Emanu and Anne Avia have endured flooding in the garage at their Manurewa rental for about 23 months.
A south Auckland couple have been awarded almost $20,000 over a flooding garage which damaged a dress-making business and left one of them sick.
Emanu and Anne Avia experienced flooding early on in the tenancy of their Benmore Pl, Manurewa, rental.
Despite landlord Frank Grant hiring “several tradesmen” to fix the flooding after it first happened on December 27, 2018, the lined double garage, which is split into two rooms, continued to flood every time it rains, the Tenancy Tribunal noted in a recent decision.
Since July 2020, the flooding has resulted in a smell of sewage the day after.
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Anne Avia runs a dress-making business from the garage and told the tribunal her belongings had been water damaged.
Photos supplied to the tribunal showed a layer of water on the garage’s lined flooring, in amongst the Avia’s belongings.
The flooding had also damaged a “large and valuable fine mat”, adjudicator Nicole Walker said.
Since working in the garage, Anne Avia had also suffered health issues, including asthma.
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A medical certificate was provided to the tribunal and Emanu Avia said he had taken significant time off work to care for his wife.
In the month before the hearing, he was only paid for two weeks’ work due to all the time he had taken off.
Walker noted it had had an impact on the family’s income, but at no point had the landlord made any attempt to provide them with an abatement.
She said as the Avias had not had full use of the garage, were disrupted by the flooding and it had affected one of their health, they were entitled to a rent abatement.
They were awarded $15,235.71 in refunded rent and $700 in compensation for their flood-damaged belongings.
Walker also awarded the couple a total of $3208.86 in compensation for water rates, fixed water charge, leaking and exemplary damages for their health and safety.
Walker commented the flooding issue remained unresolved after a 23-month tenancy and said the landlord should have taken “more proactive steps” to fix the flooding.
“The effect on Mr and Mrs Avia and their family was significant,” she said.
“The public interest is that a part of the property that floods regularly should not be part of a tenancy, particularly when the family of two adults and six children rely on that space for a home business, storage and extra space for the children (as suggested by the landlord).”