A landlord in Wellington, New Zealand, is facing backlash after threatening to sue a tenant who requested notice before prospective buyers visited his rental property. Tanya Lieven, who is both a landlord and a real estate agent, emailed her tenants informing them that she had listed the properties and would be bringing potential buyers through. When one tenant responded by asking for 48 hours’ notice, Lieven stated that she did not need permission and that notice had already been provided.
The exchange continued, with the tenant requesting specific viewing times and Lieven insisting that notice had already been given. Eventually, the tenant issued a trespass notice, barring Lieven from entering the property until they reached an agreement. In response, Lieven threatened to sue the tenant for any loss on a potential $8 million sale of the property.
The tenant lodged a complaint with the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal, resulting in the tribunal finding Lieven guilty of unsatisfactory conduct. She was fined $3000, censured for her actions, and ordered to undergo training regarding legal issues faced by real estate agents.
Lieven plans to appeal the tribunal’s decision in the High Court, asserting that the tenant knew of the property’s sale and renewed their lease regardless. She insists that her actions were justified and not threatening.
This case highlights the importance of clear communication and respect for tenants’ rights. Landlords and real estate agents must adhere to the Residential Tenancies Act, which includes provisions for landlords’ entry into premises and notice requirements when a property is listed for sale.