Ms Ngatai was evicted from the Charles Cr house, where she lived with her partner and eight children, on January 26, following a tenancy tribunal hearing which found she had not paid rent in over a month.
Property manager Flo Drabble, who inspected the house after the eviction, said it was so filthy that she vomited while trying to clean it.
“In all honesty it was the worst condition property I have ever been in.”
The walls and floors were apparently filthy, it reeked of urine, windows were smashed, animal faeces were scattered inside and it was riddled with insects.
Miss Drabble said the house will need to be fumigated and the carpet needed replacing.
Ms Ngatai, along with her partner and children, aged three to 15, are now living in a tent in the backyard of her cousin’s home in Putaruru.
It sounds like the tents may be more hygienic.
On February 11, 2009, Ms Ngatai and her partner, who are both beneficiaries, entered into a rent-to-buy agreement, at $336 per week, with Auckland-based property investor Mike Hyams.
The house was in the process of being renovated throughout, but Ms Ngatai needed a place to live and thought owning a home would be a good investment for the future.
She said it had no hot water or electricity, leaking pipes, no kitchen, faulty wiring and rubbish littered everywhere.
She claims to have invested thousands of dollars of her own money into maintenance of the property.
“The conditions were, [Mr Hyams] was supposed to do the house up and he didn’t. We were stuck for three years fixing up electricals and plumbing.”
Mr Hyams said he wiped off more than $6000 of money owed based on these allegations.
In November 2009, Ms Ngatai could no longer afford to purchase the property and it was agreed she could remain as a tenant at a weekly rental of $165. The Times was shown a tenancy agreement signed by both parties on November 6, 2009.
So the evil landlord was charging them just $165 a week.
As of May 12, 2011, Ms Ngatai owed $4300 in arrears, which is recorded in a tenancy tribunal application by Mr Hyams.
So around 25 weeks of arrears.
Incidentally I’ve done a quick estimate of how much money the family should have been getting in benefits and it is $980 (after tax).
But I guess some will still say that the problem is that benefits are not high enough.