Eden Park Lodge is a three-building complex on Dominion Rd, with more than 100 rooms.

In April, its tenants received a memo stating that “no heaters were allowed in rooms”, without written consent from management. Those who wanted it had to apply through management and would be provided with a heater at a cost of $60 per week. Personal heaters were not allowed under any circumstances and the breach of this rule could cost Eden Park Lodge tenants their accommodation.

A single room at Eden Park Lodge costs $190 per week and a double costs $280.

One of the tenants, Tim Pearse, 70, has been in and out of boarding homes for six years and moved into Eden Park Lodge about six months ago.

“As far as the overall living conditions, the home is good,” Pearse said but objects the 60$ heater premium. Many other boarding house tenants, especially those struggling with addictions or mental illnesses, simply can’t afford the additional cost and would have to go without a heater through winter, Pearse said. “Many here are old, sick. Someone could die here.”

Pearse is planning to move somewhere where the cost of living is more sustainable compared to ever-growing prices in Auckland. He says that he is still planning to live in boarding house since he enjoys the interaction with a lot of different people.

Under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the RTA), a landlord of a boarding house is allowed to make and change any house rules at any point in time but must give each tenant at least seven days’ written notice.

The Tenancy Compliance and Investigations Spokesperson said that “The house rules are not allowed to breach the RTA or any other law. If a tenant believes a house rule breaches the law, they can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal who will decide whether the rule is allowed or not, or may tell the landlord to change the way the rule is applied,”

Eden Park Lodge was previously audit by The Tenancy Compliance and Investigations Team, but  “at the time of the audit, no serious concerns that impact on the well-being of the tenants were identified.”