A Tide of Change is Coming for Landlords. Are You Ready?

Our government’s first-year anniversary is approaching.  Tenancy reform announcements are more frequent as Phil Twyford’s master plan starts to take shape.

Between now and Christmas, there are a few possible and proposed changes coming:

  • Proposed reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act announced.  In particular, reforms will be around ‘security of tenure’, rent bidding and allowing tenants to have pets.
  • Stricter rules and regulations for operators of boarding houses and the likely introduction of a Warrant of Fitness.
  • Standards and time frames around the implementation of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill criteria.
  • The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill No 2 and Abolishment of Letting Fee Bill will become law.
  • An announcement about the possible regulation of our industry.
  • The possibility of tenants having right of renewal of their tenancy after a fixed term.
  • Tenants may have the right to a minimum length of tenancy.
Quinovic Property Management Parnell in Auckland
We have to ask:
  1. Will tenancies become periodic tenancies?
  2. Will landlords only have the opportunity to give a 90-day notice (with valid reason) to end a tenancy?
  3. Will tenants have the right to have pets?
  4. Will tenants be able to make alterations to the rental property without their landlord’s agreement?
 We are of the belief that warrants of fitness will come, and it will be a good change.  At Quinovic Parnell, 99% of the rental properties we manage would meet the proposed changes.  We would be active in guiding owners to ensure their rental properties comply.
It has never been more important that landlords realise they are running a business.  As such property owners need to educate themselves on the changes, and ensure they abide by the law.
We would like to thank Real-IQ for some of the comments for this blog post.
If you’re looking for expert help or guidance, get in touch with Quinovic Parnell in Auckland.  We can assist you in managing your property business. We can ensure your investment or portfolio of rental properties are well managed:

Who Wants to be a Quinovic Property Manager in Auckland?

We take a peek into a day in the life of a Quinovic rental property manager.  Some people think we only collect the rent, which we do and it goes into a secure trust account.  The account is like what law firms operate.  At Quinovic Parnell we also do much more than that.

What exactly does a property manager do?

Property Maintenance:

We look after our owners’ properties.  We take care of all aspects of repairs and maintenance.  As such we work with builders, plumbers, electricians, cleaners and gas fitters.  We also work with gardeners, arborists and lawn mowing service providers.

We organise for the cleaning and servicing of pools and spas.  We brief tilers, roofers, carpet layers, curtain and blind installers/repairers.  We instruct glass repairers, insulation installers, locksmiths, painters and decorators.  Then there are pest controllers and house washers.  There are asbestos removers, chimney sweeps, heat pump and air conditioning services.  Plus there are drainage and sewage consultants.

We talk to architects, engineers, body corporate managers, insurance brokers and underwriters.  Sometimes we deal with neighbours over renovations, subsidence, boundary fences and overhanging trees.
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Property Inspections:

We do regular inspections of all our rental properties.  The inspection includes a written report and photos.  We check each property complies.  We check for operational smoke alarms, asbestos identification, insulation, weather tightness and mould.  We then liaise with our owners and tenants about any outstanding issues.

Accounting:

We break down and explain invoices and costs to our owners and tenants.  We reconcile and allot charges for water bills and property maintenance expenses.  We receive rent payments and chase up rent arrears.  We receipt and later release tenants’ bond monies.

Legal Accountability:

We are the property owner’s legal representative.   We ensure the properties we manage and the owners we represent adhere to the Residential Tenancies Act (1986) and its amendments We observe legislative, body corporate, and/or local government rules and council bylaws which govern residential rental properties.  And this includes residential parking constraints.
We uphold the rights and obligations of all parties, including our tenants.  We are also responsible for ensuring the quiet enjoyment of our tenants’ neighbours.  Now and again we deal with noise complaints and barking dogs.

Security:

We look after keys, swipe cards, remotes, security and alarm codes for all properties we manage.  We record each time these items leave and return to our office. We vet all service providers who are working in our tenants’ homes.  We make sure all service providers have agreed to our health and safety guidelines.  We ensure all our rental properties are safe and secure for our tenants.

Utilities:

We organise or advise about electricity and gas supplies, broadband and Sky TV.  We oversee the fibre installation into rental homes.

Research:

We keep up-to-date with market rental prices which can show seasonal variation.  We assimilate the latest tenancy tribunal judgements and legislative changes affecting rental properties.  We keep our owners and tenants updated. Where required we alter our business practices.  For new tenancies, we vet tenancy applications and check tenant references.

Marketing:

We write compelling rental property advertising to attract great tenants.  We sometimes take our own photos for advertising.  Other times we arrange for professional photographers to take them.  We use social media to further promote properties to a wider audience.
Quinovic Parnell assists owners of rental properties with strategies that ensure their investment is professionally managed by experts to the highest standard.  We give you peace of mind, so you know you are working with Auckland property management experts.
Talk to Kerry today from Quinovic Property Management Parnell about us managing your Auckland rental property:

 

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:

Some Facts About Meth Testing of Rental Properties

Methamphetamine and other drugs are becoming an increasing problem for rental properties.  Alarmed?  We explain why you shouldn’t be.

Quinovic Property Management Parnell has a policy in place to help manage this threat on behalf of rental property owners.

Why you should test for methamphetamine before each tenancy

  1. We test 2 to 4 days before a tenancy starts.  This creates a baseline for future tests.
  2. It is the landlord’s responsibility to provide a clean, tidy and safe home for their tenants.  Completing the test meets tenancy law requirements.
  3. If you fail to test before a tenancy, you could find it difficult to prove contamination was due to the current tenant.
  4. The rental property becomes uninhabitable if contamination is found during a tenancy. The tenancy must end immediately.
  5. As a landlord, you are not responsible to supply alternative accommodation. It’s always good to help if you can.
  6. If a tenant can prove the rental property was contaminated before their arrival, they may apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for a refund of all rent paid. This has occurred more than once in New Zealand.
We don’t wish to frighten anyone off from being a landlord. Engage the professional services of Quinovic Property Management Parnell today. We will ensure you meet your legal responsibilities.
Follow the link below and get in touch with Kerry Kirwan to discuss us managing your Auckland rental property:

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

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