Tenants in a controversial Queenstown house say they’re happy living there as “one big dysfunctional family”.
Dunedin landlord Perry Noyce told Radio NZ this morning he plans to evict the 20 people in his nine-bedroom Fernhill property.
He’ll then refurbish the sprawling property – which nets him $2000 a week in rent.
Squalid living conditions for Queenstown renters generally were brought to national attention yesterday – in a story about houses infested with rats and claims landlords had confiscated extra heaters from tenants.
But six of Noyce’s tenants told Mountain Scene this morning they haven’t been told they’re being evicted.
They’d been told the house would be renovated room by room.
One says: “They were showing people around it just two days ago.”
Noyce couldn’t be reached for comment.
The tenants say they’re happy with their living conditions.
One British man, who did not want to be named, says: “If we weren’t happy we wouldn’t live here.
“There are rooms available elsewhere.
“We’re one big dysfunctional family. None of us are here permanently and what do you expect for $120 a week.”
Another tenant says they have not seen any rats but there have been mice.
“We don’t want to move,” she says. “Some of us have lived here a long time and we can’t understand what all the fuss is about.”
Queenstown Lakes District Council reportedly investigated the house earlier this year, after tenants reported it was being used to accommodate up to 40 people at a time and was infested with rats.
Noyce, who blames a former property manager for running it as a “party house”, says only 20 people live in the house now. He collects $2000 each week for rent, but that includes most bills.
Noyce told Radio NZ: “I’ve taken it over in March and I’ve made everyone aware at the property … they’re going to move out after the ski season and then I want to do a renovation on it.
“I’m in transition. I’m just moving it on. Everyone’s going to be out of there in four to five weeks.”