Thursday, April 25, 2024

COMMENT: Taking action over a dispute 

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People who have a dispute relating to property can try to have it resolved at the Tenancy Tribunal. Times file photo Wayne Martin

From the Citizens Advice Bureau

We receive many queries about people’s consumer rights regarding faulty goods and services and queries about disagreements between tenants and landlords.

Often, the best option is to first contact the person or business with whom you have a problem, in person or in writing, to see if an agreement can be reached.

In some cases, mediation may be possible, for example with a car dealer or mechanic who belongs to the Motor Trade Association, or the Tenancy Tribunal if you are a landlord or tenant.

If no agreement can be reached, you may be able to apply to the Disputes Tribunal or the Tenancy Tribunal for a ruling.

Unfortunately, decisions made by the Disputes or Tenancy Tribunal can be challenging to enforce.  If a decision has been made that work will be done for you or payment will be made, a deadline will be given by the tribunal.

If that deadline has passed and the payment or work has not eventuated, you have several options.

Our CAB website states you can:  

Apply to the District Court to have the Tribunal decision enforced. To do this, contact your local District Court (or the Civil Enforcement staff if it is a small District Court).

For example, if the person who owes you money is an employee or receiving a benefit, either party could apply for an attachment order (where money is deducted from weekly pay in small amounts until paid).

If you have a possession order from the Tenancy Tribunal but the tenant refuses to leave, you can apply to the District Court for an eviction warrant, and a bailiff or the police will remove the tenant.

If the order is to pay money, you could hire a debt collection agency to collect.

If the order was to do some work by the deadline, you can apply to the Disputes Tribunal to order that they pay you money instead. Get your lawyer to write a formal letter to the other person, asking them to follow the order.

Further information is available on our website, www.cab.org.nz or you can call, email or visit a CAB office for free, confidential help with any part of the dispute process.

This Solutions Column has been compiled by Mary and is a regular Times editorial from the Citizens Advice Bureau Pakuranga/Eastern. Email enquiries.pakuranga@cab.org.nz, phone 576 8331 or visit us at the Library Building, Pakuranga.

You can also email our Botany offices botany@cab.org.nz or Phone 271 5382 or visit us as at Botany CAB, rear Food Court entrance, Botany Town Centre.

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