Females Find Faulty Floor, Fittings & Faeces In Filthy Flat

Females Find Faulty Floor, Fittings & Faeces In Filthy Flat

Past Tenants & Landlord Question Findings

Another story of appalling flat conditions and an inconsiderate landlord has recently faced the media spotlight, with five Dunedin students presenting the state of their flat on Campbell Live last week. The story has been strongly disputed by the flat’s landlord and ex-tenants, who say the girls’ claims are “total rubbish.”

The five girls, all third year students, moved into their $600 per-week flat in February 2014 and claim to have found vomit on the bedroom ceilings, faeces on the walls and a dead bird in one of the bedrooms. They found the house had been unlocked all summer and was left to them with maggots, broken windows and the loose ends of a hydroponics operation.

OUSA Student Support tried to assist the tenants with dealing with the state of the flat but the landlord, Kamal Slaimankhel, “would not have a bar of it,” according to Steph Moody, one of the current tenants.

A lawyer wrote a letter to the landlord, giving him two weeks to tidy the place otherwise the tenants would have their lease terminated. When the two weeks was up, they contacted Campbell Live, who presented the story last week. The tenants claim Slaimankhel lied to the reporter and accused the current tenants of growing the weed themselves during the first three weeks they had lived here. Following the media attention, the window, holes in the floor, letterbox and light fittings were fixed.

Moody explained that an agreement had been made with Slaimankhel that they would begin paying rent once their Studylink payments began. They would back-pay the first seven weeks once they arrived in Dunedin. However, when they arrived at the flat and saw the state of it, they decided not to pay the first seven weeks until the requests to fix the flat were met. Nothing was done to fix the place until the media got involved. Following Campbell Live’s coverage and the subsequent repairs, they paid the first four week’s rent.

They still owe three weeks rent but, again, claim that this is on agreement with the landlord. The tenants told Critic “the general consensus within our flat is that we shouldn’t have to pay the full back-pay considering the conditions we’ve been living in.” Slaimankhel says no agreement was ever made regarding rent and he expected the money in his account last Friday.

The girls also complained of a poster showing two nude women on one of the walls, which the 2013 tenants had left behind. Critic found a photo entry on Meatmail’s Facebook page containing four of the girls, mostly nude, in front of the explicit posters with a large bong. “It was for a Meatmail competition but got deleted for being inappropriate.” They feel it was “not a wise move” but does not change the fact that they were left with unwanted items, including the poster. Last year’s tenants believe this photo discredits the allegations the girls are making about the house and Campbell Live’s reporter was not aware of the photo until after they went to air.

Jack Boxall, a tenant from 2013, strongly disagrees with the claims made and says the flat was not left in the state shown on television. He admitted to knowing about the broken window but says “the Campbell Live show pissed me off.” When Critic asked what state they left the place in, Boxall said “We’re professionals. There’s one guy doing his PhD and the rest of us are doing double degrees.” Boxall says the incident is “all just lies” and that Slaimankhel is a “great guy.” On visiting the tenants to collect left-behind belongings, Boxall says he was told by one of the girls, “in quite an aggressive manner,” that “we chucked it out with the rest of your shit.” This year’s tenants deny any aggressive behaviour.

He says the Campbell Live piece showed maggots and holes in the wall but these images are all from the garage, “which is not a friggin kitchen.” He says “when rubbish is left in a shed for two months, of course there’s going to be maggots.”

Critic asked for photographic evidence of the state of the flat, but the most offensive image we received contained a burnt plastic bottle and a bottle of Thrive plant food. Critic advises tenants to thoroughly photograph any damages found in your flat upon arrival and to ensure any financial agreements are put in writing upon agreement.
This article first appeared in Issue 6, 2014.
Posted 7:01pm Sunday 30th March 2014 by Josie Cochrane.