A Whangārei real estate agent has unlawfully entered a rental property without the tenant's consent, making their children's beds while there, and landing the property owner with a fine.
Estate agent, Zoltan Waxman, was judged by the Tenancy Tribunal to have failed to get consent to enter the property in Kamo, Whangārei, with a photographer, as he was in the process of preparing the house for sale.
His actions have left owner, Susan Agnew, with a fine of $365 that must be paid to tenants Tylah Reihana and Dillon Wihongi, Stuff reports.
Agnew had told her tenants in January she planned to sell the property, and estate agent Waxman contacted them the same day to ask if he could take photos of the house.
Tennant Reihana replied to Waxman that she wanted more time to tidy up, suggesting Thursday or Friday of the following week.
Waxman then texted on Monday to instead ask if he and the photographer could come thorough earlier, on the Wednesday.
However, Reihana never received the text, and when she returned from work on the Wednesday she found her children's beds made and Waxman's business card on the kitchen bench.
Waxman told the Tenancy Tribunal, to whom the incident was reported, he assumed because there had been no reply to his text, Reihana did not object to the visit with a photographer on Wednesday.
However, Tenancy Tribunal adjudicator N Blake did not agree, and judged because Reihana did not receive the text and did not consent, Waxman's entry with the photographer was unlawful.
The Residential Tenancies Act allows landlords to enter their premises to show it to prospective buyers, including for photography for the sale - but all provided consent from the tenant had been given.
Entry without this consent is unlawful, and damages up to $1000 can be awarded.