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September 28, 2009 | by  | in Opinion |
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Stupid people and other tenancy woes

Problems. We all have them, some have problems with their partner, some have problems with their bladder, others have problems with the lack of sex they have been having. I can’t help you with these (well, not unless you have the last problem mentioned and you happen to be female). I can, however, help you with your tenancy problems.

What many people don’t know is that a large number of tenancy problems can be dealt with in the same manner. This mystic solution requires no ritual animal slaughter or human sacrifice, no; sadly it’s much less exciting. Compromise, negotiation and logical reasoning are the tools one should rely on, in no particular order. It seems simple, but Holy Shit, humans are fucking terrible at these three things. A problem arises and instead of resolving it we simply want someone to blame, someone to insult, someone to throw to the lions so that they may be ripped limb from fucking limb. Now you may ask why am I not advocating the lion’s solution. As much as I enjoy the pain and suffering of others I am also trying to provide some advice to all those idiots out there who couldn’t open an automatic door if getting laid depended on it. So for this I am going to curb my lust for tendon ripping and proceed to polite conversation.

People tend to think of tenants and landlords when they consider tenancies. Much in the same way that people think of the prosecutor and the defendant when they think of the law. So we have two parties, one against the other, trying not just to resolve the issue at hand, but win. It’s better to think of tenancy situations as two people working together to get a beached whale off a beach. On the one hand one person loves the environment and wants the whale to get back into the sea to live happily ever after with its whale friends and family. The other person just wants to go swimming and would look like a dick if they didn’t help the poor creature first. You both want to achieve the same thing, you just have different motivations. This is what a tenancy is like; both parties want the same thing, just for different reasons.

Two important things that must be considered in relation to the above. One; the whale analogy was kind of stupid but for some reason it got stuck in my head and I just had to include it. Two; the above advice is provided for the majority of tenancies, there are however situations where one party is a dick, plain and simple. I will go over what to do in the dick landlord or dick tenant situation next week when I tell you all about that oh-so-beloved 10 Working Day Letter.

Onto the three tools.

Compromise: a tool which is so incredibly fucking hard to make use of. This should be your first port of call when a tenancy issue pops up. Not because you should compromise (paying more rent for repairs to be done would be plain stupid) but because if you are thinking about compromise you tend to be more willing to deal with the issues at hand without wanting to tear the other person’s jugular from its usual place of residence.

Negotiation: trying to get everything your way doesn’t work. The only people I know who think this works are those people whose parents didn’t love them so spent money to buy them things to keep them out of their hair. And yes, my parents bought me lots of shit when I was younger but that was different, I was awesome and deserved it all. Back to the point, when a problem arises in a tenancy situation you need to work with the other party to resolve it. The majority of applications to the Tenancy Tribunal are resolved in mediation before they are heard by the Tribunal. So save yourself 20 bucks and try to fix the problem yourselves, because in all likelihood this is what’s going to happen anyway.

Logical reasoning: I would delve deeper into this one but considering the nature of logic I’m afraid I would be wasting my time. Asking people to reason by way of logic is like asking a politician for an honest answer. You expect it to be possible but for some unknown reason it just never happens.

Simple, effective and easy. Just like a hooker. Before you ask “okay but what the fuck do I do when this doesn’t work?” The above methods don’t always work, sometimes even if both parties are nice people (pfft, like that’s possible) problems still can’t be talked through. That’s why next week I’m going to provide some info on the 10 Working Day Letter. Knowing how to use this most beloved of letters will help you in almost any tenancy situation.

Pendragon,
Your not-so-friendly tenancy guy.

For tenancy information see the Department of Building and Housing website www.dbh.govt.nz. For tenancy advice you can also call Tenancy Services on 0800 83 62 62. For bond enquiries you can call 0800 73 76 66.

Got a tenancy issue you think I should consider? Flick me an email at pendragon@comic.com.

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