Friday, August 22, 2014

Harcourts / Intotal & Tenancy Tribunal Bond Scam

Did you know a NZ property manager needs no relevant tertiary education to become a so-called property manager? There are no standards for property managers in NZ. That means any crook can set themself up as a property manager in NZ, legally enter a tenant's property any time the property manager wants & stuff tenants around.

Did you know that as a NZ tenant you can be taken to NZ Tenancy Tribunal  for the following allegations by a Harcourts property manager?

* Dirty oven.
* Dirty kitchen & dining ceilings - fly spot, cobwebs, cooking residue. [Dirty kitchen walls, for appointed cleaner, Troy Robertson's Complete Home Services, to inflate his invoice.]
* Uninstalled kitchen blind. [Owner installed, according to appointed Troy Robertson's Complete Home Services invoice].
* Dirty [kitchen] cupboards, draws [sic Appointed Troy Robertson's Complete Home Services' addition to inflate his invoice].
* Marked bathroom window sill.
* Residue, soup [sic] on bathroom shower walls. [Mould remaining around seals, quite black, suggest removing & replacing, according to appointed Troy Robertson's Complete Home Services, to inflate his invoice].
* Dirty marks on an unnamed wall.
* Replacement of light globes. [Materials purchased - Light globes to be replaced x 4, according to Troy Robertson, Complete Home Services, to inflate his invoice].
* [Light shades, switches & plugs all cleaned, according to Troy Robertson, Complete Home Services, to inflate his invoice].
* Dirty carpets. [Although already cleaned by our own professional cleaner].
* [According to Troy Robertson, Complete Home Services, to inflate his invoice: Carpets to be professionally cleaned  as the carpets are dirty. Lounge carpets are very dirty, some staining still remaining, some parts of carpet has been treated with cheap product which has bleached the stains & has left lighter patches].
* [Bedroom ceilings to be cleaned to remove fly dirt throughout, according to Troy Robertson, Complete Home Services, to inflate his invoice].
* [NB Ceilings required extensive cleaning, fly spots being there a while & some have left staining although all residue has been removed, according to Troy Robertson, Complete Home Services to inflate his invoice].
* [Scrubbed kitchen, laundry & bathroom floor removing ingrained dirt in pattern, according to Troy Robertson, Complete Home Services to inflate his invoice].
* Grass removed from garden beds. [This vanished from Troy Robertson's Complete Home Services' invoice].

Harcourts property manager, Kim Jones emailed us twice more:

* There is a smell of cat urine & claw marks in the middle bedroom, is this historical or caused by your cat? Please advise. [Kim Jones was guessing, an indictment of her 2 previous, so-called inspections when she should've inspected our rental properly & asked us tenants those sort of questions. Her "suspect" cleaner guessed too - According to Troy Robertson's Complete Home Services, to inflate his invoice: Treated cat smells in two bedrooms. Suspect some in other rooms but the two end ones were quite strong].
* The cleaning of all light fittings also to be included on the cleaning list. Light fittings are very dusty & greasy. [There were only 6 light fittings in the shabby rental house & garage. The rest were bare light bulbs].

The above is a composite list of allegations from Kim Jones' 02.07.14 Final Inspection report (after we left 5 Heath St, Burnside, Christchurch) with Troy Robertson's Complete Home Services 23.07.14 invoice, which Kim Jones later emailed us.

Why didn't Kim Jones have the integrity to phone, or text us before or after her Final Inspection? Kim Jones had both mine & Leah's cell numbers long before we stopped our tenancy at 5 Heath St. Her modus operandi was suck up to us as tenants before we left, then shaft us after our departure.

Troy Robertson's Complete Home Services' invoice prices: Various cleanings, as above $235; Professional carpet cleaning $175; [Our professional had already cleaned the carpets for $100] Cat smells $120; Light globes $6. Total $536 (incl 15% GST).

Troy Robertson's Complete Home Services invoice total was similar to our bond of $510 (two weeks rent, 2004 prices). Harcourts financial controls are appalling, allowing such a merger between a property manager's inspection list for cleaning & its appointed Troy Robertson's Complete Home Services invoice being so obviously inflated to rip off a tenant's bond. Given Harcourts lax control of Troy Robertson's Complete Home Services invoice & NZ Tenancy Services lodging millions of bucks of bond money from NZ tenants, there were many cleaner parasites syphoning bond money.

Never mind state bureaucracies, like the Tenancy Tribunal sucking tenants' & taxpayers' blood, or old NZ Tenancy Services, now included in the new Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, MBIE, sucking tenants' & taxpayers' blood.

Although most of Kim Jones' cleaning items & Troy Bateman's Complete Home Services invoice items were false, or cherry-picked half truths to steal our bond money, Kim Jones blackmailed us by 02.07.14 email as follows:

The above [sic] items have been noted as not being completed. These items are to be remedied, we are appointing our tradespeople to attend to these, and the cost for this will be sort from your bond...

I have [bullshit] photos of all these items, should you wish to view them.[It's easy to take bullshit photos to make a scam point, which leave out years of cleaning & years of maintenance done by the tenant].

Once I have received the trades persons invoice, I will advise you by email, and send you the bond refund form to be signed.

If you dispute the charges being deducted from your bond, we will be required to file for this to be heard at tenancy services, for an adjudicator to make a ruling...

Kind regards, [Oxymoron].

Kim Jones - Property Manager.

It turned out that any incompetent, unreliable, inconsistent, malicious property manager could take tenants to court, without tenants given the opportunity to remedy the alleged cleaning required, without the opportunity to verify the cleaning done by a Harcourts cleaning contractor & with Harcourts property manager blocking mediation, as she wanted the Tenancy Tribunal to adjudicate a decision & to humiliate us tenants & steal our bond money. What a scam!

Never mind the Tenancy Tribunal being an open court for anyone to attend & Tenancy Tribunal findings made public for 3 years & the potential for Harcourts & other parasites to blacklist our names, making it difficult for us to get future tenancies, when landlords do background checks.

This was our experience with Harcourts property manager Kim Jones, her appointed cleaning contractor Troy Robertson's Complete Home Services & NZ govt, Tenancy Tribunal & MBIE parasites. For cobwebs & cat smells!

Those malicious Harcourts employees wanted to destroy our good reputations. Landlords Graeme & Eleanor Bremner wanted to destroy our reputations with their indifference & using Harcourts to do their dirty work. Two decades ago, as immigrants we'd gone through a long, expensive, selection process through NZIS, including qualifications checks, work history checks, medicals, wealth checks, a NZ Scottish sponsor scam, a SA immigration agent scam, SA & NZ police checks & NZ MAF checks of our containerized possessions, including professional cleaning of our garden tools & electric mower. Harcourts & our landlords wanted to smear our good name in the Tenancy Tribunal.

When we first tenanted 5 Heath St we paid rent above median rent for several years. The longer we stayed at Heath St the better for us as tenants, as our rent stayed static & it was a tenants' market. (I once said the latter to Eleanor). During the 2010-2013 quakes our rent rocketed, as there was a rental crisis in Christchurch, due to low supply of housing & rentals. That led to greedy landlords increasing rents, potential tenants offering landlords ridiculous high rents to oust tenant competitors, thus inflating Christchurch's rental market. Never mind hordes of quake rebuild contractors invading Christchurch for repairs & rebuilds, further fuelling inflation for the limited supply of rentals.

CERA minister Brownlee for many months post quakes denied there was a housing crisis in Christchurch. NZ govt's approach to the post quake housing crisis was laissez-faire - let the market decide.

But the tenant / landlord relationship wasn't just about rent payments, or final cleaning, but more about ongoing repairs & maintenance, which Harcourts & landlords Graeme & Eleanor Bremner conveniently ignored during their Tenancy Tribunal bond scam.

Meanwhile, Leah & I moved our possessions from Christchurch & Lake Tekapo to Fairlie, a busy couple of weeks settling in during Leah's teaching holidays. Luke helped us move one of our 2 trailer loads from Christchurch to Fairlie. Our old computer was bung, so we borrowed a neighbour's laptop to catch up with emails, where we found Kim Jones' Harcourts email about her Final Inspection of 5 Heath St. Harcourts choice of words sounded like a Final Solution, evil.

My 17.07.14 email response to Kim Jones Final Inspection emails:

Dear Kim,

We have been offline since moving to Fairlie.

We left 5 Heath St house, garage & garden in a clean & tidy condition.

Your 3 emails are noted. Most of your observations refer to wear & tear over our 10 year tenancy at 5 Heath St. Although you have inspected the house twice before, it is the first time you have arrived at such conclusions & email reporting.

For the record, a Harcourts man didn't arrive more than once for the first inspection. You then later on changed an inspection appointment because you were sick, then didn't keep that inspection appointment. We received no explanation for your absence despite our inconvenience. You also did not have a house key for several months to do initial inspections. You will recall me asking you at the last inspection if you had a key, you affirmed, then texted me later when I was walking on Harewood Rd asking for a key...

Recently I drove from Lake Tekapo with a key, at great inconvenience & expense as Justine Heyward [Harcourts Administrator] demanded a key, so that someone could look at windows. We have dates on record. A few days after giving Justine the key, I noted that someone had tried to get into the garage as both garage doors, which I had secured, were displaced. (Despite being attended to by Harcourts after my request when you first inspected with photos, Harcourts contractor didn't fix both garage doors properly).

Since Harcourts has managed the the property we have had weird inconveniences. Examples: 

1. A man phoned us & said Harcourts had asked him to phone us about what was needed to be fixed on the property. [What was the point of Harcourts inspections in the first place?]
2. A man arrived at our front door with ladder & liquid soap asking about window cleaning. 

When I finally gave Justine the house keys, I informed her that curtains had been cleaned  & carpets had been professionally cleaned with bathroom windows left open to remove moisture.

Our cat has been living with us at Lake Tekapo / Fairlie since February, long before we had the house carpets cleaned, so your allegations about cat urine & scratch marks are nonsense. [Check how the above cleaning contractor's invoice had morphed Kim Jones' cat urine smell in one bedroom to cat smells in 2 bedrooms & other rooms, although our cat hadn't been in the house for 5 months.]

Regarding light bulbs several lights had not worked properly for years, like in the second & third bedrooms. Like the broken gutter pipes outside bedroom 3, this was mentioned to the owners years ago. The faulty bedroom lights flickered a lot, or didn't work, even with new bulbs. [Funny how Kim Jones & Complete Home Services both call light bulbs, light globes].

On the day I left & the day before when carpets & kitchen floors were professionally cleaned, I took many photos of all rooms, garage & garden, showing  we'd left the property in a clean & tidy condition, so dispute your email inspection report entirely.

BTW we added value to the property by regularly cleaning house & garage gutters & trimming shrubs & neighbour's shrubs & trees overgrowing the garage. We also left a flowering cherry tree & daffodils in the front garden. We left prolifically fruiting lemon tree, nectarine tree & grape vine in the back garden. Years ago after the bathroom was revamped we disposed of the cast iron bath, wall debris & cabinet rubbish which the contractor had left behind. At our own expense we left 3 metal standards propping up the dilapidated garden metal fencing. At our own expense, I repaired the tree house with solid wooden bracing, as the wooden supports were weak, rotten & hazardous. (I informed the owner about this). At our own expense, I regularly did minor repairs to the house, replacing tap washers, replacing washing line & broken toilet seat, fixing window fasteners.

Mark JS Esslemont

Copies sent to [owner] Eleanor Bremner & Harcourts senior management.  

That stimulated Kim Jones to file a claim against our bond with the Tenancy Tribunal.

Breadwinner Leah's 17.07.14 letter to owners Graeme & Eleanor Bremner:

Dear Eleanor & Graeme,

Enclosed is a copy of the communication sent to Harcourts.

Over the [10.5] years we were at [5] Heath St, we felt there was a lot of goodwill and mutual respect between us. We treated it as our home and kept it as well as we could, seeing to minor repairs ourselves whenever we were able to.

Our [approx 10 months] relationship with Harcourts from the start has been stressful and sometimes upsetting. The man who initially made contact with us was abrasive over the phone. [Leah had to deal with all our phone calls as I'm profoundly deaf]. He then made appointments and either didn't turn up or arrived up to an hour late. At times I had left work early to be at home for these appointments. 

When Kim took over from him, she also made an appointment which she was too ill to attend. She sent me a text giving a changed appointment and never kept it - We were never informed why she didn't arrive. I likewise made arrangements to adjust work for this.

Over the time the property has been managed, many of our interactions with them have been unsatisfactory - When someone was sent to fix garage doors, they remained unable to be secured.

After having rent smoothly paid for many years , we were contacted about a week after they took over, saying we had rent in arrears. [Harcourts administrator, Justine Heyward]. Once more, this was distressing and I took time away from work to go to the bank, only to find that our rent had been paid. - This was why we disputed a communication from them [Justine Heyward] at the end of our stay at Heath Street, saying rent was owed. Unfortunately for us, on checking, we had made an error and then paid the final week owing. Sorry for that!

At one time I had a phone call from a man who said that Intotal at Harcourts had asked him to find out from us what things needed fixing! [Again. What was the point of Eleanor's & Kim's property inspections?]

When [2] home inspections have been done, prior to us living in Tekapo, Mark was usually at home. Since then, there appears to be an issue with a key. We were recently phoned [Justine Heyward] and asked for a house key for someone to see the windows. Mark drove to Christchurch to give them a key! [Over 400 kms return]. 

During the 9 plus years, [sic] we have made adjustments due to wear and tear. For example, replacing shower curtains, replacing the cat flap and replacing the toilet seat when it broke. We also purchased a new blind years ago because we saw one at a sale and the one in the kitchen was faulty - As we didn't like using a blind, we stored the new one and left it at the house for you. Harcourts now want to charge us to put this in place.

We understand that having left the property with property managers, you wanted someone else to deal with these things. However, you also asked us to let you know if we were unhappy. 

From our viewpoint this is the first experience we have had of property management [in NZ. In South Africa, Wakefields managed our investment, rental property in Durban]. We have spoken to friends who have been in a number of managed properties. They assure us they have always been treated with courtesy and respect by the property management people at other places who they have dealt with. This has not been our experience.


Leah and Mark Esslemont. 

No response from owners Eleanor & Graeme Bremner.

While we waited for Kim Jones' Troy Robertson's Complete Home Services invoice to arrive, I wrote a 14 page memo to Kim Jones & Justine Heyward, copied to owners Graeme & Eleanor Bremner. I titled the 04.08.14 memo: 5 Heath St , Burnside, Bond Transfer & Tenancy Ongoing Care, Repairs & Maintenance (10.5 years).

A shortened Description of 5 Heath St: On our arrival in 2004, Graeme & Eleanor's 3 bedroom rental was old, cold, damp, grubby & shabby, with peeling wallpaper & wooden windows in dire need of a coat of fresh paint. Owners junk, like concrete rubble & metal, was left in the back garden & stuffed between the garage wall & a neighbour's fence.

Front & back wooden doors, both had weak door locks. The weak back door needed a coat of paint & had a dodgy cat flap. Glass panes on the front door needed new putty. The double garage side door & main door also had weak locks.

White enamel paint peeled off scuffed, wooden skirtings in all rooms. Most of the old wall paper & ceilings were painted white or cream. One bedroom's walls were lime colour, with a ghastly aeroplane frieze. Another bedroom's walls were powder blue. There was adequate kitchen drawer & cupboard space, but the cupboard doors were either painted purple, or white, a ghastly combination. Laundry cupboard doors were also painted purple. Bedroom cupboard space was inadequate. (For 10.5 years, we stored many of our possessions in boxes in the garage).

One bedroom cupboard was covered with a maroon curtain, likewise the linen cupboard in the passage was covered with a pastel curtain. Other inadequate bedroom cupboard doors were painted yellow & powder blue, more ghastly combinations. Only 2 rooms had thermal curtains leaving a cold house. Above the kitchen sink was a faulty, filthy Venetian blind.

The house was so cold that we used our own net curtains as backing for the landlords' cheap curtains. That gave us some warmth & some privacy from snoopy neighbours. We also supplied our own net curtains for the kitchen window & wood & glass front door.

The house had no underfloor heating, or fireplace, or heat pump. The main bedroom had a wall heater below a maroon curtain, but we never used it as it was a fire hazard. The passage had a fire alarm by the linen cupboard. The lounge, passage & 3 bedrooms had blue wall to wall carpets.

The TV aerial was on the roof above a bedroom. The lounge TV jack was loose on our arrival & was replaced. One bedroom plug blew up & was replaced. Mod cons were sparse: a faulty stove which was replaced by owners after 5 years; 3 phone jacks. Only the kitchen, lounge, toilet & laundry had cheap, plastic light shades. Other rooms had bare light bulbs. Two bedrooms had faulty lights, which either flickered when switched on, or didn't light up at all. Those faulty lights were never fixed by owners during our 10.5 years tenancy.

Kitchen taps leaked & the toilet cistern pipe leaked. Wooden wall boards between toilet & laundry were loose. The toilet wall board had a dark stain where the toilet outlet pipe had leaked. That crap stain remained during our 10.5 years tenancy. Not exactly The Ritz.

Kitchen, laundry, bathroom & toilet floors were covered with pinky or blue lino. The shabby bathroom was revamped after a couple of years, but we endured contractors' noise for a week & their construction debris left in the back garden. Greedy owners gave us no rent reduction during the construction period.
Like the house, the garage had cream-coloured, aluminium cladding. The house roof had red grit, tin tiles. The garage had brown-coloured, corrugated aluminium, roof sheeting. There were 2 garden taps, one protruding from a bedroom wall into the back garden, one protruding from the kitchen wall into the front garden. The wooden postbox was on the corner of the picket fence by the driveway entrance. The garage had a broken window pane which was boarded on our arrival. One of the bedroom window panes was cracked on our arrival & was never fixed during our 10.5 years tenancy.

Behind the garage was a rickety tree house & a rickety, aluminium, garden shed which we never used. The back garden had a corrugated iron fenced enclosure for composting, with rotten, wooden fence supports & rickety metal gate. Two metal gates, at sides of the house, separated back & front gardens. On one side of the house, a gravel & cracked concrete driveway went to the garage.

On the other side of the house, a concrete slab went to wooden decking at the back door. A green nylon awning, suspended by nylon ropes, covered the back decking. During quake times, I mentioned to owner Eleanor that the ceramic drain pipe was broken below the gutter down pipe going under the decking. True to form Eleanor said nothing. I thought a lot of storm water drained under the decking into the front garden, which was evergreen. Every spring & summer I trimmed shoots growing through the decking. Flax, rose bushes & a camellia shrub in front of the decking fence grew prolifically during our tenancy, requiring annual pruning. Never mind flax fibres ruining my electric mower blade when I mowed the front lawn. The ceramic drain pipe wasn't fixed during our tenancy.

Like the paint peeling windows, gutter down pipes peeled white enamel paint. The shabby house was never painted during out 10.5 years tenancy. One of the gutter down pipes was broken on our arrival, held together with electrical tape & for most of our tenancy lay on the concrete slab near the back decking. Owners didn't fix it despite Eleanor's inspections over the years.

Back yard fencing painted brown, needed a fresh coat of paint. Front yard picket fencing was OK, painted red. When we arrived in 2004, the garden was dessicated with dry, brown grass. The garden was filled with trees & shrubs, needing regular trimming & pruning.

5 Heath St house was badly designed, as a snoopy neighbour's back door & kitchen window overlooked 5 Heath Street's decking, back door, laundry, toilet & bathroom windows. Privacy of sorts was provided by a low wooden fence, the awning & a camellia bush growing in front of the bathroom window. The camellia bush was a fast grower & had to be pruned several times a year.

On an early visit by us to the property, before we tenanted, owner Graeme was weeding the gravel driveway & Eleanor was fretting about Korean tenants not telling her water was pouring from a laundry wall pipe onto the back decking. Those early impressions showed us that the house & garden were high maintenance.

Over our 10.5 years tenancy we paid Graeme & Eleanor Bremner over $142 000 rent.

If the reader made a list from the above 2004 property description, about all the early faults in the shabby house we rented from Graeme & Eleanor, the reader will understand how outraged we are receiving cleaning slurs from Harcourts. True to form, owners Eleanor & Graeme remained passive & indifferent through the whole Tribunal farrago.

Some extracts from my memo:


There were 2 rent increases by owners during the inflated rental market, caused by earthquakes 2010-2013. We paid good money for a small, old, cold, shabby house.

Recent property management by Harcourts just inflated our rent more.

When first asking for a rent increase owners' 14.04.12 letter stated, "We very much respect that you are very reliable tenants & we certainly hope that this does not affect your decision to continue your rental with us..." The second rent increase was mismanaged by Harcourts.

Prior to Kim Jones' Final Inspection, after we left 5 Heath St on 24.06.14, Justine Heyward had posted us a letter dated 03.06.14, acknowledging our tenancy ending on 27.06.14 & included a Final Inspection Guide list, which didn't mention anything about cleaning ceilings, light fittings or light bulb replacement, which were referred to in Kim's Final Inspection email, dated 02.07.14. We cleaned & tidied everything according to Justine's Final Inspection Guide list, as we'd received no formal guidance from Kim about cleaning.

After Kim's 2 inspections on Nov 2013 (approx 15 minutes, late afternoon, "The house is good") and May 2014 (approx 45 minutes) Kim did not send us any written reports nor guidance, about her 2 inspections, so we had no idea of Kim's inspection requirements, nor standards. Neither did Kim verbally, by text, or phone give us any negative feedback regarding her 2 inspections. Prior to Kim's final inspection, suffice to say at Kim's initial form-signing visit to 5 Heath St on 18.08.13, Kim said she wanted the toilet well cleaned, which we obviously did.

My wife Leah could not attend Kim's Nov 2013 & May 2014 inspections as she is breadwinner. But I made myself available to Kim at both her inspections. In hindsight, I now know Kim didn't have a workable house key for 5 Heath St. Without our tenants' presence how did Kim think she could do any house inspections at 5 Heath St, when Kim knew she didn't have a workable key for 10 months?

[And why didn't Kim ask the owners for a workable house key?]

Kim will recall on her May 2014 inspection, before I left the house for a walk to Papanui ANZ bank (my car was being serviced that day) I asked Kim twice whether she had a key to lock up when her inspection was complete. She affirmed, but about half an hour later when I was walking on Harewood Rd, Kim texted me asking for a house key, as her's didn't lock the house front door. (Kim actually wanted me to stop my business & return to lock the house while she waited for me!) I texted Kim to close the door & go, which she did. After I returned to 5 Heath St I texted Kim saying the  house was OK. Kim replied, relieved, saying she was "very worried." That text conversation can be retrieved by telecom.

Kim will recall on 04.06.14 that Justine phoned my wife at Lake Tekapo, demanding a house key for someone to see windows at 5 Heath St. Why didn't Justine demand a house key from the owners who lived closer to Christchurch? I drove over 200 kms from Lake Tekapo to Christchurch to give a house key to Justine on 05.06.14. Justine made a copy of the key. I'm still waiting for a key receipt. 

Days later, on one of my weekly trips from Lake Tekapo to Christchurch, I found that someone had tried to enter the garage, as both side & main door were displaced - securing stone & bricks, concrete & iron pipe were displaced. The side door wasn't closed properly.

As Harcourts property management of 5 Heath St was only in the last 10 months of our tenancy, Kim Jones could not possibly know all the improvements, repairs & maintenance we did to the house, garage & garden, using our own labour, money, tools & expertise. Before arriving in NZ, we owned several properties in South Africa & looked after 5 Heath St as if it was our own. Of course owners Graeme & Eleanor Bremner knew that, but used Harcourts to lose our goodwill. 

After owner Eleanor brought a Harcourts man on an early inspection, she asked both Leah & myself, separately, if we could dob in Harcourts if we were unhappy with Harcourts. We felt manipulated between owners & Harcourts. We only informed the owners about our Harcourts grievances in a letter dated 17.07.14 [above] after we received Kim's Final Inspection email.

After our departure from 5 Heath St, Kim emailed her Final Inspection cleaning list to us, dated 02.07.14, a concocted list of cleaning allegations, cherry-picked by Kim to steal our bond money, to enrich Harcourts appointed contractor, Complete Home Services. Kim did not give us the opportunity to remedy her Final Inspection list. That is corrupt.

Before leaving 5 Heath St on 24.06.14, I took many photos of the clean & tidy condition we left the house, garage & garden. In fact for the last 5 months of our tenancy, since Leah & I moved to Lake Tekapo in February, I commuted from Lake Tekapo to 5 Heath St, on average once a week & stayed there 1-3 days at a time. I mentioned this to Kim during her May 2014 inspection. My  purpose was to relocate our possessions from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo. So whenever I moved any of our possessions at 5 Heath St, furniture, etc, I did frequent cleaning - dusting of walls, skirtings, window panes & window sills, cleaning carpets, cleaning bath & basin & shower area, cleaning toilet, cleaning sinks & garage, etc. I also did frequent gardening & tidying of the garden & garage. Whenever Leah returned to Christchurch to lecture, she did the same. So before our departure on 24.06.14, ongoing cleaning & tidying of house, garage & garden had happened for 5 months. prior to Kim's Final Inspection.  

Example of our cleaning care: About 2 months before we left, after cleaning out linen & bedroom cupboards, I placed sprigs of lavender from the garden into each cupboard, including a kitchen cupboard, to freshen up the cupboards. We removed the lavender before we left. 

When we were at Lake Tekapo, friendly neighbours kept an eye on 5 Heath St, collected our post & returned Council bins back to the garden after Friday refuse collections.

Despite our son Luke being blasted out of his girlfriend's house in a recent storm, roof partly blown away at New Brighton, our sons did not stay at 5 Heath St during our Lake Tekapo sojourn. (We'd asked Eleanor if Luke & girlfriend could stay at 5 Heath St, but declined Eleanor's offer for them to stay). Our sons rented elsewhere.

My photos show we left 5 Heath St in an exceptionally clean & tidy condition. Our cleaning repairs, maintenance & care of the property over 10.5 years went way beyond mere calling the owners to come & do repairs. We did minor repairs & maintenance ourselves, at our own cost. If we'd called the owners for every little thing that was wrong with their property they would've had to travel to Christchurch much more over the years.


The following house repairs & maintenance, some done by us & some done by owners & their contractors, gives an idea of the dilapidated, shabby state of the rental we lived in for 10.5 years.

... [Regarding the above mentioned water pouring from the laundry wall pipe onto the back decking, the flooding was] soon fixed by owners, but over the years water stains appeared on the kitchen ceiling, despite patch painting done by owners after that flooding repair.

Need for house & window painting already described. We regularly dusted loose enamel paint flakes from window sills during our 10.5 years' tenancy. Sunlight aggravated the window sill paint peeling & paint flake problem, causing cracking of window sill paint & more dust. (What toxic lead poisoning did we inhale from that loose paint over the years?) But the owners knew about that & Kim would've seen that hazardous paint dust during her inspections.

We endured 2 EQC inspections with owner Eleanor present at 5 Heath St. It would be interesting to know EQC payouts to the owners?

In 2004 on our arrival at 5 Heath St, wooden boards covered the garage, broken window pane. After a while a board rotted causing rain to puddle the garage. I replaced it with another board, then later repaired the window gap with corrugated iron found amongst junk by the garage. That stopped water damage to the garage interior. Years later when owner Eleanor asked about the iron sheet, I told her why I'd repaired the broken window gap. Owners seemed content to leave my repair as is. 

[On one of Eleanor's later inspections she again asked what happened to the garage window? I though she was going senile, as she'd inspected the house, garage & garden many times over the years. Whenever she came, I told her the garage was open for her to look. I explained once more].

At Kim's Nov 2013 inspection I asked Harcourts to repair the glass pane, which Harcourts did. In other words that garage window didn't have a glass pane for at least 10 years.

Worn garage door locks & latches: Both garage side door & main door blew open during the Sept 2013 gale, which blew down oak trees in nearby Guildford St & blew down birch trees in nearby Greers Rd & Clyde Rd. The gale finished off the garage worn door locks. At Kim's Nov 2013 inspection I asked for Harcourts to repair the worn locks. A Harcourts contractor tightened screws which soon loosened. Thereafter, till the end of our tenancy I secured the garage doors with barrow, bricks, stones, concrete & an iron pole. So much for Harcourts appointed contractor repairs!

During autumns & winters, as there were no mod cons in the house, like heat pump, heating or log burner, we had to daily open windows & wipe condensation off window panes to stop unhealthy mould growth, wood rot & curtain rot. All users.

Aluminium & perspex wind vane made by [son] Jake - left above garage main door. 

Years ago, as the garage main door wasn't opening & closing properly, after our request, owner Graeme fixed rivets on both sides of the garage main door.

Wooden letter box & front wooden picket fence was fire-bombed late one Guy Fawkes night early in our tenancy. If I hadn't seen & extinguished the blaze, the fire could've had serious consequences, as the picket fence was connected to other wooden fences, connected to the back decking & house. My family was asleep in the house at the time. Owners covered cost of a new metal letterbox & red paint for the fence. I installed the letterbox & painted the scorched fence. We left a bucket of red paint in the garage. We also left a "No Advertising Material" aluminium sticker on the letterbox to foil junk mailers. That sticker stopped most junk mail.

Leaky kitchen taps were replaced by owners' contractor after our request.

Leaky toilet cistern pipe was replaced by owners' contractor, after our request. He didn't put in the washer, leaving a worse leak than the old pipe. Our son Luke installed the washer to stop the leak. (I informed owner Eleanor about this).

Replaced worn tap washers when needed - Mark.

Replaced worn & broken, white toilet seat - Leah.

Fastened loose window catches when needed - Leah.

Fastened loose, white plastic & wood door knobs on kitchen cupboard doors & drawers when needed. Several were loose on our arrival - Mark, Luke.

Worn upper door lock on front door, caused door to not lock properly. After discussion with owner Eleanor we started to use the lower door lock & key. In hindsight, I guess Eleanor gave Harcourts the upper door lock key, hence key hassles for Harcourts & us.

When the back door swelled after rains & tilted, it caused the door & lock to stick. I planed the wooden threshold to ease opening & closing of the door. I also installed a top bolt on the inside of the door to ease strain on the door lock. I removed the bolt when we left. Kim would've noticed that top bolt during her inspections. 

After our requests, owners replaced faulty electric wall plugs in lounge & bedroom 3.

Painted the tree house powder blue, installed a carpet & an orange, plastic curtain door - Luke, friend & Leah.

As the tree house was hazardous due to rotten & weak wood piles & bracing we installed stronger wood bracing & piles below the tree house - Mark, Luke. (I later informed owner Eleanor about this).

Replaced worn cat flap on back door 2  months before we left. The new cat flap was never used by our cat - Mark.

Replaced worn washing line - Leah, Mark.

Strengthened wood supports of rickety metal gate on corrugated iron fence in back garden. After wood fence supports rotted, I replaced them with iron standards to stop the fence collapsing - Mark.

After snow storms snapped nylon ropes supporting the green, nylon awning above the back decking, we replaced the nylon ropes. After several breakages, we placed the Council refuse bins under the awning during snow storms, to preserve the ropes & awning. The bins supported the snow tonnage - All users.

Hoovered wall to wall carpets regularly (own Tellus machine) - All users.

Cleaned kitchen & laundry sinks daily - All users. 

Revamp of bathroom by owners mentioned above. Cleaned bathroom plastic bath, basin & shower walls daily. All users. During inspections Kim would've noticed our cleaning cloth over the shower curtain rail. Kim would also have noticed there was no bath soap dish. [Had to supply our own soap dish!] The shower, plastic soap dish in the wall corner was regularly cleaned by me, even underneath - Mark.  

Replaced old, blue, plastic, shower curtain with new, green, plastic, shower curtain before we left - Leah. Over the years we replaced 2 shower curtains due to wear & tear. 

Replaced old, worn, blue curtain with new, blue curtain & white thermal backing in bedroom 3 - Leah.

Stove was regularly cleaned inside & out - Leah, Mark. After our reporting old stove faults, the owners replaced the stove about 5+ years ago (Mentioned above). Kitchen floor boards are weak & wonky below the stove, due to age of the house & wear & tear. If Kim had issues about our regular stove cleaning, she didn't speak up during or after her Nov 2013 & May 2014 inspections.

During early days of our tenancy we bought a new Venetian blind for the kitchen, as the old one was faulty & filthy. As we preferred net curtains above the kitchen sink, we stored & left the new Venetian blind for the owners / new tenants. Now Kim wants to steal our bond money to install the new Venetian blind.  

Regularly swept & mopped kitchen, laundry, toilet & bathroom floors with disinfectant & cleaning liquids - Leah, Mark.

Regularly cleaned toilet. All users. Used Bloo Loo to sanitize cistern water.

All curtains were cleaned & dried at a professional laundry in the CBD a week before we left. All curtains were rehung - Mark.

All blue, wall to wall carpets were professionally cleaned on 23.06.14, the day before we left. (Receipt copy available on request) - Mark.

Near the end of our tenancy, electricity went off in the garage, caused by a storm. We didn't tell Harcourts, as we'd lost confidence in Harcourts' reliability. If we intended staying at 5 Heath St, it would've been easier to pay our own electrician to fix the garage electricity, instead of dealing with unreliable Harcourts.

3 days before end of our tenancy, on 24.06.14, when I handed house & garage keys to Justine at Harcourts, Hornby office, I informed her the following:
* House clean & tidy.

* Keys handed in to Justine - house, 3 front door, 2 back door; garage, 3 main door, 3 side door. Justine will also have the key copy she made after her demand for a key for someone to see windows. We didn't ask owners for refunds for several duplicate keys we made. Justine didn't supply a receipt for keys.
* Curtains cleaned last week.
* Carpets professionally cleaned yesterday. Left bathroom high windows open to remove wet carpet moisture. (If Justine listened, she could've told Kim the carpets were professionally cleaned).
* Water meter turned off & water pipes drained to stop freezing water damage to pipes.
* Electricity switched off & electricity meter reading noted.

Justine gave me a receipt for part payment of our last rent. Once we realized our mistake about the disputed last week's rent we promptly paid by posted cheque. It was the only time in our 10.5 years tenancy that rent wasn't paid timeously.

I then supplied a list of labour, materials & tools we hadn't invoiced the owners, so far.

5 HEATH STREET GARDEN IMPROVEMENTS & MAINTENANCE DURING OUR 10.5 YEARS TENANCY. Our expense, labour & tools - mainly done by Mark.

In 2004 at start of our tenancy, owner Eleanor said she wanted the front garden clean & tidy, but didn't mind what we did in the back garden.

Gardening was a huge job over the years, using our expertise, electric mower & garden tools, which are now worn out, depreciated & need replacement. Some like rake, lopper, spade, garden fork, were stolen & replaced by us some years ago. 

* Weeded & mowed front & back lawns when needed, using own electric Wolf mower.
* Mowed & trimmed grass verge when needed.
* Trimmed & weeded driveway edges when needed, especially by fences.
* Trimmed grass edging around house, garage & compost fencing when needed.
* Weeded & trimmed grass around flower beds & vege beds when needed.
* Trimmed & pruned shrubs & trees when needed: 1 azalea; 3 pittosporums (fast growers, 1 needed frequent pruning below telecom & electricity overhead cables. Neighbours' tree by the driveway entrance needed regular pruning for the same reason) 1 flax; 3 hebes; 2 deciduous flowering cherries (1 planting, gift from a neighbour) 2 camellias; 1 daphne; 1 St Johns wort (frequent pruning needed as it is close to the letterbox) 1 choisya; 8 deciduous rose bushes (2 died) 1 deciduous plum tree (prolific fruiter & leaf litterer) 1 sage (died) 1 lavender planting; 1 deciduous lemon verbena planting; 1 lemon tree planting (family gift) 1 deciduous grape vine planting; 1 deciduous nectarine planting; mint planting; 3 deciduous ferns.
* All deciduous trees & shrubs needed much leaf litter disposal. 
* One neighbour's sycamore maple - recently axed - was a prolific windblown seeder. I weeded 1000s of sycamore seedlings over the years. His deciduous sorbus tree also sent much windblown red berries & leaves into the garden, requiring my disposal. I pruned overhanging branches from the neighbour's sycamore when needed.
* Another neighbour's sycamore branches overhung the driveway & roof above the front door. It needed frequent pruning over the years of our tenancy to stop car, roof & gutter damage. [After Chinese neighbours sold the house & the house was vacant, I axed most of the sycamore pest by the driveway]. Later Indian neighbours pruned that sycamore.
* Never mind autumn raking & disposal of windblown oak leaves blown into the garden from Guildford St.
* Trimmed numerous shoots from neighbour's trees growing through the back decking.
* Disposed of tons of garden refuse, either by using Council green bin, or mainly composting in the back garden. I left approx 10 cubic metres of rich compost in the back garden, vege beds, filled with seed potatoes & pumpkin seeds for the owners / next tenants. Compost was enriched by our kitchen organic waste, occasional kelp & horse dung additions (Leah) & commercial compost.
* Disposal of fallen plum tree branches after the Sept 2013 gale.
* Disposal of rusted, half iron trellis for front garden, pink climbing rose (needed frequent pruning).
* Repaired driveway ruts, which formed puddles after rains. Added soil or shingle as needed. During Kim's Nov 2013 inspection, I pointed out bits of broken concrete driveway close to a gutter down pipe, as I was concerned gutter rainfall flows would undermine the driveway & house below overhead telecom & electricity cables.
* Put small stones at bottom of gutter down pipes to stop mud.
* On our arrival in 2004 there was lots of junk in the back garden: a heap of concrete rubble; wood; car tyres; metal; bricks; polystyrene wall panels. We disposed of some. The rest is still beside the garage by a neighbour's fence. We lived with the owners' junk for over 10 years. Never mind the visual pollution of a hoarder, neighbour's junk on his shed roof, which stayed in situ for rover 10 years, despite my complaint to him.
* Soon after our arrival in 2004, I put concrete rubble slabs by the garage main door to ease car entry, as the garage concrete floor was above soil level. The concrete slabs also stopped car tyres bringing mud into the garage. I informed owner Eleanor of this.
* Swept the garage floor daily.
* Soon after our arrival, I rearranged the concrete rubble heap as flagstones beside the tree house, to stop mud caused by neighbour's overhanging trees.
* Watered garden when needed... Garden grass was always green after our care. Grass cutting mulch & composting helped.
* Cleaned decomposing leaf litter & sycamore seedling debris from house & garage gutters when needed - bucket loads of decomposing, organic debris at a time. If I hadn't done that there would be much more rust & damage to the gutters now.
* Garden plantings, as mentioned above. Our own expense, labour, tools:
* Mint planted by house back wall - Leah.
* Daffodil bulbs planted below flowering cherry in front garden corner - Mark. 
* Crocosmia corms planted in some front & back garden flower beds - Mark.
*  Seed potatoes & pumpkin seeds left in the back garden composted, vege beds (approx 10 cubic metres of compost left) - Mark.
* Ornamental cherry tree, neighbour's gift, planted by front garden fence - Mark.
* Lemon verbena bush & lavender bush plantings, latter planted from a cutting brought from Halswell by Leah. Replaced dead sage bush in back garden. During Kim's May 2014 inspection, she remarked on the lavender bush, but made no comment about the beautiful grass tufts alongside. Now Kim wants to steal our bond money for an appointed contractor to remove the grass!
* Nectarine tree, prolific fruiter, in back garden, planted from seed by Leah. The nectarine tree was planted in a raised flower bed, which former tenants had used as a grass cutting dump.
* Grape vine on back fence, prolific fruiter, planted from seed by Leah.
* Lemon tree, family gift, prolific fruiter, planted behind garage by Leah.
* We also planted an apple tree & an orange tree, but axed them as they were fruitless.

Our gardening care, expertise & labour added value to the property for the owners.

I then supplied another list of labour, materials & tools we hadn't invoiced the owners. Not yet.


What is happening about our bond transfer?

No response from owners Graeme & Eleanor Bremner.

Only after receiving this memo did Kim Jones wake up & email us Complete Home Services invoice, as compared by me with Kim Jones Final Inspection list above. This email exchange followed:

Kim Jones 07.08.14 email:

Please find attached cleaning charge.
Please advise, do you accept this to be deducted from your bond, or do you wish to have this heard at the Tenancy Tribunal? 

[This was the first time Kim Jones ever mentioned a Tenancy Tribunal to us, only after we'd left 5 Heath St of course. Harcourts has obviously got away with this bond scam before. A willful setup, where despicable scammers use the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 to bait, by inspection omissions & hook tenants, after Final Inspections, into bond scams, processed by Harcourts & the Tenancy Tribunal].

Bond held at Bond Centre is $510
The cleaning account $536.00 [Similarity between bond & Complete Home Services invoice is too good to be true!] 
A balance of $26.00 

Please advise

Kind regards, [Huh?]

Kim Jones - Property Manager

Intotal Property Management

Our email response, 08.08.14:

In response to your email:

We do not accept that the charges be deducted from our bond. We want this to be heard at the tenancy tribunal...

After more emails, I asked to see with my own eyes what cleaning was done by Complete Home Services at 5 Heath St.

Kim Jones' 10.08.14 email response:

We are not in a position to allow you access into or even onto the property (5 Heath St). There is a new tenant now living in the home, so access is now out of the question.

Regards Kim.

There's an Afrikaans saying summing this up: "n Huis agent is laer as kreef kak. A house agent is lower than crayfish crap." 

My 12.08.14 email response: 

It is noted:

1. After your 2 inspections at 5 Heath St, in Nov 2013 & May 2014, you gave us no negative feedback regarding our house cleaning or gardening.

2. Harcourts Final Inspection Guide list, posted to us by Justine Heyward, doesn't mention changing light bulbs, cleaning fly spot from ceilings, nor cleaning light shades. As mentioned before, we stuck strictly to that guide list while cleaning before we left 5 Heath St. Most of our cleaning was progressively done in the 5 months before we vacated 5 Heath St, while I returned weekly from Lake Tekapo to Christchurch to relocate our possessions. 

3. You allowed us no opportunity to remedy your dubious Final Inspection report.

4. You have disallowed us inspecting the so-called cleaning done by your cleaner, who invoiced Harcourts for what we already did - cleaning all drawers, & cupboards, all floors & carpets, all curtains, all walls, all window sills, all switches & plugs, stove, bathroom. That you have stopped us seeing what your cleaner did at 5 Heath St is a travesty. That includes your cleaner bleaching carpets, after our professional cleaner had already cleaned all carpets on 23.06.14. Your cleaner's cleaning bed board marks is laughable as there were none.

You & your cleaner referring to cat smells is also laughable, as our cat was with us at Lake Tekapo since February 2014 & you would've noticed a brand new, locked, cat flap on the back door during your May 2014 inspection. You would've also noticed we'd already relocated most of our possessions & there were no cat smells. It's ridiculous that after we left on 24.06.14 you & your cleaner come up with cat smells to charge our bond $120 for cleaning cat smells.  

Funnier still, your Final Inspection report incorrectly spells bathroom soap as soup. Likewise your cleaner's invoice also incorrectly spells bathroom soap as soup. I can assure you your cleaner, we Esslemonts never consumed soup in 5 Heath St bathroom, nor left soup on the bathroom walls.

5. Your cleaner's invoice is vague & not detailed. I have no idea what your cleaner means in the invoice regarding, "etc, etc... suspect..." 

It looks to me your cleaner knew our bond was $510 & invoiced Harcourts accordingly. 

6. Your excuse about a current tenant preventing you allowing us access to inspect your cleaner's dubious cleaning is a cover-up, to rip us off more than 2 weeks rent signified by our $510 bond.

On Monday 11.08.14, I checked out your cleaner's premises at 23 Kirner St, Burwood. It's a quake damaged house & junk yard: heaps of old car tyres & old white ware in the front yard, furniture junk on the front decking, mattrasses stored behind a ranch slider door. The filthy state of the Kirner St premises doesn't give me confidence your cleaner did much cleaning at 5 Heath St.

That Monday, I also looked at 5 Heath St from the pavement: Daffodils I'd planted in the front garden were in bloom. Our new Venetian blind was hanging on a kitchen window. Gutter down pipes were still flaking white enamel paint. Wooden windows were still peeling white paint. Someone had sprayed Roundup on driveway weeds & by the garage door. Above the garage, Graeme & Eleanor Bremner still kept Jake's wind vane flying. Our "No Advertising Material" sign was still on the letterbox. Graeme & Eleanor Bremner expediently kept our "free" improvements to their property.

Along the still rutted driveway, there were empty ceramic pots for pot plants & to cover Roundup yellowing. Next to the pots, Bremners had installed a new heat pump, which our rent had paid for. Like the stove, the heat pump would be depreciating tax write offs for Bremners for years. Pity Bremners hadn't the grace to install the new heat pump during our 10.5 years' tenancy. Their indifference left us cleaning condensation off their windows every autumn & winter in their cold, damp and shabby house. Never mind during our 10.5 years' tenancy our electrical heating bills doubled during winter months. The new heat pump would be inefficient, as Bremners needed to install double glazing on bedroom, lounge, diningroom, kitchen, laundry windows & front & back door windows. Thermal curtains were needed in the main bedroom, lounge & diningroom too.

Thereafter parasitic bureaucrats from the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) got involved. Jessica Lovell, case coordinator, 14.08.14 emailed us from Hamilton, inquiring if I wanted a sign language interpreter for the Tribunal hearing (an oxymoron). We told her I needed a loop system at the hearing for my hearing aid, as I didn't sign. When we asked for mediation, Jessica 18.08.14 emailed the following:

I have been in contact with the property manager and they have advised that they would prefer for the application to continue onto a hearing in the Tenancy Tribunal to get a ruling from an adjudicator therefore mediation cannot be attempted.

The hearing will take place on 27th August 2014 at 12.20pm and I will make the request to the Tribunal for the loop system to be arranged.

Via the MBIE, we then received by post, Harcourts paperwork for the Tribunal Hearing. In the end Leah & I decided not to go to the Tribunal Hearing & I emailed Jessica Lovell the following on 24.08.14:

We will not attend the Tenancy Tribunal Hearing at Orchard Rd, Harewood, Christchurch, 27.08.14, 12.20pm, as the the Tribunal will be too costly for us: Travel, over 200 km Fairlie - Christchurch return; Overnight accommodation in Christchurch; Paperwork; Photos; Stress due to my profound deafness in a Tribunal Hearing; Breadwinner wife having to take time off teaching at Lake Tekapo School to attend the Tribunal Hearing.

I will post you a file of emails & letters which Harcourts has obviously not forwarded to you. It covers all that needs to be said by us.

In a copy of Harcourts tribunal application, forwarded to us by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, Harcourts administrator Jessica Heyward's lie is offensive: "** Please note tenant is deaf and has requested a deaf signer.**"

I did not request a deaf signer. I do not deaf sign. I know no deaf sign language.

Given Justine Heyward's lie & the discrepancies between her house Final Inspection Guide list, property manager Kim Jones' Final Inspection cleaning list & Harcourts appointed cleaning contractor's invoice, we doubt Harcourts property management credibility.

Despite Kim Jones's 2 inspections at 5 Heath St, prior to her Final Inspection, Kim never gave us any negative feedback about our cleaning, repairs & maintenance, or gardening, after her 2 inspections.  

Only after we'd left 5 Heath St did Kim Jones email us her Final Inspection report. Which was the basis for Harcourts claim against our bond. 

Kim Jones / Harcourts did not offer us the opportunity to remedy her Final Inspection list, nor the opportunity for mediation...

Given our extremely negative experiences with Harcourts, our migrant friends, who are tenants, will be insisting on being present at Harcourts Final Inspections.

Leah posted the following to the Tenancy Tribunal on 24.08.14: 

We lived at 5 Heath St for more than 10 years and had a good relationship with the owners based on mutual respect and goodwill. In a letter written on 14 April 2012 informing us of a rent increase the owners stated, "We very much respect that you are very reliable and respectful tenants and we certainly hope this does not affect your decision to continue rental with us." (Appendix A - Letter from house owner).

[Golden goose Leah laid weekly eggs in a shabby house. Leah's teaching salary mostly went on paying the rent. WINZ also gave us a weekly accommodation supplement, so Graeme & Eleanor's shabby property was subsidized by NZ taxpayers! Only after our departure for Lake Tekapo & Fairlie did Leah's salary increase, our Fairlie rent dropped & we were able to dispense with WINZ accommodation supplement.]

Harcourts took over the  management of this property in August 2013. This is the first time we ever lived in a house managed by a property manager. We had two house inspections prior to the final house inspection. No negative feedback about our maintenance was ever given to us during our entire tenancy.

When the keys were handed in on Tuesday 24 June, a window was left open to assist in drying the carpets which had been cleaned on Monday 23 June. (Appendix B - carpet cleaning receipt). There were no cat smells in the house at this time. Since February our cat has been living in temporary accommodation with us while working at Lake Tekapo.

When we were emailed by Harcourts on 1 and 2 July with feedback on the final house inspection, we were informed that, "The following items have been noted as not being completed. These items are to be remedied, we are appointing our tradespeople to attend to these, and the cost for this will be sort from your bond." (Appendix C - email from Harcourts). This gave us no opportunity to remedy these items. Neither did they allow mediation which we requested. It appears to be procedurally unfair. 

When we received the invoice for the cleaning organized by Harcourts, there was a significant discrepancy between the items listed after the final inspection and the items invoiced with an increase in the number of items dealt with. (Appendix D - items stated as incomplete by Harcourts. Appendix E - items re-cleaned by their appointed tradesmen). Once more this appears to be procedurally unfair. We were given no chance to check this work which our money is being used for.

We have chosen not to attend the hearing for the following reasons:

- Inequality and stress for my husband who has profound hearing loss and would be excluded from much of the proceedings, even with a loop system in place.
- Costs including travel from our home in Fairlie, loss of earning for the day off work. 

Adjudication is unfair & structurally violent (most emails we received from MBIE were anonymous). The Tenancy Tribunal is a NZ govt set up, siding with landlords to steal bond money from tenants. We were given no opportunity to resolve a simple problem with Harcourts - no opportunity to clean up Harcourts dubious allegations, no opportunity to see Harcourts, Troy Robertson's Complete Home Services dubious cleaning, no mediation. Yet Harcourts wanted to steal all our bond money & more for their dubious cleaning. It left us with a dim view of Harcourts & our former landlords, who stayed silent throughout, despite us posting them copies of communications we had with Harcourts.

An anonymous 24.06.14 MBIE email stated: The Tenancy Tribunal can make a decision even if you do not attend the hearing. Decisions of the Tenancy Tribunal are a public record and will be posted online.

Thanks to Harcourts Kim Jones & landlords Eleanor & Graeme Bremner.

28.08.14, I posted the landlords the following:

...Dear Eleanor & Graeme Bremner,


Harcourts recent application to the Tenancy Tribunal to clean out our bond money and more at the end of our tenancy at 5 Heath Street, caused us to evaluate hidden costs we absorbed during our tenancy. 

Neither Harcourts nor you as landlords have acknowledged our hidden costs. Of course you have benefited from all our care, maintenance & gardening at 5 Heath Street during our tenancy.

Enclosed is our Invoice for some of our hidden costs at 5 Heath Street. Please pay by bank guaranteed cheque posted to the above address...

5 HEATH STREET, Mark & Leah Esslemont's INVOICE for some HIDDEN COSTS incurred during our 10.5 years' tenancy - January 2004 - June 2014

We did lots of ongoing cleaning, replacements of worn items, repairs & maintenance of house & garage & gardening during our 10.5 years tenancy. This has not been acknowledged by Harcourts nor owners Graeme & Eleanor Bremner.

We are NOT CLAIMING for the following:

* House repair & maintenance tools.
* Timber used for repairing piles & bracing for the unsafe tree house.
* Paint, carpet & plastic curtain for the tree house revamp.
* Timber used for installing a new letterbox after a Guy Fawkes firebombing.
* Our electrician's repairs to the new stove, due to faulty heating of stove plates & faulty stove door liners.
* Some plants we left in the garden, like lemon verbena, grape vine, lemon balm, peppermint, daffodils, crocosmia.
* Garden fork & garden spade stolen from us & replaced by us.
* Cleaning chemicals, cloths, Aqua Lazer steam mop & Tellus carpet cleaning machine.
* Small mats by back & front doors to stop mud in the house.
* Part disposal of junk left by owners at start of our tenancy, like concrete rubble & metal.
* Part disposal of contractors' debris left after owners' bathroom revamp.
* Window cleaning, especially condensation in autumn & winter, 12 lots of house windows at a time.
* Verge mowing & lawn mowing.
* Weeding the garden.
* Trimming, shearing & pruning of grass edges, shrubs & trees & pruning of neighbours' overhanging trees.
* Watering the garden.
* Maintenance of muddy, rutted driveway.
* Garage interior cleaning.
* Wind vane made by our son, left on top of garage.
* Petrol expenses while shopping for house or garden repair & maintenance items.
* Electricity expenses for power machines like Wolf mower & Tellus carpet cleaner.
* Many light bulb replacements.

WE ARE CLAIMING for the following repairs & maintenance, replacements & improvements, especially gardening, we did over the years. Our house cleaning & gardening tools & machinery are worn out after 10.5 years tenancy at 5 Heath St.

Current prices & quotes were obtained from the following sources...

INVOICE  for labour, materials, machines & tools at 5 Heath St during our 10.5 years tenancy, Mark & Leah Esslemont

INVOICE [Individual Quantity, Price & Total not blogged]


* Composted garden refuse left in vegetable beds, 10 cubic metres...
* Seed potatoes left in compost, mainly Van Rosa, 1 kg bags... 
* Pumpkin seeds left in compost, approx 2 pkts...
* Garage & house gutter cleaning (High ladder, roof hazards)...
* House & garage key duplicates...
* Petrol, Lake Tekapo to Chch return, house key required by Harcourts...
* Cleaning, drying & re-hanging of all curtains (Gloucester St laundry)...
* ALL CLEAN professional carpet cleaning, wall to wall carpets, 23.06.14...
* Pad bolt, 150 mm x 10 mm, for back door...  
* Dixine washers for tap repairs...
* Brass screws (Drawers, cupboards, windows, letterbox repairs)...
*  White plastic toilet seat (Sapphire Universal) replacement...
* 4 Way Cat Flap replacement, back door...
* Tellus bags for Tellus carpet cleaner machine (pack of 5)...
* Shower curtain, 2, lounge wall gap, 1, bathroom replacement...
* Blue thermal curtain replacement (DIY Swirl) bedroom 3...
* Venetian blind (Windoware) replacement for kitchen blind..
* Sponge mop (Mopamatic) for kitchen, laundry, toilet, bathroom...
* Mopamatic sponge refills...
* Mopamatic plastic bucket...
* House broom... 
* Plastic dust pan & brush set...
* Large garage broom (Old house brooms recycled to garage)...
* Toilet force plunger, large cup...
* Scrubbing brush...
* Coir mat, front & back door...
* Letterbox aluminium sticker, No Advertising Material...
* Clothes line replacement, 70 m...
* Polypropylene rope, 4 mm d x 12 m, for broken awning repairs...
* Worx electric mower (Our Wolf electric mower is worn out!)...
* Long handle shovel (Stanley)...
* Leaf rake...
* Lopper (Fiskars)...
* Bow saw (Bahco Force)...
* Garden shears (Bahco)...
* Aluminium extension ladder, 1.8 m - 3.2 m...
* Axe (Atlas Trade)...
* Garden hose, 1.8 m x 12 mm (Gardena)...
* Hose fittings pack (nozzle, tap nut, connectors)...
* Wheelbarrow (Constructor)...
* 100 litre plastic storage bin...
* Secateurs...
* Hand trowel (Joseph Bentley)...
* Hand fork (McGregors)...
* Common thyme, Thymus vulgarus...
* Flowering cherry, Prunus shmidisu sakura...
* Lavender, Lavendula dentata...
* Lemon (Mayer)...
* Nectarine (Theo Ching)...
* Mint...

TOTAL   $4226.41

No response from owners Graeme & Eleanor Bremner.

31.08.14. We received an email from Harcourts, Justine Heyward with an attachment from the Tenancy Tribunal justifying Harcourts stealing our $510 bond via Harcourts cleaning scam & we also owed Harcourts an extra $46.44.

Justine's blackmail: The amount is due immediately. Failure to make payment within 7 days will result in further action to recover the debt. This will also incur further charges for collecting the debt...

IMPORTANT: No further correspondence will be entered into regarding the content or outcome of the order. This includes the owner of the property, any staff member of Intotal Property Management and any contractor engaged by us...

Moral: Don't deal with Harcourts Intotal Property Management, as my interactions, related above, proved them to be an incompetent bunch of bond scammers, liars, blackmailers & cheats. Harcourts so-called inspections, every few months prior to Harcourts Final Inspection, proved to be bait for Harcourts big bond catch at the end, justified by the Tenancy Tribunal.

The Tenancy Tribunal's adjudicator, J Talbot's verbiage adds insult to injury. J Talbot selectively misinterpreted Leah's Tribunal letter & didn't mention my submission posted to Jessica Lovell (as elaborated above) & was duped by Kim Jones at the Tribunal. I bet Kim Jones' photos didn't show water leak stains on the kitchen ceiling, nor crap stains on the toilet wall, nor landlords' junk in the back garden, nor windows needing painting, nor broken widow panes, broken gutter pipe & faulty garage & house doors, which we endured for years in Graeme & Eleanor Bremner's shabby rental house.

J Talbot's 27.08.14 ruling: The Bond Centre to pay the bond of $510.00... to the applicant immediately...


1. I have considered the tenant's submissions [Not fully or fairly] that there are discrepancies between the list of landlord concerns emailed to the tenants in early July & the itemised cleaning account dated 23 July. [J. Talbot did zilch about fake items concocted by Complete Home Services cleaner, Troy Robertson inflating his invoice to steal our bond].

2. I am satisfied on the [bullshit] evidence of photos provided by the landlord [Kim Jones actually] and on the [bullshit] testimony of Ms Jones that in some respects the property was not left in a reasonably clean condition. [J. talbot was delusional! It was impossible for J. Talbot to know how clean the house was, as he didn't visit the house. In some respects, J. Talbot conveniently ignored the fact that Justine Heyward's Final Inspection Guide list didn't mention cleaning ceilings, light shades, or fly spots. Nor the fact that Kim Jones' previous inspections were paltry & that she'd given us no negative feedback about our cleaning up to her Final Inspection & only mentioned the Tenancy Tribunal after we'd left 5 Heath St]. Further I am satisfied [duped] that the amount charged is reasonable for the work required. 

[Gullible J. Talbot allowed Harcourts to scam our bond. Reasonable huh? $235.00 for wiping a cleaning cloth over surfaces already cleaned by us was a scam! J. Talbot conveniently forgot that Kim Jones disallowed us seeing with our own eyes so-called cleaning done by Complete Home Services, for which J. Talbot reasonably scammed our bond money. I bet J. Talbot was never shown a complete set of photos by Intotal, showing all rooms & fixtures, garage & garden cleaned & tidied by us. He would've been shown enlarged pics of small carpet stains due to 10 years' wear & tear. Intotal's alleged dirty carpet & cat smells was a scam to steal our bond money, aided & abetted by gullible J. Talbot. Never mind cleaner Troy Robertson spraying dubious, odour repellent on the cleaned carpet & causing the carpet to foam, causing carpet stains. Never mind the carpet being cleaned twice, once by us & once by Intotal. When I left the house after our carpet cleaning, the only smell in the house was the sweet smell of carpet cleaning liquid. Cat urine smells were in Kim Jones's & Troy Robertson's greedy minds & "reasonable" J. Talbot accepted their scam]. 

3. I have also considered the tenant's concerns that they were not given the opportunity to address [remedy] outstanding matters. I note however that the tenants returned the keys on 24 June and that the tenancy ended on 27 June. [How many winter days do cleaned wall to wall carpets need to dry J. Talbot?] There is no requirement for a landlord to give former tenants further opportunity to address [remedy] issues after the end of the tenancy. It is open to a landlord to simply attend to matters of concern [cherry-pick & charge for inflated cleaning & unnecessary testing] and seek to prove to [bullshit] the tribunal that they can establish grounds for compensation orders.

[Thus stealing our bond, abetted by J Talbot's incompetence at distinguishing between truth & falsehood. Kim Jones never told us we could be be taken to a Tenancy Tribunal during any of her inspections, neither did Justine Heyward mention a Tenancy Tribunal when she sent her Final Inspection Guide List. J. Talbot was biased, justifying a sleazy, cleaning scam & bond theft by Harcourts & Complete Home Services. J. Talbot conveniently ignored a Harcourts applicant form which clearly stated under Supporting Documents... Notice requiring tenant to remedy breach within 14 days... J. Talbot also conveniently forgot that Kim Jones refused us mediation. Where's justice & fairness in that J. Talbot?]

4. I have considered the tenant's evidence that they carried out carpet cleaning immediately prior to the end of the tenancy. I am satisfied [duped] however on the [bullshit] photographs provided by the landlord that the carpets remained unclean at the end of the tenancy, and on the [bullshit] testimony of the landlord regarding foaming of specific carpet treatment materials that it is more than likely than not [huh?] that urine was present in the carpet in 2 rooms. [J. Talbot hadn't a clue! Foaming carpets were evidence of cat urine huh?] I am satisfied that the carpet cleaning and treatment costs incurred by the landlord are reasonable. 

[Why did carpets need further treatment after being cleaned twice, once by us & once by Intotal? Reasonable? $175.00 for cleaning carpets already cleaned by us for $100.00, plus $120 for treating alleged cat urine smells in carpets. That's $395.00 spent on cleaning carpets in 3 bedrooms, lounge & passage. J. Talbot was clearly gullible to bullshit by Harcourts & Troy Robertson's Complete Home Services. While he was reasonably abetting Intotal's cat urine, cleaning scam, why didn't J. Talbot order Intotal & cleaner to dust out the roof space above the ceiling & check for rodent nests & rodent urine there? Why didn't J. Talbot order Intotal's scamming cleaner to check under the house for hedgehog nests & hedgehog urine?  

I'll give you reasonable cleaning J. Talbot: We spent $55.00 cleaning & drying 24 curtains (combined surface area of curtains was larger than carpet surface area) then rehanging the curtains at 5 Heath St. Why did Harcourts' Complete Home Services charge $120.00 for foaming carpet in a dubious quest for alleged cat urine? Vinegar & baking soda did that much cheaper. And while Troy Robertson of Complete Home Services was into giving bullshit evidence, why didn't he check for blood, vomit, food, wine, coffee, footprint, sweat, human residue, insect residue, microbe stains on the carpet too?]

5. I accept the landlord's testimony that 4 bulbs required replacement. 

[J. Talbot accepted any Harcourts bullshit fed by Troy Robertson's Complete Home Services. Charging $6.00 for 4 light bulbs was wilful theft, as bulbs cost 79 cents at Pak 'n Save, or 99 cents at Bunnings. Never mind many light bulbs replaced at our own cost during our 10.5 years tenancy. I bet Kim Jones didn't tell J. Talbot about faulty, flickering lights in bedroom 2, which were faulty for years].

6. If an applicant is wholly successful in their claim the tribunal must order that the other party pay the applicants the filing fee for the application.

Without even looking at 5 Heath St & alleged cleaning, J. Talbot accepted the price of Harcourts cleaning to be the same as our bond. J. Talbot condoned collusion of price fixing between Harcourts & its cleaner. What a scam! Gross incompetence J. Talbot!

Moral: Tenants will have no chance against a biased adjudicator like J. Talbot at the Tenancy Tribunal, who sides with the landlord against tenants.

1. Tenants be warned! Your bond will be scammed by Harcourts, justified by a biased Tribunal adjudicator.

2. Tenants be warned: 5 Heath St is a shabby, old rental & you will be treated shabbily by greedy landlords Graeme & Eleanor Bremner. They'll do vague, walkabout inspections, or send their proxy inspectors like Harcourts, but will do few repairs & little maintenance.

02.09.14. My email response to Justine Heyward & Kim Jones:

Your Harcourts communications have proved:

1. The Tenancy Tribunal & adjudicator J. Talbot are biased against tenants & duped by false evidence & false testimony.
2. You are corrupt bond scammers.
3. You are blackmailers & liars. e.g "**Please note, tenant is deaf and has requested a deaf signer please.**" (Last 7 words are false! Like your Complete Home Services invoice, you just made that up).

My communications, the Tenancy Tribunal record, your ill gotten $510.00 & extra $46.44 (cheque in the post) will show others how you, Harcourts, Complete Home Services & landlords Graeme & Eleanor Bremner do business.

Our 10.5 years tenancy with Graeme & Eleanor Bremner was bizarre: I saw Graeme only once when he riveted the garage door, after our request. At start of our tenancy, Eleanor said we could contact her adult son at Bishopdale, if we had house problems. We never contacted her son. Any urgent repairs needed, like faulty electrics, faulty stove, faulty taps, or leaky toilet cistern pipe, Leah phoned the Bremners. Eleanor's walkabout "inspections" were ineffectual with no negative feedback, few repairs & little maintenance. When our rent increased in 2012, Eleanor said Graeme had lost his military job & they were travelling to Australia. Leah's rent payments would've paid for their Australian trip.

Over the last 10 months of Harcourts mis-management, Harcourts inspection letters quoted their right to inspect our rental & sniff through our possessions in our absence: If you cannot be present we do advise that we will be exercising our right under Section 48 (2b) of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 to enter & carry out the inspection. Even though Harcourts didn't have the correct key! Harcourts "management" included Kim Jones pretending to be friendly during her "inspections" when we were present. Then sending us an inflated invoice for alleged cleaning & taking us to the Tenancy Tribunal after her Final Inspection. Then stonewalling our requests to sort out her cleaning allegations with mediation & verifying Complete Home Services' "cleaning."

It's funny that during our 19+ years residence in NZ & 5 tenancies, Harcourts / Bremners are the only property managers / landlords who took us to the Tenancy Tribunal. There were no complaints from our other landlords in Christchurch, Lake Tekapo & Fairlie.

Bottom line: Leah paid indifferent Bremners over $142 000 rent over 10.5 years. To make ends meet, as her teacher salary & extra lessons pay & lectures to teachers pay was inadequate, Leah humiliated herself annually by signing WINZ forms, telling WINZ state nannies her earnings & applying for a rent subsidy, to enrich indifferent Bremners. Over the last year, we've endured humiliations of vague house "inspections" caused by indifferent Bremners & by Harcourts cleaner, Complete Home Services, paid for by our increased rent. We've also endured Tenancy Tribunal rulings by a biased adjudicator, expediently motivated by sleazy, Harcourts cleaner, Complete Home Services. The Tenancy Tribunal findings are on public record for 3 years. Yet cheapskate Bremners didn't even supply soap dishes for their plastic bath, kitchen sink or laundry.

During the last few months of our 10.5 years tenancy, indifferent Bremners turned against us & Harcourts & the Tenancy Tribunal was their Stasi. Gotta ask why 95% of complaints at the Tenancy Tribunal come from landlords / property managers? Something stinks.

Google search, 5 Heath St:

Burnside, 3 bedroom, $390 pw, Trade Me Property

$390 per week. Listed Fri 11 July, 3.45 pm. Location 5 Heath Street, Burnside, Christchurch City, Canterbury. Available 24/07/2014.

Also on the internet:

RentPrice: Agent Four Seasons Realty Ltd advertised 5 Heath St rent as $390. 

Family home in handy location close to Burnside High, Airport and Jelly [sic] Park.

- 3 Bedrooms
- Large backyard
- Single [sic] garage
- Heat pump

Available 25 July for long term lease.

So after our tenancy, with minimal property improvements, Bremners increased the rent by $95 / week, joining Christchurch's inflated rental market. Inflation was caused by low housing stock in Christchurch due to quake demolitions; real estate agents' greed due to inflated commissions; owners' greed; investor buyers' greed, especially foreign investors.

For the record:

* For over 8 years our 5 Heath St rent stayed static at $255 pw.
* From 11 May 2012, during quake times our rent increased to $270 pw. (Eleanor said that rent increase was due to post quake, rates & insurance increases).
* After Harcourts property management took over, from 25 October 2013 our rent increased to $295 pw. (Eleanor's reason for that rent increase was a trip to Australia).
* On 11/07/14 Trade Me listed 5 Heath St available on 24/07/14 & advertised rent as $390 pw.

That's landlord greed & hyper inflation of $135 pw rent increase over 2+ years. That's a 53% jump in rent in 2 years!

BTW Bremners' 5 Heath Street rental was so grubby & damp when we arrived I soon picked up ringworm. As ringworm spores live in hair follicles my inner thighs were infested with ringworm for 10 years, no matter how I dried myself after bathing, or how much Canesten I slathered on Bremners' ringworm.

As for Eleanor's inspections' thoroughness, early days of our tenancy Eleanor sometimes brought her grandchildren along. On a more recent inspection, I caught Eleanor in our bedroom staring at Leah's jewellry box. I told her our son made it.

As for Harcourts stealing our bond money due to non existent cat smells, etc, Bremners didn't have the integrity to tell Harcourts they allowed us to have a cat at 5 Heath St & that our cat soon polished off the mice infestation at 5 Heath St, without any more mice residents for the rest of our tenancy. Did Kim Jones's bullshitting cleaner, Troy Robertson, Complete Home Services, use carpet shampoo which foams in the presence of rodent excreta, bacteria, viruses & mould spores?

Desmond Morris's book CATWATCHING, Johnathan Cape, 1986, p 37, referred to cat smells:

Each time a cat rubs against a landmark in its territory or sprays urine on it, it leaves a personal scent which immediately starts to lose its power. The decline is at a steady rate and can be used by cats to determine how long it has been since the scent-marker rubbed or sprayed. The repeated visits by a cat to inspect its territory are motivated by a need to reactivate its fading scent signals. 

Given the above & the fact our cat had not been anywhere near 5 Heath St for 5 months prior to Kim Jones's Final Inspection & the fact the house was thoroughly cleaned by us for 5 months, including our carpet & curtain cleaning, prior to our departure, and the fact that I'd installed a brand new cat flap in the back door before we left, how did Kim Jones & Troy Robertson's Complete Home Services find cat smells at 5 Heath St during & after Kim Jones's Final Inspection? As for gullible J Talbot at the Tenancy Tribunal only J Talbot knows how?

On 17.02.11 in the presence of Eleanor, 2 EQC inspectors inspected 5 Heath St for Sept 4 quake damage & aftershocks damages. Eleanor told us the property had $10 000 worth of quake damage, including roof truss damage. On 01.12.11, post Feb 22 & June 13 quakes, an overpaid, young, EQC inspector inspected with Eleanor, who said Fletchers would inspect the house again, before any quake repairs were done, then we'd have to vacate the house when quake repairs were done.

No EQC inspections were ever done under the house to look at foundations. In June 2014, when we finally left 5 Heath St, absolutely no inspection by Fletchers, nor quake repairs had been done at 5 Heath St. We'd endured about 15 000 quakes in that shabby rental with no quake repairs whatsoever.

Another hassle: there's a state house (Housing NZ) across the road from 5 Heath St. Over the years one of the tenants was a nuisance - knocking on our door, wanting to borrow our things like telephone & mower, or wanting me to fill up empty gas bottles; fighting with neighbours; errant offspring & loutish, thieving friends; cops knocking on our door for information about the state house tenant; state housing vehicles & state housing contractors parked in Heath St. At one point I gave my own trespass order to the state house tenant, to stop the nuisance tenant pestering us with door knocking & wanting to contact our teenage son without our permission.

28.02.15. On one of my Christchurch trips, I drove past 5 Heath St & saw that the window exteriors, sills & gutter down pipes were recently painted. I wondered what J. Talbot at the Tenancy Tribunal thought of that landlord hypocrisy?


By August 2015 Kim Jones & Justine Heyward were no longer Property Manager & Property Administrator at Intotal Property Management, Main South Rd, Hornby, but did the same jobs at Quality Property Management, Blenheim Rd, Riccarton.


A Facebook discussion on sleazy, Troy Robertson's commercial Facebook page - Complete Home Services:

Fri 20.05.16. Mark Esslemont: Ripoff crook! Remember 5 Heath Street?

Sat 21.05.16. Mark Esslemont: You have deleted my last comment. Please explain how your 2014 itemized invoice to Intotal Property Management (Kim Jones) was the equivalent of my bond for 5 Heath Street, lodged with NZ Tenancy Services (now MBIE).

Sun 22.05.16. Complete Home Services, Troy Robertson: Hi Mark, I'm not sure about your deleted post we have no reason to delete posts. All concerns are taken seriously. [False considering Troy's comments below]. If you would like to call us on... we will be more than happy to discuss this. We have a great name with tenancy and work with a lot of other rental companies. I am really sorry you feel upset about being charged to get your home up to rental standard again but unfortunately you left the property in a bad state and the owner had to pay a lot more before they could rent it out again [BS! The house was in a bad state before we rented: Weak locks on front & back doors & weak garage door locks; poor heating; no double glazing; dodgy electric plugs; faulty stove; faulty lighting; poor curtaining; poor cupboard space; bathroom crap; faulty, leaky taps in kitchen, laundry & bathroom; skirtings & windows needed painting; driveway unsound...] but unfortunately you left the property in a bad state and the owner had to pay a lot more before they could rent it out again. I hope this explains your concern.

Sun 22.05.16. Mark Esslemont: My concern is not explained at all. Neither the landlord nor Intotal did proper inspections at all while we stayed at the property for 10 years, so gave no indication of the standards of cleanliness required. We did not leave the property in a bad state at all. I'm deaf so can't use the phone. My home address is... Please explain why your itemized invoice to Intotal was equivalent to our bond? Examples: We had the house carpets professionally cleaned before we left, yet you invoiced for the carpets to be recleaned. There were other items you invoiced. like overpriced light bulbs, cleaning stove which was already thoroughly cleaned... You chose to ignore the fact the house was shabby, needing paint especially ceilings, skirtings. You  ignored the rotten concrete driveway, our replacement of old curtains, my gutter cleanings, compost left in the garden, disposal of junk left in the garden for years by the landlord. There are many more things we did to maintain the house at our own cost.

[Sleazy, Troy Robertson then discredited himself with his blatant lies:]

Sun 22.05.16. Complete Home Services. Troy Robertson: Oh wow. Carpets cleaned? By who??? I'm sorry but those carpets definitely had not been cleaned. [Ask Intotal Troy!] They were some of the filthiest carpets I have done. [Yeah right. Quaff another Tui Troy!] I do agree the house was older. [So what?] Dude if you were that unhappy why did you stay for 10 years? [Troy avoids my invoice question]. The smell of cat urine in the property was unbearable [Huh?] I had to spray the carpets And come back the next day [So what?] This will be my last comment. Let it go and move on. Nothing can be gained by trying to discredit other people because you left the property in a bad way [?] and the rental company and our company was called to make good. This is not the place to air others dirty laundry. [Troy discredited himself with his invoice evasions]. So like I said you can contact me directly. [Huh?] There are plenty photos say it all. [So photos evince cat smells?] So let's leave it at that... Tenancy, Intotal and Complete Home Services did all they should for the poor owner. That's all there is to say. [Drivel].

Sun 22.05.16. Mark Esslemont: Your evasions are appalling. I've rented in many places in the world & owned several properties in South Africa, with my own tenants in one of the 3 bedroom houses we owned in Durban.

Sun 22.05.16. Mark Esslemont: Please explain the following mentioned by you above: 1. "The owner had paid a lot more before they could rent it out again?" 2. "The smell of cat urine in the property was unbearable?" Our cat had already been living with us at Lake Tekapo for 5 months before you entered 5 Heath Street to invoice Intotal with your cat urine smells. I'd also replaced the old cat flap with a new cat flap so no other cat could enter the Heath Street house. 3. I'm still waiting for your explanation why your itemized invoice to Intotal equalled our bond? Please ask 5 Heath Street landlord why they were happy for us to stay at their rental even after they had increased the rent?

[More drivel & minimising evasions by Troy Robertson:]

Sun 22.05.16. Complete Home Services, sleazy, Troy Robertson: Sorry Mark an evasion is when you deliberately ignore someone and as you can read, that is not what we are doing. [Risible]. How about you give us or Intotal a call if you think you have been hard done by and we will try to help. We do not accept Facebook post as communication for our business and many of our clients are happy. [Humbug. Troy advertises his business on Facebook]. There is a common denominator here, this "incident" was [2] years ago, it is long gone. [So what?] If you want to call and have a decent chat instead of a Facebook post conversation please call us or Intotal. In the meantime we will no longer continue to reply to your comments on a public post as that's not how we do business, so either call us or Intotal and talk like adults should. Thanks mate. All the best for your enquiries.

Mon 23.05.16. Mark Esslemont: Intotal did not want communication after we left 5 Heath Street, in fact forbade it in writing. The landlord did not respond to any of our communications after we left. You evade the fact I'm deaf and can't phone you. You're still evading my questions above, especially your Intotal invoice equal to our bond? You don't have the integrity to answer in writing.

Sleazy, Troy Robertson's Facebook commercial page had many before & after garden pics soliciting good reviews from clients. Below three sets of Oct 2014 pics, Whitby St, Westminster St, Kirner Street, Kim Jones's name was next to Troy Robertson's Complete Home Services' icon. Troy Robertson made positive comments about the garden cleanups.

There you have it: collusion between Intotal's Kim Jones & Troy Robertson's Complete Home Services to thieve bond money from tenants, using biased, Tenancy Tribunal adjudicators, like J. Talbot.

Troy Robertson's personal Facebook page skites Troy as a fisherman. Hook, line & sinker Troy.

16.02.18. After living at Pleasant Point near Timaru for a year, during Jan / Feb 2018 Leah & I picked blueberries, weather dependent, at John Talbot's & Liz Cutler's Pleasant Point Blueberries farm. While picking blueberries, I also picked up passive-aggressive vibes from the owners. After blueberry picking completion, I found John Talbot's biographical details on the ECAN website. John Talbot was chairman of the Orari Temuka Opihi Pareora Water Zone Committee, a Joint Committee of Timaru District Council, Mackenzie District Council & Environment Canterbury:

"John grew up and farmed alongside the Opihi River at Hanging Rock where he continues to recreate with his family.

John now runs his own small scale commercial blueberry production. John has extensive experience with resource management processes including working with Aoraki Conservation Board and Forest and Bird. In addition to this John was the convenor of the planning committee for the Aoraki Conservation Board when the first Conservation Strategy was prepared in the 1990s.

John has also worked for many years as mediator / arbitrator in the role of judicial officer in the Disputes Tribunal and Tenancy Tribunal at the Timaru District Court." (My emphasis).

For 6 years, ECAN was run by NZ govt appointed commissioners (after booting out elected members) & only since Oct 2016 half democratically elected members & half govt appointed stooges, enabling farmers & other leeches to freely extract & pollute Canterbury waters, leaving rivers & lakes polluted & artesian bores depleted.

Finger on the scale John.


1. Failure of Tenancy Tribunal, scammed by landlord using property management cuckoos.

2. Justine Heyward, Kim Jones & Troy Robertson were crooks. John Talbot abetted their stealing tenants' bond money.

3. Tenancy Tribunal's adjudicator, John Talbot scammed our bond to greedy property manager Kim Jones & cleaner Troy Robertson for unneeded cleaning & testing.


Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See NZ Tenancy Tribunal

See Rental agents milking tenants (The Press / Stuff Co)

See City rental prices at record high (The Press / Stuff Co)

See Christchurch housing struggle gets worse (The Press / Stuff Co)

See Christchurch's Housing Paradox (The Press / Stuff Co)


See OTOP water zone committee chairman bows out after three years on committee (Timaru Herald / Stuff Co).

See Justine Heyward & Kim Jones (Quality Property Management).

See NZ Mouldy Towns (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Mould leaking wastewater disgusts Dunedin student flat tenants (The Press / Stuff Co)