tribunal and expose the landlord on social media if the issues weren’t fixed.
“I will be sharing to my 60k followers, majority of whom are form [sic] New Zealand, and I will be discussing how we are being exploited by our landlords via our social media platform, naming [the property management company/s], and will further contact the media to cover this story once we go to the tribunal,” the tents wrote in an email, according to the Tribunal.
The ruling showed the landlord took steps to address the issues, including calling a pest company that found no evidence of an ant problem and discounting the first week’s rent.
But on January 21, the tenants emailed the landlord complaining the oven wasn’t clean, she said she would call her cleaner to fix it and the cost would be deducted from the rent.
Then on January 24, the tenants emailed again complaining of several issues including the pool needing to be cleaned, an ant problem, issues with the plumbing in the downstairs shower, issues with the air conditioner and the oven being dirty.
In her email, Jey said she would never have rented the property if she knew about the issues.
“I would have never taken this property if I knew the lack to attention [sic] and issues that come along with it. I have cried on multiple occasions and been so stressed out dealing with you and this property,” she said.
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