We know some of our tenants find it really challenging to look after their homes and these situations are the exception rather than the rule.
In this edition, we hear from Programmed Facility Management about what they did when they came across one of these very challenging cases.
For privacy reasons, the name and location are not included but it was a long-term tenancy of more than 35 years.
In June 2018 PFM found a tenant was living in unsafe conditions and had managed to avoid property inspections, as well as hiding the impact of their lifestyle for many years.
The tenant also had a love of cats and kept four permanently inside the house. Without a dirt box, the cats had no option but to toilet throughout the house. This led to an extreme situation of cat faeces and urine throughout with no surface spared. With the front door open, the smell was evident from the road. A breakthrough came when PFM were able to gain access, with the tenant’s consent, and inform HNZ of the condition of the house.
Two tenancy managers could then start a conversation with the tenant. Over a couple of weeks, the tenancy managers got the tenant to agree to wraparound support and for maintenance work to be undertaken on the property.
Before work could start, the cats needed to be permanently rehomed and the tenant moved to a motel that would be their home for the next two months. New clothes and shoes were found for the tenant as household items and clothes had to be disposed of and they could only leave with a few personal belongings.
The property was then scoped to bring it up to void standard. A dedicated team of trades worked over three months to turn the house back into a warm, dry and healthy home for the tenant. To remove the smell, the property had to be completely gutted and ceiling, floor and wall linings replaced.
The tenant has since returned to the property with full wraparound support services in place and regular property inspections are undertaken to ensure they sustain their tenancy and live well in their home.
While these situations present a real challenge, the end result is always worth it. Thanks, PFM, for all your hard work on this one.