Illegal brothels using high-end apartments

NZ Herald May 17, 2009

Property managers at high-end Auckland apartment buildings are going to desperate lengths to evict illegal brothels. One said prostitutes were openly soliciting other residents, but she couldn’t evict them until they fell behind with their rent. Others have resorted to shaming clients and calling in police to “muscle out” prostitutes. Property managers Jacqui Cheal and Larry Dickie, who manage about 80 central city apartments, said it took five months to remove a brothel from an expensive property in the Viaduct Harbour. The tenant denied running the business, even though the brothel was advertised on a late-model Audi parked in the apartment’s carpark.

The property managers complained to police and spoke three times to council officers. The council said two complaints were received and an investigation found no evidence of a brothel. But Cheal said officers never contacted them to gain access to the apartment, and never reported back with the result of the investigation. “We realised by then we weren’t going to get any help.” The tenant was served notices for being in breach of the tenancy agreement by running a business, and acting in a way that could be offensive to other tenants. When the agreement was eventually terminated at a Tenancy Tribunal hearing, it was only on the basis of rent arrears. “What do landlords and property managers do?” Cheal said. “It will get to the point where somebody will get hurt because they’re trying to manhandle them out or evict them.”