A tenancy bond mystery

Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Issue 665, Page 1 & 2
Word count: 579
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

Tarsha Perry only wants to go home with her two children after her husband lost his job in Macau and moved back to Australia last month. But the family’s reunion plan was impeded by the landlord yesterday as she tried to stop them from moving out from the Taipa apartment and shipping away their furniture.

Seven Public Security Police officers were called in to the sea front property “Pearl on the Lough” where both the landlord and the property management barred the truck from sending out some of the furniture.

The owner of the duplex apartment, a local woman, alleged that the tenant still owes her rents and some of the furniture “may belong to her”.

However, the tenancy agreement says that the apartment was unfurnished besides seven air conditioners when the Australian family moved in in June last year.

Mrs Perry, a Sydneysider, left her country with daughter Nikita and son Josh about two and a half years ago when her spouse got a job offer and came to Macau as an imported skilled labourer.

Lynn Gardaz, who is a friend of the family and was also present during the tenancy dispute that took place at about 11 am, told the Macau Daily Times the couple paid a two-month bond of HK$38,000 to the landlord in May last year.

Since then the monthly rent was at HK$19,000 and it was until February the two parties agreed over email negotiations that the rent could be cut down to HK$11,000 due to the economic downturn, Ms Gardaz said.

The police officers were shown bank slips of all the tenancy deposits payable to the landlord.

However in the following month of March Mr Perry was fired, the family could no longer afford the rent and thus told the landlord to take out the outstanding amount from the bond.

Afterwards the family decided to move out from the house at the end of March. But the family friend said since Mrs Perry understood that it was a short notice, she let the landlord keep the rest of the HK$27,000 bond and also leave her a huge wardrobe worth HK$20,000 in the master room.

The landlord accepted the suggestion at that time, Ms Gardaz said.

On March 31 the mother of two together with her six-year-old daughter and three-year-old son planned to leave Macau and fly back home.

However, Viva Macau cancelled the flight and also that for yesterday. Hence the family is expected to be on their way to get together with Mr Perry in another scheduled flight today.

The long-delayed departure at the same time made Mrs Perry and the two children overstay in Macau for a week.

On the other hand the landlord told the police she does not keep the bond and the family still owes her money, adding some of the furniture inside the apartment “may belong to her”.

However the police officer said she did not explain where the bond has gone.

After nearly two hours of a verbal fight, the police told the landlord that she could not detain any of the packed boxes and furniture, as they are the “possessions of the family”.

The truck was finally let go. But the landlord vowed that she will take the dispute to court.

Mrs Perry, Nikita and Josh lastly needed to go to the Taipa Public Security Police Station and then the immigration department with the presence of a lawyer to take care of their overstaying fines.

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