Overcoming Common Challenges: Practical Tips for Self-Managing Landlords
3 August 2023

Overcoming Common Challenges: Practical Tips for Self-Managing Landlords

As a self-managing landlord, you've chosen to take the reins of your property investments, and that's no small feat. While the journey may be rewarding, it's not without its challenges.

From juggling time constraints to navigating legal compliance, there's a lot on your plate. But fear not! In this article, we'll delve into practical tips that will empower you to navigate common challenges successfully. 

1. Time Management: A Balancing Act for Success

Time is your most precious asset as a self-managing landlord and efficient time management allows you to focus on what matters most. Between handling tenant inquiries, coordinating repairs, and marketing any vacancies, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. To master the art of time management:

  • Set dedicated hours for landlord duties and stick to them.

  • Embrace digital tools to streamline communication with tenants and automate routine tasks.

  • Prioritise tasks based on urgency and importance, and delegate when necessary. 

2. Tenant Screening and Selection: Quality over Quantity

Choosing the right tenants is vital for a smooth and stress-free rental experience. To ensure you attract reliable tenants:

3. Maintenance and Repairs: Proactive Beats Reactive

Property maintenance is a top priority for happy tenants and long-term property value. To tackle maintenance effectively:

  • Conduct routine inspections to catch issues early (doing so may even be a requirement of your insurance policy!).

  • Build a network of reliable contractors for prompt repairs.

  • Educate tenants on their basic maintenance responsibilities, such as wiping condensation, to prevent minor issues from escalating.

4. Legal Compliance: Staying Within the Bounds

Navigating landlord-tenant laws can be a daunting task. To stay compliant and avoid legal troubles:

  • Stay up to date with local laws and regulations and keep an eye on potential legislative changes, like those that may arise from an upcoming election. It's not only important for the property management itself but also for managing potential cash flow disruptions from tax changes such as the removal of mortgage interest deductibility.

  • From rental agreements to health and safety standards, ensure your rental property meets all legal requirements of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986.

  • Keep detailed records of all transactions and communications with tenants.

  • Consider joining your local New Zealand Property Investors’ Federation (NZPIF) for resources and support.

5. Rent Collection: Smooth Cash Flow Management

Consistent rent collection is crucial for financial stability. To ensure a smooth process:

  • Establish clear rent payment expectations and communicate them effectively to tenants.

  • Encourage tenants to set up an automatic payment for rent.

  • Promptly follow up with tenants regarding any late payments while remaining understanding and approachable. Sometimes circumstances beyond the tenant’s control may lead to delayed rent payments (for example, changes in pay cycles or bank glitches). In such cases, being considerate and communicative goes a long way in resolving the situation. 

  • If issues arise, follow the appropriate steps (as outlined by Tenancy Services & the Residential Tenancies Act 1986).

6. Handling Disputes: Diplomacy and Fairness

Disagreements with tenants are inevitable, but they can be resolved amicably. To handle disputes effectively:

  • Respond promptly to any queries.

  • Stay calm and professional during conflicts.

  • Listen to tenants' concerns and work towards a mutually beneficial resolution.

  • Familiarise yourself with tenant rights and your own as a landlord to navigate disputes responsibly.

  • Make sure to follow all the required, correct procedures for conflict resolution (as outlined by Tenancy Services & the Residential Tenancies Act 1986).

7. Property Marketing: Attracting the Right Tenants

Effective marketing is the key to finding quality tenants quickly. To boost your property's visibility:

  • Invest in professional photography and create compelling listings.

  • Utilise online rental platforms and social media to reach a broader audience.

  • Highlight unique features and amenities that set your property apart.

Vacancies and Tenant Turnover: Minimising Downtime

Vacant properties can be a drain on your resources. To reduce vacancy periods:

  • Plan ahead and start marketing the property before the current lease ends.

  • Focus on tenant retention by maintaining good communication and addressing repairs and tenant concerns promptly.

Embrace these practical tips, and you'll be well-equipped to overcome the challenges that come with self-managing your rental property. Remember, effective self-management is about finding a balance, being proactive, and continuously improving your skills. By mastering these aspects, you'll be on your way to becoming a confident and successful self-managing landlord. 

At Propertyscouts, we provide personal, yet professional service to landlords and tenants alike. If you’re ready to hand over the responsibility of managing your investment to a professional, get in touch! Our nationwide network of property management experts will be more than happy to assist you. Find a Propertyscouts property manager near you.