Shocking stories of methamphetamine contamination of rental properties have once again been in the media this month. Uncertainty continues to prevail around levels of contamination that represent a health risk,
Although every effort is made to ensure that the rental property is returned in reasonably clean condition and damage free, there will be the rare occasion that disputes occur at the end of a tenancy.
If you are managing or considering managing your own residential rental property there are several points that are worth considering;
We are seeing more and more regulation coming into the industry. A good Property Manager should be aware of legislation changes and how it affects their job. A good Property Management company should have procedures and processes in place to comply with all relevant legislation. They should operate under a Code of Practice governed by one of the industry bodies such as the Leading Property Managers of New Zealand (LPMNZ).
Residential Tenancies Act 1986
As the act implies it governs all Residential tenancies in NZ. It is the core legislation for our industry andsomething that all Property Managers must be experts in. Do you have a thorough understanding of the Act and its implications? The person responsible for managing the property must be able to deal with Tenants in a professional capacity and act in a fair and reasonable manner.
Getting the right tenant into a property is key to obtaining a positive return on your investment. An experience Property Management company knows how to dig for the information that matters and find potential warning signs that all might not be quite what it seems.
A Property Manager can access Credit Checks and in Rented’s case also complete background checking against a database that includes 10 years of Tenancy Tribunal Orders, NZ Court judgements, Sensible sentencing trust judgements, Media reports, Police information as well as many more.
The Tenancy Agreements used by a Property Management company should be up to date with the latest regulations and capture any additional clauses required for a specific property. An experienced Property Manager should be able to write these in a manner that would meet legal scrutiny should issues arise.
Often disputes arise between a tenant and owner. Having an intermediary in a Property Manager between you and the tenant shields you from a direct involvement. An experience Property Manager can help moderate the situation and prevent ill feeling.
Procedures & Process
There are a lot of procedures and processes to follow. Some of these that may be worth thinking are;
- Lodging bonds within the required timeframes
- Following up arrears in line with the requirements laid down in the Act
- Representing yourself at Mediation or in Court
- Completing inspections
- Dealing with a property that has been abandoned
- Chasing up bad debts
If you are not familiar with these it is easy to make mistakes that can cost time and money.
Value of Time
Property Management isn’t an easy gig. It takes time, focus and persistence. Being dedicated to this as a full-time job means efficiencies are gained in the way properties are managed and valuable industry knowledge is gained. When you take all of this into account and weigh up the cost of management against your time, the question you need to ask is – ‘is your time worth it’? By using a Property Manager, you can free up your precious time and be safe in the knowledge that your asset is in the hands of someone with appropriate expertise.
We believe that there are some core functions to property management that are essential to providing a quality service. At Rented we strive to deliver on all of these to ensure that you get the best experience possible.
We know as Property Management specialists that good communication with both the Owners and Tenants of our properties is a fundamental. At the start of any new management your Rented Property Manager will discuss your needs and agree with you the best way to respond and resolve matters related to your property. A large part of a Property Managers does involve time away from the office, however we will always endeavour to respond to any issues raised in a prompt and timely fashion.
Letting your property
This is usually the first chance for your Property Manger to prove their worth. We will ensure your property gets the attention it deserves with a clear concise narrative highlighting the key features of your property. Quality photographs will back these up and grab the attention of prospective tenants. Professional editing of photos is also available at an additional charge.
Our listings all go onto Trade Me and our own Rented Property Management website. In specific regions where print media is still strong listings will also be included in the local newspapers. These are all included in your single management fee.
The next step in the process is organising viewings for prospective tenants. We schedule viewings as required until your home is rented. We use For Rent signs where appropriate to attract more attention from passers-by.
Tenant Application Process
Our Tenancy Agreements are maintained by Tenancy lawyers that ensure they always meet current regulations. These are also drafted to ensure we work with a core document that is clear for all parties and lessoning the chance of having to deal with litigation.
Applications are processed through our online portal. This ensures that all the Tenant information that may be required through a tenancy is captured up front. At Rented we not only complete Credit Checks on applicants but additional Background check. This is available to us through our relationship with Tenancy Practice Service. This checks the applicants details against a database that includes 10 years of Tenancy Tribunal Orders, NZ Court judgements, Sensible sentencing trust judgements, Media reports, Police information as well as many more.
Tenants will also be subject to reference checks from previous landlords, verification of employment and validation of photo ID.
Once a suitable applicant has been found your Property Manager will send a summary of application through to you and answer any questions you may have. Once you have approved the applicant we will proceed with drafting the Tenancy Agreement.
At this point the tenant will have their obligations and responsibilities explained and the agreement will be executed with both parties signing the document.
All ingoing costs will be sort from the tenant. The bond will be lodged within 21 days with Tenancy Services. We will send a copy of the Tenancy Agreement to you if requested. You can rest assured that your Property Manager will keep you informed throughout the application process.
Collecting the Rent
At Rented all payments into our Group Trust account are receipted daily by our full time Administrator. This ensures that all Property Managers have access to the latest ledger for their properties and any arrears can be picked up immediately.
Zero tolerance on rent arrears, most agencies throw this statement about but can they back this up or even know what this means in practice? At Rented your local Property Manager will be able to tell you what % of their current rental book pays on time. This is a key statistic when you consider that every week your property is left empty it costs you 2% of your annual return.
We follow up on missed rent payments in accordance with our Management agreement and the Residential Tenancies Act. Should an arrears breach occur tenants will be notified and followed up on with a 14-day notice being issued should they get 8 days or more behind. We will contact you with a recommendation on how best to progress and look at options for terminating the tenancy should this be an option. Should mediation or Tenancy Tribunal proceedings be necessary we will manage these and keep you updated throughout the process.
Rented makes disbursements to owners twice a month. A full schedule of disbursement dates for the 2017 can be seen here. An annual statement of payments will be issued at Financial year end in April.
Tradesman are also paid twice monthly as a lot of the people we deal with are small companies. We will provide invoices for work undertaken.
Prior to a tenancy beginning a full Property Condition report would take place. This will show the starting condition of the property and be documented along with photos. Both your property manager and the incoming tenant will sign this report.
We will conduct routine inspections regularly and provide you with a written report of the general state of the interior and exterior of the property as well as highlighting any obvious maintenance issues for your attention. Your property manager will work through these with you to ensure anything urgent is dealt with and a maintenance plan is put in place for larger or non-urgent items.
A comprehensive checkout inspection will be completed at the end of each tenancy.
Property Maintenance & Repairs
We will organise maintenance on your behalf at no extra charge. At each routine inspection, your Property Manager will highlight non-urgent maintenance items which can be dealt with as you see fit. Anything urgent will be dealt with when raised. We ideally try to contact an owner but if this is not possible and the issue is impacting on the tenants immediate living standards such as no hot water or smashed window making the property unsecure go ahead with these types of requests.
Your Property Manager will review all expiring Tenancy Agreements well in advance and update you on current market conditions. We will not renew a tenancy without your permission to do so.
As soon as a tenant gives notice we will communicate this to you. Our aim is always to minimise the amount of time between tenancies by ensuring we act promptly on this notification and readvertising a property as quickly as possible.
With more and more regulation coming into the industry you can rest assured that Rented is on top of it all. We are premium members of the Leading Property Managers of New Zealand (LPMNZ) association and through this get access to wealth of resources. With the industry, unregulated in NZ our company adheres to the LPMNZ code of conduct. Our company attends an annual two day LPMNZ conference to keep ourselves up to date with the latest issues, trends and regulations affecting the industry.
Any Time, Any Place, 100% Property Management.
100% Money back guarantee
Unbeatable quality and superior service so much so that we are happy to offer a Money Back guarantee if you are not happy after the first three months of management.
The best advertising
- Vehicle signage
- Business signs on prominent street locations
- Websites (Rented.co.nz, Trade Me)
- Search engine ranking
- Newspaper advertising
Our properties are advertised with addresses, and with more photos than most competitors.
Rented.co.nz completes video tours to assist in letting your property.
Comprehensive inspection reports
Routines are conducted on a regular basis with reports complete with colour photos, produced so you know EXACTLY how your investment is being cared for.
No termination fees
If you need to end the agreement there are no termination fees to ‘lock you in’. We back the quality of our service to be good enough to keep you.
Zero tolerance for rental arrears
We have a full-time administrator that receipts payments. Arrears are followed up daily.
Sick of complicated fees? Keep things simple with one flat fee!
10% + GST on gross rent collected. Traditionally other companies may charge you commissions on:
- Maintenance work
- Monthly Admin fees
- Attending Mediations
- Payment of Insurance
- Attending Tribunal
- Payment of Body Corp Fees
- Completing Inspections
- Advertising Packages
- Credit Checks
Our rate includes all the above!
Superior Service Standards
We are premium members of the Leading Property Managers of NZ (LPMNZ). Additionally, we hold regular staff training sessions and reviews to improve our services to clients.
We show properties at times that suit tenants
Many of our competitor’s limit showing your property to office hours.
Specialist insurance policy
By having a professionally managed property you can use our Landlord Insurance Policy.
- Use of Cloud based systems to ensure Property Managers can access information from anywhere at any time.
- An online Booking System for viewings that provides access to your potential tenants 24/7.
- An online application process that ensures all information required from a tenant is captured up front. This is then used as the basis for the Tenancy Agreement, Background and Credit checks and should it be necessary debt collection.
- Unlike most other companies, we do background checking on tenants in addition to a credit check. This gives us access to a database with 10yrs of Tenancy Tribunal Orders, insolvency records and court judgements.
Units or houses? Why not both? There are some who swear that units are a stronger investment and there are others who say that nothing is safer than houses.
The answer to what is better for the individual comes down to their personal motivation for purchasing. There are, of course, other considerations such as length of investment as the exterior of a complex of units does not need the upkeep that a typical house requires.
A house in New Plymouth, Taranaki, will typically offer an investor many more options than a unit will. For example, adding a deck or bedroom or perhaps enclosing the carport and making it a garage will increase both the capital value and rent yield. For the most part this is an option with houses, but for units not so much.
Houses come on sections also which means there is the added advantage of subdivides, extensions and rezoning. These types of investment simply are not an option when it comes to the typical unit investment. Sure, they come with higher risk, or is it that you simply need to do a little more research before you purchase?
Investing in a property where capital outlay is required requires more time and energy than a standard unit that does not require any work. Also, the capital value of a unit can be held back when a similar unit in the same block gets sold cheaply by a highly motivated vendor.
The other consideration of course is demand. Typically a rental unit returns a lower yield than that of a house and the demand from tenants for a unit is greater than for a house (in some areas). Likewise, there tends to be more turnover with units than there is with houses.
If higher returns are achieved in the group of units, then the flow on affect to others is very positive.
When deciding if a unit or a house is a better investment, the answer is not straight forward given the diverse range of considerations. An experienced property manager in New Plymouth, Taranaki can always help you to to decide which way to go, given their broad range of experience in establishing returns and capital increase.
Check us out – Rented.org.nz. We are experienced, professional property managers in New Plymouth, Taranaki – and we’re here to help.