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

Rental Properties that Accommodate Pets in Hot Demand

Allowing tenants with pets in your rental property can be a great opportunity for an astute landlord, as long as there are clear rules and boundaries up front.

Quinovic Property Management Parnell can help you to make the correct decisions for tenant and pet selection.

pet friendly rental properties

Some important considerations:

    1. Review your rental property and ensure what you are offering will be suitable for pets, and what type.
    2. Do you have a fully fenced property?  Do you have pet doors?  Do you live on a main road?  Will the home suit inside pets only, or can you cater for both inside/outside dogs/cats?
    3. What are the regulations for your apartment, townhouse or investment home?  Make sure you meet the requirements and know them before you enter into a tenancy agreement.
    4. Tenants and pets both need to be reviewed.  Make sure you check the references of the tenant but also meet the pet (especially dogs) to ensure you are comfortable with how it interacts with the owner.  If you are unsure of the breed of the animal, do your homework to ensure they will be suitable for your home.
    5. Most tenants with pets tend to be very grateful that you are considering them.  They still need to be checked, and you need clear rules around what you will and will not agree to.  You should record these clearly in the tenancy agreement and it should be signed by both parties at the start of the tenancy.
    6. Ask for a photo of the pet for your records, and a reference from someone who knows the animal.
    7. It is very important you have good property condition photos at the beginning of the tenancy, and you do regular inspections and reports to ensure you have robust records of any damage to the property, gardens, furniture etc.  Address issues before tenants leave as the bond may be insufficient to cover damage to carpets or walls from an inside pet.
    8. Marketing of the property should include what you see are the selling points such as secure, fully fenced backyard.  Highlight what would attract a tenant/pet owner, making sure you target what they could be looking for in the rental property.
    9. Be clear about what you are offering and agreeing to before the tenant moves in.  Record everything in the tenancy agreement including number of animals, type, name and whether they are to be inside or outside.  Do your homework!
    10. Get a bond for the property (four weeks minimum).  At Quinovic Parnell we also ask for an additional pet surcharge.  This is payable at the start of the tenancy and recorded in the tenancy agreement.  This covers deodorising of carpets and soft furnishings, and a commercial clean of the property at the end of the tenancy.  Further damage the pet may cause would need to come from the bond if necessary.

Follow the link below to get in touch with Quinovic Parnell about us managing your Auckland rental property:  Quinovic Parnell