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Tenant believes he should get his bond back, landlord claims he didn’t tidy his room, argument ends in a brawl

8:21 1/11/2023

First published on Stuff

Peng Cao pictured after the fight with his landlords.

Peng Cao pictured after the fight with his landlords. Photo: Supplied / Peng Cao

By Melanie Earley

A man claims he was physically hurt by his landlords after insisting they give him back his bond.

Peng Cao, was left with a black eye and swollen face after the alleged fight and ended up being checked over in the emergency room and filing a police report against his landlords, a married couple in Auckland.

Cao had been living in a two-storey property in Auckland's Lynfield for only a matter of months when he was given 90-days notice to move out due to a leak in his bedroom.

The owners of the home, Jiayue "Bruce" Xu and Linda Guo, lived in the upstairs area while rooms on the lower floor were rented out.

Xu was a candidate for a position on the Whau Local Board during the 2022 local body elections.

Cao said he moved out of the house on 23 August, but went back two days later to clean his room and get his bond of $510 back.

"My friend and I came back to clean and afterwards we asked Bruce to tell us if it was up to standard. He said there was too much dust, and he wasn't happy, so we did it again."

Xu was called down multiple times to inspect the cleaning, but Cao said they couldn't meet his standards.

"I believe he just didn't want to give my bond back. I ended up getting angry and yelled at him and said I wouldn't leave until he gave me my money.

"He went upstairs, and I followed him saying it couldn't end like this and, in anger, pushed a chair in their living room."

This was when Cao said the physical assault began. In a police report he made the next day, he alleged Xu punched him multiple times in the head and Guo grabbed his hair and slapped his face.

"I ended up on the ground curled up in a ball trying to cover my head."

When the alleged incident came to an end, Cao said he managed to make it downstairs and his friend took him to the emergency department of a local hospital to be checked out.

He was left with a black eye, bruises and scratches across his face and neck, a swollen lip and pain in his neck and legs.

Xu said he was "sorry" the situation had ended in a fight, but said he and Guo felt threatened in the situation.

"This man did not clean his room properly before moving out, so I told him, clean it and I'll return your bond.

"He became angry and, without my permission, invaded our private space and yelled at me and smashed my chair and damaged my glasses.

"I am so sorry, but we finally fought together," Xu said, "but he threatened my wife many times and didn't respect us at all."

Xu said he had also reported Cao to the police and was waiting for them to take action.

A police spokesperson confirmed a report had been received about the alleged assault on 25 August.

"The incident, on Halsey Drive, was initially reported to police around 9pm. It was reported a person had received injuries during a dispute between two parties who were known to each other.

"Further information has since been provided to police to assist with inquiries."

The investigation into the circumstances was ongoing, the spokesperson said, and updates would continue to be given to those involved as the investigation progressed.

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