Our first inspection occurs 10 days into the new tenancy. This gives the tenant the opportunity to point out anything that needs fixing which may not have been picked up in the property condition report.
After this initial inspection, we then schedule in regular three monthly inspections. The regularity ensures that any potential problems can be found and dealt with early and before they become significant ones.
At this time we also schedule tenancy renewal notices as per the Residential Tenancies Act – particularly for Fixed term tenancies which can require upwards of 120 days to confirm what is going to happen with at the end of the current contract and to ensure that the regulatory 90 days notice can be given if necessary. Tenants are required to give 21 days notice of their intention to vacate (even if they are on a fixed term tenancy).
It is an often held fallacy that Fixed Term tenancies do not allow the Landlord to increase or decrease the rent. All of our Fixed Term Tenancy agreements are compliant with the Residential Tenancies Act to allow us to review the rent at regular intervals. Generally we review rents annually for each property, however if you would like this more regularly, please ask and we will schedule a rent review for you.
As an owner you are welcome to inspect your property at any time. However, for owners to have access, we must give the tenant 48 hours notice in writing. We ask that you please try to give us at least two weeks notice to allow us to arrange this.
"A zero tolerance for rent arrears” - this sounds good in the marketing material, but this kind of statement is inflexible and impractical. The reality of our business is that things do change, and sometimes tenants are unable to pay rent. When this happens, we need to act in your best interests, not ours. Provided the circumstances have not made the tenant unwilling to pay rent, then we believe it may be better to work through the problem and allow the tenancy to continue. After all, vacancy has a cost to you. We will let you know what is going on, to make sure that you are happy with any course of action.
We compel all tenants to use an automatic payment authority to pay their rent, however there are always those that prefer to pay by direct credit. We normally ask tenants to pay us a week or two in advance, depending upon if they pay weekly or fortnightly.
If a tenant misses a payment, on the first day we will send them a text or phone them to let them know that payment was missed. If we are unsuccessful in receiving funds by the close of business the next working day, we will issue the tenant with a 14 day notice of breach (non payment of rent) which is also lodged with TINZ – Tenancy Information NZ.
Once this notice has been issued, legally we can immediately apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for a termination of the tenancy. If the tenant subsequently pays and clears the debt then we may allow them to stay, depending upon your requirements.
Some owners opt to purchase Insurance to cover them for rental arrears. Insurance to protect your investment is a very good idea and critical in reducing the investment risk.
Regardless of this, in dealing with rent arrears, our commitment is always to you, the owner, first and foremost.
Your rental property is an investment and as such, it needs regular maintenance to keep it’s rental appeal and to stave off the effects of aging. If requested, we will provide a maintenance schedule for your property.
Tenants can only be held responsible mowing and a small amount of weeding. At the end of the tenancy the Residential Tenancy Act states that the gardens must be in a tidy condition and rubbish removed. The tenants are not responsible for trimming trees and hedges, spraying or clearing gutters and drains.
If your property has a chimney, we will also schedule an annual chimney sweep as this is likely to be a requirement of your insurance policy.
Please note that there is also no legal obligation for outgoing tenants to clean carpets, however we do request via our tenancy agreement that carpets are professionally cleaned.
Your rental property is an investment and it needs to provide good capital gains and investment returns. With so much quality property on offer for rental, it is important to keep property maintained to a standard which makes it attractive to the best tenants. An average property manager will advise of on-going routine maintenance; however a great property manager will advise their owner what needs to be done to keep their property looking at its best for both prospective tenants and future buyers.
Property should be reviewed annually to check for items that would improve the value of the home. This could include painting, floor coverings, grout replacement, tree lopping, fencing, roof tile replacement etc.
Naturally we do not recommend maintenance that may not be necessary and some properties will not require major maintenance for many years and we never proceed with such maintenance without prior correspondence and approval from you.
Typically we perform annual maintenance checks in December as this gives ample opportunity to attend to the maintenance before the end of the financial year.