I’m bemused by the incentives which come out of this recent court decision against Housing NZ. Read the full story in the NZ Herald but the key steps are:
1) Tenant’s flat moves from Akl City to HNZ
2) As the tenant had said he no longer had his part-time job of $448 a week the rent is lowered to $59 a week
3) A year later tenant files annual income statement which shows he is actually still working at the Edge so rent increased to $87 a week (he had been paying $85 a week at Akl City)
4) He takes legal action on the basis of hardship from the sudden increase
Now this seems to all skirt over the fact that the decrease in his rent only came about because he supplied incorrect information to Housing NZ. To then complain about an increase when the rent goes back to the level it should always have been at is in my opinion absurd. But hey he got a Judge to agree.
The problem is there is now an incentive for Housing NZ tenants to all give incorrect information, get their rent lowered, and then claim hardship and stress when they are found out and the rent goes back to where it should have been all along.