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:

Managing Your Residential Rental Property:

The clouds are forming.  Anyone involved with managing residential property needs to understand this.

Housing was a key issue in the recent election and we have a new coalition government.  Changes are definitely coming.  They have indicated that renting will be more stable and healthy for families.  So changes are most definitely coming!

Are you aware of recent past changes to your responsibilities as a landlord?  The big issue last year was smoke alarms and all home/apartments should be meeting the standards.  Make sure you know how this applies to your property.

Changes to the rules about insulation are compulsory from 1 July 2019.  Savvy landlords are looking to meet these standards sooner rather than later.  They know there are only a limited number of quality insulation installers available.

Some landlords have left things to the last moment.  It is likely costs will increase as installers struggle to finish all work by the deadline.

What should you be doing right now?  If you are a first-time landlord make sure you get a Landlord Pack from Tenancy Services.  Under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 it will tell you:

  • What protections and responsibilities you currently have
  • Tell you how to lodge a bond
  • How to keep track of rental payments
  • How to go about selecting good tenants and what you can do if your tenant breaches tenancy law

Landlords and tenants must both respect “quiet enjoyment.  Are you aware of the responsibilities you have towards your property’s neighbours?  Do you let your tenants know about their responsibilities?

What about your responsibilities for locks, security, repairs and damage?  Experienced landlords would be wise to ensure their practices are up-to-date and robust.

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And then there’s the rental property insurance minefield.  Are you aware of how your insurance policies work and what they cover (and don’t cover).  This includes requirements for regular inspections, detailed property reports and relevant photos.

Moving forward, what can you expect?  Healthy homes are warm and dry.  You need to make sure your rental property is well-ventilated and has heating.  Our view is that over time a heat pump will be the least standard.

A Warrant of Fitness for rental properties will likely soon be essential.  It would cover ventilation, insulation and heating requirements.

Your future options.  The reality of being a landlord is you are running a business with its risks as well as rewards.  Being a landlord is no longer a hobby or part-time job.

At Quinovic Parnell it is our job to keep up with what is happening in all aspects of property management.  Our expertise allows us to help our owners plan ahead and maximise investment return.

Our knowledge and experience allows us to assist our rental property owners mitigate risk
With proven systems in place we check and report on all compliance areas affecting your property and tenants.

Talk to Quinovic Parnell about partnering with us.  We are your specialists in residential property management.  We commit to looking after you and your property with both care and return.

Get in touch with Kerry from Quinovic Parnell today about us managing your Auckland residential property:

Get in touch with Quinovic Property Management Parnell

Tips for Rental Property Investors

Property investing can be a risky business.  Follow our tips to maintain a long-term reliable rental income from your investment property.

Purchase Quality Fixtures & Fittings

Under-budgeting, and purchasing low quality appliances is a mistake many property owners make.  Low quality fixtures, fittings and appliances often require regular maintenance more frequently, and need to be replaced after a much shorter period.  This causes the cost to be more expensive than if a quality item was purchased in the first place.

Tenant-Landlord Relationships

Maintaining a professional relationship with your tenants is a great way to encourage them to stay longer and take good care of your property, helping maintain a reliable rental income.  Good communication and goodwill goes a long way in maintaining good landlord-tenant relationships.  Tenants generally expect enquiries and requests to be answered in a timely manner, and appreciate you being friendly and co-operative – remember goodwill reflects goodwill.

Preventative Repairs

Does the roof need to be repaired?  Are the windows leaking?  Is the property secure?  Look out for any preventative repairs required during property inspections to reduce the occurrence of damage over time.

Investing Badly During Renovations

When landlords decide to invest in a rental property it’s often with the goal to increase its rent income and tenant demand.  Yet all too often people fail to invest in quality products that will earn profits in the long-term.  Though it’s tempting, try to avoid cheap, low quality paint, wallpaper, carpets and tiles.  These have a habit of wearing out quickly.  Discerning tenants look for better quality and you may be cutting some of the best tenants out of your market.

Quinovic Property Management Parnell Gives Tips for Rental Property Investors

Price-Rent Ratio

Don’t make the mistake of sealing the deal and purchasing investment properties without fully understanding the financial situation.  Take the time to first consider what the cash flow will be, how the property will help your financial position, and what initial maintenance may need to be done to attract good tenants.  Analyse the gross yield and net yield of the property, then calculate what you will earn after all the costs are taken into account.  You may even find the property isn’t as profitable as you first assumed.

Managing the Property

Managing properties is more than just being available to answer tenant calls all day every day.  Make sure you keep on top of the paperwork too.  Often we hear about landlords who let rent arrears get out of control with thousands owned.  A simple spreadsheet and swift contact with the tenant can help you keep on top of rent arrears, maintenance costs, endings of tenancies, help you measure the financial success of the property, and remind you when the rent value can next be looked at.  Thus creating a less stressful investment and a more confident investor.  Another common mistake made by self-managing landlords is the avoidance of properly checking and recording the condition of a property, at the beginning and end of each tenancy, and at regular property inspections, then letting damage go by without claiming the repair cost from the tenant.

Find Out More

To find out more about property management get in touch with Quinovic Parnell – experts in property care and return.  Click on the link below:

Get in touch with Quinovic Property Management Parnell

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