Moteliers endured five years of burst water pipes and other plumbing problems soon after they took over the lease of the Lakewood Motel in 2003. A long-winded legal stouch ensued with a landlord that defended liability for the extent of the damages claimed.
Inevitably, the landlord put up the rent, lease payments were unable to be maintained and receivers became involved before the motelier walked away from the property in 2008. The motel was abandoned and became a conspicuous eye soar on Rotorua's Lake Road. It was set on fire by vandals the following year, became a home for squatters and regularly visited by police after doors and fittings were stolen, windows smashed and buildings tagged.
The landlord's two companies were liquidated before it is claimed that the motel's ownership was sold to another inter-related company.
Last December the High Court ordered the two original motel ownership companies to pay the moteliers $1.8m for loss of income, loss of capital, legal fees, penalty interest, receivership and court costs, all plus interest.
No money has been forthcoming from the two companies that have no assets and had elected not to continue defending their positions, on the grounds of cost.