Know Your Responsibilities Around the Gluckman Report on Meth

In March 2018 we published an article under the heading:  “Some Facts About Meth Testing of Rental Properties”.
Since then we have had the Gluckman report.  It sent the property management industry into a spin.
Housing NZ and the Real Estate Agents Authority have adopted the level of 15 mcg/100 sq cm for their business model.  But, the Tenancy Tribunal has not accepted this level. As landlords and property managers, we need to obey the law.  What does this mean?
Our advice and recommendation is to test and keep on testing until the law changes.  There are many who are lobbying for change but we need to make sure that our tenants’ health is protected.
We don’t want to be alarmist.  Methamphetamine and other drugs are becoming an increasing problem for rental properties.

Know Your Responsibilities with Methamphetamine in Rental Properties

Quinovic Parnell have a policy in place to help manage this threat on behalf of our owners.
  1. Firstly, we test 2 – 4 days before a tenancy starts.  This creates a baseline for future tests.
  2. We then include the test results as part of our tenancy agreement, and make sure the tenant signs a copy. This ensures they understand and acknowledge they were advised of the test and results.
  3. It is the landlord’s responsibility to provide a clean, tidy and safe home for tenants. We believe testing is part of meeting this requirement under tenancy law.
  4. If we don’t complete a test before the tenant’s arrival it can be very difficult to prove contamination was due to the current tenant.
  5. If during a tenancy contamination is found, the house/apartment becomes uninhabitable and the tenancy ends immediately.  The tenant must vacate and their tenancy agreement ends.
  6. The tenant may apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for a refund of all rent paid if they can prove the property was contaminated before their arrival. This has occurred more than once in New Zealand.
Whilst we don’t wish to frighten anyone from being a landlord, it shows how important it is to engage the services of a professional property management company like Quinovic Parnell to ensure you meet your legal responsibilities.
If you’re looking for an expert property manager, talk to Kerry from Quinovic Property Management Parnell:

FAKE News? Even the Rental Market isn’t Immune

Do you believe everything you read about the Auckland rental property market?  It might be correct, but could be out of date, incorrect, or even worse – it could be fake news!
 
We have all seen the attention-grabbing headlines.  Here are some recent samples:
  • Landlords worried as government moves on compulsory heating in rental properties
  • It was like being in a coffin – Aucklander shares experience renting in NZ’s most expensive city
  • Landlords welcome new meth report: money on problem that doesn’t exist
  • Property predictions for 2018
  • Meth-testing in homes – don’t bother
  • Rental home heating regulations should be in force
  • $1.3 million spent on meth clean up in state houses – just $3,000 on mould
  • What’s squeezing the life out of New Zealand’s rental market?
  • Landlords reveal why your rent is rising
  • Buying property for the short-term rental market
So how do you sort out what might be accurate or truthful, and what might apply to your own situation?
 
For example:
  • Did you know the rental market slows down at certain times of the year?  This affects the time it takes to rent properties and rental returns. It can vary from city to city.
  • Do you know what the rental market is doing right now, suburb by suburb, or city by city?
  • Are queues of prospective tenants a myth or reality for Auckland? Or does tenant interest vary according to location, and the type of property you are trying to rent?
  • Do you know about legislative changes affecting rental properties that come into law on 4 April 2018?
  • Do you know about changes to the law for rental properties that will be compulsory from 1 July 2019?
  • Do you know what these new laws are and how they apply?  Or are you relying on what’s been speculated in, or even relatively ignored by the media?  Do you understand how these changes will affect you and your property?
  • Are you aware of what a PCBU is, and how this affects you and your rental property?  Landlords, property managers and tenants all have obligations to discharge as PCBUs. (A person conducting a business or undertaking).
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By not knowing, you risk significant fines for non-compliance.  With the correct information you can significantly enhance your returns or find great tenants quicker.
 
Get in touch with the experts in Auckland property management.  Quinovic Property Management specialises in managing residential rental properties.  We have been managing properties for over 30 years and know the rental market inside and out.  It’s all we do.   With a nationwide network of 34 offices, 180+ staff, an in-house property lawyer, and thousands of properties under management – you can see why.
 

Our Free Offer to You

At Quinovic Parnell we are offering to give you free, up to date, accurate, informed and customised information;  relevant to you.  If there are enough people wanting the same information, we will publish the questions and answers.
 
Follow the link below to get in touch with Quinovic Property Management Parnell, Auckland:
 

Stunning Auckland Home for Rent, Arney Road, Remuera

Today we share with you a stunning Auckland home available for rent on prestigious Arney Road, Remuera.  Perfect for a family seeking a furnished place to live until January 2019.  Two minutes to Remuera and Newmarket, and in the sought after Double Grammar Zone.

This outstanding character home, built at the beginning of last century has been lovingly maintained and has modern touches.  If you love space – this unique home will appeal.

There are 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, secure gated access, and a huge separate wing which could be used as an office, and it includes an ensuite.  You’ll love the spaciousness of this very unique property.

Includes an inground swimming pool, spa and large decks off the spacious kitchen with living and dining room.

To view, get in touch with Kerry from Quinovic Property Management Parnell:

M: 0220 108 005
E: kerry@quinovic-parnell.co.nz

















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Are You Thinking of Buying an Investment Property?

Even if you are a seasoned property investor, but especially if you are relatively new to property investment, our advice is to “get advice”.

There’s much to consider:
  • Is it a good investment for me? Do the numbers work?
  • Do I know all I need to know about the property from a legal perspective?
  • What sort of rental return can I expect?
  • What improvements can I make to increase the value of the investment?
  • What type of features appeal to tenants; what are they looking for?
Here are a few tips that might help your decision making.

 

Bedrooms
The number of bedrooms is generally the first factor in determining how much a property will rent for. The bedrooms, the greater the rental income potential. Bedroom size is also important – they should all be big enough to accommodate a double or queen-sized bed.

 

Living Areas
The number of living rooms should be in proportion to the number of bedrooms. Usually, if there are four or more bedrooms, there should be more than one living area. Living areas are areas used for general living, ie – a space that can fit a couch, coffee table and TV. They also need to be far enough apart so that noise isn’t an issue. For instance, a house that has a combined lounge/dining upstairs and a rumpus room downstairs is considered to have two living areas.

 

Kitchens and Bathrooms
New or renovated kitchens and bathrooms are more appealing to tenants and “sell” rental properties. They also help maximise the sales price of properties when sold. Like bedrooms, the number of bathrooms can also influence the rental return.

 

Outdoor Living Area
Properties with an outdoor living area are easier to rent than those without any outside options.  Ideally, there should be enough space for a barbecue and seating for 4 to 8 people.  Yet anything is usually better than nothing.
Grounds should be low-maintenance and well maintained in the front and back. Consider the cost of lawn and garden maintenance and who you think should be responsible – you or your tenants.

 

Rental Property Investment

Presentation:
Properties that need repairs and maintenance aren’t appealing to tenants.  Property presentation is also a very important consideration.  As the property owner, home maintenance inside and outside is your responsibility, not your tenants.  It makes economic sense to ensure your property is presented in the best possible way.

At Quinovic Property Management over the past 30 years we’ve learned a lot about rental properties. We’ve helped residential property investors maximise the potential of their rental assets.

 Are you looking for independent, honest advice based on experience and knowledge?
Get in touch with Quinovic Property Management Parnell by clicking on the link below:

Residential Property Owners Need Protecting Too

How protected are you as an owner of a rental property?
The government has signalled we are about to see changes in residential tenancy legislation. This includes banning letting fees paid by tenants.  There is still very little legislative protection for owners of rental properties.
This lack of protection was evident recently.  The NZ Herald reported the company owned and run by Auckland property manager David Sharma, operating under Ray White Henderson, owed 67 landlords more than $350,000 in unpaid rents The number of landlords owed money by Sharma has since increased and is now confirmed as being 72 and growing.
 
The liquidators reported that most rental payments owed to rental property owners dated to January and February of this year.  There were no company assets available for immediate recovery.  The company’s bank accounts were overdrawn.  The chances of any of these property owners seeing their overdue rental monies anytime soon is pretty non-existent.
 
So how was this allowed to happen?  Aren’t there legislation and rules to prevent these sorts of things from occurring?
 
Unfortunately, the answer is ‘no’.  Up until 2008, property management was an activity for which a real estate licence was required and overseen by the Real Estate Institute.  Yet when the Real Estate Agents Act came into effect, a real estate licence was no longer required.   This very low barrier for entry meant a lot of new people entered the industry, cutting corners and service delivery.
 
Why aren’t the rental monies at least deposited into a trust account? Again, because it’s not mandatory for property managers to operate one.
 
It is a question every rental property owner should ask their property managers. It’s not only the smaller players who don’t run trust acounts for rental monies. Sharma is a good example of this. Although his business traded as Property Management Out West Ltd, it was under the branding of Ray White Henderson.
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At Quinovic Property Management, we view a trust account as imperative.  It protects our owners’ money and the integrity of our property management services.  All our rental monies come into a centralised trust account.  Then they get disbursed directly and automatically to our rental property owners.  This system means no rental monies are received or controlled by our individual branches.
 
At Quinovic Property Management Parnell, we ensure investment properties are professionally managed to the highest standard.  We can also give you peace of mind, knowing your rental income is protected.  We assist Auckland rental property owners put plans and strategies in place.
 
Have your Auckland rental property managed by Parnell’s property management experts.  Discover how much your rental property could be earning with a rental appraisal.  Follow the link below to complete our online form:

Tips for Renting Your Property

That Will Save You from Disaster

We’ve put together some tips when you’re renting your property to tenants.

Reference Check

Always ask prospective tenants for references and always call their referees.  If you rely on your own assessment of prospective tenants, this can lead to problems down the track.

Credit Check

Referees may be reluctant to make negative comments about a colleague or friend.  It is vital that you also carry out a credit check on prospective tenants.  Most debt collecting agencies can conduct credit checks.  You need to ensure you get the tenant’s permission first.

Tenant Check

To name a few, the following should be undertaken:

  • Background checks
  • Social media
  • Police
  • Credit
  • Verification of ID

A professional property management company will undertake these and more on your behalf.  Remember to get written permission from tenants first.

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Outline Expectations in the Tenancy Agreement

The tenancy agreement is the place to outline what you expect from your tenants.  It must clearly state if there are to be no pets, parties or smoking, the maximum number of occupants, and so on.  Failure to make specific conditions clear can lead to dispute.  If the matter goes to the Tenancy Tribunal, an unclear agreement puts you in a precarious position.  Neither party can sign away their rights under the Residential Tenancies Act.  Even if both parties agree to a clause at the time of signing a tenancy agreement, this clause may not be upheld if a dispute is taken to the Tenancy Tribunal.

Opt for a Fixed-Term Tenancy Over a Periodic Tenancy

You may find a good tenant who is going to pay the rent and look after your property.  If you sign them up for a periodic tenancy instead of a fixed term tenancy, they could give 21 days’ notice and leave.  This gives you very little time to find a new tenant, and it could cost you in lost rent.

A fixed term tenancy enables you to find new tenants before the current tenants move out.  This could potentially save you thousands of dollars.  It also enables you to protect against the property becoming vacant at a time of year when tenanting could be difficult, ie – November/December or mid-winter.

Take the Maximum Possible Bond

Many private landlords feel that no bond, or only two weeks bond is necessary.  It’s very easy for a property to be damaged, which could leave the owner out of pocket.  Tenants are given the right to live in an asset worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.  It is advisable to insist on taking the maximum bond possible of four weeks.

Lodge the Bond with the Department of Building and Housing

Always lodge the bond.  Not lodging the bond with the Department of Building and Housing is illegal.  If a tenant takes you to the Tenancy Tribunal, could be a fine for you of up to $1,000.  The actual amount is at the discretion of the adjudicator.  You could lose many hours dealing with the tenants and attending the hearing.

Talk to Kerry Kirwan about Quinovic Parnell managing your rental property:

Quinovic Property Management Parnell

How to Get Noticed when Applying for a Rental Property

In Auckland’s competitive rental property market – being turned down can be discouraging.  You could be competing against a number of other potential tenants for the same place.  Is it time for you to think outside the square?

You need to make a good impression on who is doing the viewing if you are to secure the rental property you want.  It could be a private landlord, a letting agent or a property manager that you will deal with.

There are many advantages to a property owner using a property management company.  So you could be dealing with a property manager from a property management company, rather than with the landlord.

The property manager does the reference, credit and background checks, and in due course provides the owner with their opinion.

Top Tenant Tips

At each viewing you attend, there may be a number of potential tenants there.  You should make yourself known to the agent by introducing yourself.  This is irrespective of how busy the viewing is.

Before the Viewing:

  • Make use of systems such as Viewing Tracker on Trade Me.
  • Familiarise yourself with the location of the property, and pre-plan which route you intend to take.  To ensure you arrive on time, take traffic into account.
  • Pay attention to what to wear at the open home and the first impression you will create.
  • If dealing with an agent – obtain a tenancy application form beforehand if possible.  You may be able to download one from the company’s website.
  • Fill out the application form before the viewing, and ensure you have a copy of your photo ID.
  • Put together a tenancy resume or similar, and include a photo.

The open home is usually the first time the property manager will have seen or dealt with any potential tenants.  It is vital you make a good first impression.

At the Open Home:

  • Be on time, and if you can turn up a little early.  If you are running a little late – it is courteous to let the property manager know.  Call or send a quick SMS if you are running behind time.
  • Introduce yourself to the property manager.  This is really important if there is a lot of interest in the property, or if it is in a sought after location.
  • Be sincere and honest, and communicate well.
  • If you could see yourself living at the property – let the property manager know you will put in an application.  Do what you say by following through.
  • If there is a viewing sheet at the property – fill it out.  You could be added to their office database and contacted about other available properties.  If unsuccessful for this property, you could be considered for another.
  • Resist the urge to openly criticise the property.  If it really doesn’t suit then you shouldn’t apply.  If the agent asks for your honest feedback – you should give your view without being overly critical.
  • If you pre-completed the application form – hand it to the property manager at the viewing together with a copy of your photo ID.  If you are from overseas you could use your passport as ID, and include a copy of your visa conditions.

After the Open Home:

  • If you emailed your application – follow up with the property manager by calling to confirm they received it.  Sometimes emails can go straight into junk mail, particularly those with attachments.  It is good practice to double check your tenancy application has been received.
  • Refrain from calling the property manager every few hours for an update. Property managers can be incredibly busy, and it can be very off-putting if a potential tenant is overzealous.

Get in touch with Quinovic Property Management Parnell