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'He doesn't care': Landlord under fire for party house rental

Tom Dillane,
Publish Date
Sat, 12 Oct 2019, 9:23am
Multiple windows were smashed in a Phyllis St property, Mt Albert, rented out via Booking.com last night.
Multiple windows were smashed in a Phyllis St property, Mt Albert, rented out via Booking.com last night.

'He doesn't care': Landlord under fire for party house rental

Tom Dillane,
Publish Date
Sat, 12 Oct 2019, 9:23am

Residents along a once sleepy Auckland street are at their wits' end with a landlord they say "doesn't care" who he rents to - after a third destructive party in weeks.

Overnight Thursday, a wild party in Phyllis St, Mt Albert, was broken up by police after a "bunch of youngsters carrying booze on their shoulders" smashed in a garage door, broke windows and disrupted neighbours into the early hours of Friday morning, shouting in the street.

Police said they attended a Phyllis St address about 12.30am on Friday morning after a number of reports of disorder. A witness at the scene said three people in their 20s were taken into police cars.

The now "trashed" house on Phyllis St is directly next door to a property where a two-week block of parties were held night after night in September - ending in mass destruction to residents cars parked along the street.

Aucklander Quan Shu owns both Phyllis St properties and rents them out on short-term rental site Booking.com.

However, Shu says he is equally frustrated with the repeated damage to his property and is looking into ways to permanently stop it happening.

"Of course we care. We use famous platforms [to rent] in Booking.com, Airbnb," Shu said.

"But the problem is they book in as one, two, three people, but at late night more people come.

"Of course we care, if we have a bad tenant who damages things, eventually we are the victim. We just need to find a better solution to control this situation."

However, a neighbour who wishes not to be named said Shu did not do his due diligence in checking if those he rented to online were reliable.

"We spoke to the owner last time he was here and we told him you've got to do some background checks on these people, and you've got to find what their intentions are," the neighbour said.

"He was all apologetic, but at the end of the day it doesn't feel like they filter the people they rent it to.

"He said he'll investigate, but he doesn't care.

"Last time my car's windows got smashed. There's definitely a group of people that know that these houses are available and they're getting away with throwing these parties."

The neighbour said it was evident straight away a wild party was on the cards on Thursday night in Phyllis St.

"I was walking my dog last night and I saw a bunch of youngsters carrying booze on their shoulders, like boxes and boxes of alcohol heading into the house, and I thought, here we go again," he said.

Shu told the Herald the situation was "entirely out of our control" because there had only ever been single people booking and checking into his two Phyllis St properties on Booking.com.

"In our policy we say no parties. It's just entirely out of our control. We'd love to work out a better way to prevent this in the future," he said.

Shu said he pocketed the $300 damage deposit from the short-term tenants who trashed his property in September, and he has made an application to Booking.com for "few thousand" more in repair costs.

However, Shu says he has not had a reply from Booking.com on this September claim.

He also plans on making a damage claim to Booking.com for last night's party, but is still calculating the damage.

"It's our long-term investment rental property, but what's happening surprises me," Shu said.

"We certainly can not afford for these type of things to happen again. We talked to a number of people on how to control this.

"There's really big damage to us and we're just trying to find a better way to prevent this happening again."

The Phyllis St neighbour said Shu's property was in a deplorable state after the party.

"The place was trashed. Vandalism, it's crazy," he said.

"You can see from the outside the windows were smashed. Everything inside, the heaters that were attached to the wall were destroyed, there was shattered glass all over the house, all around it."

A single mother along the street told the Herald in September the "family-orientated" community that has lots of kids living on the street has never had issues like this since she has lived there for almost two years.


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