How Fit is Your Investment Property?

Warrants of fitness for rental properties have featured in the media lately, and have also come into the spotlight with political parties recently.  We are familiar with warrants of fitness for the car – what about for your rental property?

The signs are that some sort of warrant of fitness for landlords is on its way;  let’s look at what this will mean for you.

Changes in tenancy laws on 1 July 2016 meant the following:

  1. All rental properties are required to have smoke alarms.
  2. All new tenancy agreements need to include a statement of the extent and safety of insulation in the property, and any replacement or installation of insulation in a rental property must meet the required standards.

Warrants of Fitness for Rental Properties may be Sooner than You Think

August 2017 – the Wellington City Council announced it will pursue a voluntary rental WOF and intends to make it compulsory in 3 years.

What would a WOF cover?

The best idea we have is what the Wellington City Council has introduced, and if you are a landlord it would be good to familiarise yourself with the 29 items on the criteria.  This includes insulation, heating, ventilation and structural stability.

An inspector would check your rental property in the following areas:

  • All walls, ceilings, linings and floors are intact
  • All surfaces are clear of mould
  • Adequate food preparation and storage in the kitchen
  • Secure storage with child safe locks in the laundry
  • The lounge would require fixed heating.  In the future it is more likely that a heat pump would be the minimum standard
  • Portable heating would be unacceptable unless it was a unit or apartment less than 50sqm
  • Windows would require secure latches
  • The front entrance would need to be clearly labelled, identifiable and with good lighting at the front and rear

Overall your investment property must be in reasonable condition, with good spouting/stormwater which does not leak, and no cracks or holes.

Paths, decks and surfaces are to be free from moss and non-slip.

This is a quick overview of the changes coming, and it’s never too late to start ensuring your rental property will meet the standards when they are enforced.  It’s protecting your investment as much as it is maintaining its quality and this in turn attracts quality tenants.

Quinovic Parnell is more than willing to work with owners and put plans in place to ensure your investment is looked after and by doing so, retaining its value for owners and tenants alike.

Is your property up to scratch?  How ready are you for possible warrants of fitness of rental properties?

Follow the link below to get in touch with Quinovic Property Management in Parnell today about putting a plan in place for your Auckland rental property:

Quinovic Property Management Parnell

Are You Satisfied with Your Auckland Property Manager?

We often hear stories from property owners who pass their Auckland rental properties over to us after a bad experience with their previous property manager. Today we share with you some of the feedback we receive from our satisfied property owners and Quinovic Parnell tenants:

  • “Wonderful professional service – 100%.”, G.A., Parnell
  • “Gordon is very professional and always contactable – 100%.”, A.G., Parnell
  • “I am very happy with the service and communication – 10 out of 10.” J.H., New Lynn
  • “Professional management, only escalates things to me when necessary;  I have no need to get involved – 100%.” D.V., West Harbour
  • “Gordon has been helpful and professional – 9 out of 10.” C.D., Remuera

Quinovic Property Management Parnell Satisifed Owners and Tenants

  • “I would like to express my appreciation for the excellent service you have provided as my property manager.  I appreciate your friendly and efficient professionalism every time we communicate about my tenancy.  I commend and recommend you to everyone I meet.” V.T., One Tree Hill
  • “Lynette has been thoroughly professional and very helpful in dealing with my tenancy.   Her level of service was not something I have previously encountered as a tenant and 2 or 3 minor issues have been dealt with very quickly and unobtrusively.  Regular inspections were notified well in advance and carried out with no disruption.  Lynette is just the person you’d want to be dealing with.” A.M., Parnell
  • “I just wanted to thank you for being incredibly accommodating.  Thank you for being such a wonderful landlord over the past two and a half years – it has been a pleasure.  We both really appreciate all you have done.” TMR, Parnell

How good is the feedback you are giving to your Auckland property manager?  Follow the link below to get in touch with Quinovic Property Management in Parnell today:

Quinovic Property Management Parnell

 

Keeping Your Rental Property in Good Shape

There is already a lot going on for residential property investors when it comes to maintaining their properties to an acceptable standard.  Are you aware there big changes?

From 1 July 2019 all rental properties are required under legislation to have ceiling and underfloor heating, with EECA, the government agency responsible for energy efficiency and conservation, being tasked to promote the government’s Healthy Homes Programme.  Investors who own rental properties need to stay up to date with their legal obligations, EECA’s websites are definitely worth reading.

Below are a couple of links to websites you could check out:

Setting up your rental property in advance of this increasing compliance focus gives a strong foundation for not just keeping it in good shape, but also in protecting those who live in it, and you as their landlord.  There will always be a cost to do this, however if ignored the cost can be much greater.

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There are obvious day-to-day things that are front of mind when it comes to a healthy home including:

  • Keeping your home warm and dry
  • Saving on power bills, etc

However, there are less obvious aspects that can be overlooked, especially after a property has been rented for some time.  No one wants to wake up to the news that their property has been the cause of a tragedy.

Here at Quinovic Property Management Parnell, we take our responsibilities to look after our tenants very seriously, and this includes having robust systems in place to make sure ongoing maintenance is taken care of, such as:

  • Electrical and gas work is properly certified
  • Appliances are serviced regularly
  • Heat pumps are cleaned regularly
  • Chimneys are checked and swept regularly
  • Smoke alarms are checked and serviced
  • Insulation meets the required standards

As well as the primary focus being the safety of tenants and their families, our maintenance programmes reduce the risk for landlords, including where there are any insurance claims, that these are approved.

For more advice or information about our residential property management services, follow the link below to get in touch with Quinovic Property Management Parnell:

Quinovic Property Management Parnell

Are You a Reluctant Landlord?

You marketed your home for sale, it didn’t sell at your price – now you want to move on

Auckland property sales appear to have slowed.  At Quinovic Parnell  we are seeing frustrated vendors turning to the rental market when their property hasn’t sold for the expected price.

Many of these property owners are frustrated and disappointed.  They have gone through the sales process, and the effort required – both physically and emotionally.  Often they have moved on in their minds from owning the property and are having to rethink what to do.  They may have already purchased another property, and visualise being there.

Can you fully embrace an entirely new way of thinking from home owner to property investor, and treat it like a business?  You could rent your home out until the Auckland property market supports a good sale.

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Perhaps you have decided to go ahead and become a landlord.  Our professional experience and expertise in residential rental property is critical to making sure you get things right.

Here are some of the things that anyone considering becoming a landlord needs to think about.  All good reasons to have experts who deal with these each day do the work for you:

  • Your legal obligations
  • Letting, tenant screening, acceptance, bond collection and lodgement
  • Professional distance when managing the relationship with tenants
  • Rent collection
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Rental appraisal and rent increases
  • Regular inspections
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Record keeping

Do you have the time to deal with situations when they arise?  We do!  We have the time and the experience to do the important things that ensure the best care of your property, and the best return.

Get in touch with Kerry Kirwan today to discuss us managing your property:

  • P:  09 373 4353
  • M:  0220 108 005

Quinovic’s Top Reasons to Move into an Apartment

The Auckland apartment market is growing, and each month we are offered more options to buy.

Is it time to review the pros and cons of moving into an apartment?

Key Questions You Should Ask Yourself:

  1. If I was to downsize from the family home and move into an apartment – could I keep the family home and rent it out?  What would the rent be and whom should we use to manage the home?
  2. What if I sold the family home and with those funds could I buy maybe one or two apartments and also have enough to buy another townhouse or apartment for myself?
  3. Or maybe I move into the holiday bach and rent out my new investment apartments/townhouse or home? What if I sold the family home and with those funds could I buy maybe one or two apartments, and also have enough to buy another townhouse or apartment for myself?

Auckland apartment lifestyle, rental property, Quinovic Parnell, Quinovic property management

  • Location, Location, Location:  Apartment living is all about your location – moving into the city or its fringe, will give you easy access to public facilities like libraries, art galleries, town hall, theatre and public transport.
  • More Affordable:  Your apartment can be more affordable – even with a body corp fee to pay.  Gone is the maintenance of the home, gardens, insurance, and maybe the removal of the balance of the mortgage.  This can mean you have funds left over to live your life as you desire.
  • Lock Up and Leave:  Travel is more affordable than ever.  With the ability to lock up and leave – you have the opportunity to just leave, knowing there is a building manager you can contact if needed – and who will also take an interest to make sure all is well, whilst you are away.  Escape the weekend or head overseas – you have choices, especially if you have downsized and now have some surplus funds.
  • Choice Over Facilities:  Always wanted a heated pool, spa, sauna or gym?  Choose an apartment that will supply what you want – and share the cost of running these facilities with the apartment owners.  It’s great when you don’t need to leave home, and have these wonderful facilities on your doorstep.
  • Share Costs:  Yes you have a body corp which runs the complex and it is wise to be involved and show an interest in how it works.  The advantage is you have like-minded people sharing the decision making and who help to keep a well maintained building – your new home.
  • Opportunity:  Apartment living gives you a chance to review how much of your money will be invested in the family home.  Should you take some of that equity and make it work in an investment home/apartment or townhouse – or do you just use it to travel and see the world?

If you are looking at property management of your investment – get in touch with Kerry Kirwan from Quinovic Parnell today on 0220 108 005.

Is DIY Part of Your DNA?

Approximately 25% of New Zealand residential landlords use a property manager from a property management company.  In Australia it is around 80% and in the UK it is even higher.

Why are we different to other countries, and what is it costing us?

One reason we are out of step compared to other countries is we are a national of DIYers.  A do it yourself attitude is a dangerous one when it comes to property management.

Relatively speaking, New Zealanders are naive, and continue to bring a DIY attitude to not only property investment, but all kinds of business enterprises.  It is why so many owners started out with big ambitions, and now find themselves stuck in a rut – working hard for little return, and seeing no way forward other than to work harder.

Smart business people allocate time and effort to where it will make the biggest difference, and engage others to do the rest.

Quinovic Property Management Parnell, rental property Auckland, property managers Parnell

Almost every new client who comes to us after having managed their own rental property has been leaving money on the table, often for years. The reasons are many.

Ambitious business owners aim high.  New Zealand has plenty of world beaters who got there by not only working hard, but thinking smart and surrounding themselves with great people.

We would like to see property investors flourish in this country, achieving the returns and long term wealth that’s really possible.  Regardless of how you are growing your wealth – how much more could you create with the support of committed experts who are out to have you win?

Talk to Kerry Kirwan from Quinovic Property Management Parnell about us managing your Auckland rental property:
P: 09 373 4353
M: 0220 108 005

Trends in Housing Rental Market

A recent report from MBIE (Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment) website shows interesting trends for rents throughout New Zealand.

The report is produced quarterly and information is to the quarter ending September 2015.

Some of the trends shown in the reports indicate that the Auckland market growth rates are stabilising.

More in depth investigation show that since December 2014 the upward trend in Auckland house values has continued but the rate at which it is rising has stabilised.

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Christchurch Housing Supply

MBIE forecasts that supply of housing is likely to catch up to demand in Christchurch around mid-2017, which is earlier than previous expectations.

Auckland Growth Rate Stabilises

The growth rate in both house values and rents in Auckland stabilized in December 2014. Since then the trend value in house values has grown steadily at 4% per quarter and the trend value in rents has grown at 2% per quarter.
This means that while rents and house values in Auckland are still growing, the growth rates have not increased in six months.

Note that this is a short time period (two quarters) and whilst it is an indicator is not sufficient to establish a reliable trend.

More in depth information can be found here

Landlord Information: Long Life Smoke Alarms Compulsory in Rental Properties

Smoke Alarms to be Compulsory

The Government has given landlords until July next year to install long-life smoke alarms in rental properties that don’t have alarms, and until July 2019 to provide insulation where it is possible to retrofit properties.
Tenants will be responsible for replacing batteries and notifying landlords of defects in existing smoke alarms, and any replacements must be long-life brands.  The proposed standards require a minimum of one working smoke alarm in a hall or similar area, within three metres of each bedroom door.
Housing Minister Nick Smith said a package of reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act that he announced early last month was a more pragmatic and efficient way of improving housing standards than a rental warrant of fitness scheme.   He said the insulation retrofitting of 180,000 homes is expected to cost $600 million and installing smoke alarms for 120,000 homes currently without alarms is expected to cost $7 million.  Officials estimate the flow-on effect on rents for a property requiring ceiling and underfloor insulation and a new smoke alarm to be $3.20 per week.
The package, to be introduced to Parliament by October, also includes new powers to prosecute landlords for breaking tenancy regulations, particularly where there is risk to the health and safety of tenants. It also provides for tenants to be able to take concerns to the Tenancy Tribunal without fear of retaliatory evictions.
Where tenants abandon a property with no intention of returning, affected landlords will benefit from a new 10-day process introduced to enable re-tenanting of such properties. Mr Smith said the current process could take up to six weeks, leaving a house empty and the landlord out of pocket.
The reforms would be supported by a $1.5 million information campaign aimed at improving compliance with existing and new tenancy law requirements, as well as providing guidance on practical ways to make homes healthier.
Mr Smith said the package was a more pragmatic and efficient way of improving housing standards than a housing warrant of fitness scheme.  “Such a scheme would cost $100 million per year, or $225 per house for inspections alone, and these costs would be passed on to tenants in rents,”  he said.
“Significant issues like leaky roofs, insecure doors, excessive dampness and unsafe wiring are already covered by existing regulations, and the better response is tougher enforcement.  Other issues like window stays, glass visibility safety strips and hot water temperature are best improved by education.”

smoke alarm

Interesting Trends for Property Investors

Useful Information on Rental Trends for Investors

The New Zealand Housing Quarterly, available in PDF format through the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment website, shows trends across a wide range of factors of interest to property investors.

The latest report includes a graph showing quarterly changes in average weekly private rents over the past 10 years have been rising modestly on average across the country.  While rents have been falling in some regions such as in Hastings, Wanganui, Upper and Lower Hutt, others have  seen rent increases of over 10%, such as in Central Hawke’s Bay.

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A graph showing the quarterly changes in average private rents for selected regions shows Auckland rental growth has been high since late 2013, and rents have grown by 5.8% over the past year.

However, in Greater Christchurch the rate at which rents were increasing has slowed greatly since the very rapid growth seen after the Canterbury earthquake.  And rent increases in Wellington and the rest of New Zealand have been steady over a number of years at around 3% per annum.

The report also tracks rental yields trends versus price growth for Auckland and Christchurch and notes that while Auckland house price growth has been gradually rising over the last four years, the rental yield has remained roughly constant.  It concludes that this suggests the demand for investment properties is being driven by expected future price increases, rather than higher rental income.  A similar pattern can be seen in the Christchurch housing market, though expected price growth has plateaued at a lower level.

A rental affordability index shows renting in the Wellington region is more affordable than Auckland and Christchurch.

This wonderful Remuera property rented the day it listed!

We have a long list of clients looking for executive homes in Auckland. These clients include CEO’s, upper-level management, medical staff, and professionals on secondment and fixed-term employment contracts. If you have an available executive rental property and need specialist residential property management services, you need to call Quinovic Parnell.

Auckland Property Rented

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact us now to list your property!