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SCOUTnet Investor newsletter - 15th Jun 2017

Is asbestos contamination the next ‘can of worms’ for property investors to deal with?  The hits seem to just keep on coming for property investors.  The latest ‘industry scare’ is asbestos.  It’s believed that up to 75% of the NZ rental housing stock will have building products containing asbestos.  Proposed changes to the Health and Safety Act mean that from April 2018 every property under management may need to contain an asbestos register if there is a possibility that the property may contain asbestos.  We are keeping a close eye on this issue and will update all of our property owners as necessary.

In the wake of the London tower fire:  There has never been a better time to consider emergency preparedness in both your rental property and own home.  The tragic London fire has served as a reminder to us here at Propertyscouts to ensure that all of the properties we look after are fire safe and have emergency evacuation plans where necessary.  We harp on about it, but for a very small annual cost we can ensure that your property is smoke alarm compliant – which is now a legal requirement.  If you haven’t done so already then please get in touch and request our annual smoke alarm service.  If you live in Dunedin then we can also include your own home.  Hint:  Always keep a working torch beside your bed (the wind up ones are good because then you don’t need to worry about the batteries.       

Investor activity in Dunedin reported as being subdued:  QV’s Dunedin valuer Aiden Young said there were signs of a slowdown in the rate of value increase in Dunedin, as was being seen in most other parts of the country. "Current interest rate trends, the official cash rate level, upcoming national elections, and the winter months where Dunedin typically sees less properties for sale, may all be contributing to the current slowing in the rate of value increases," he said. Investor activity around Dunedin remained "subdued", CoreLogic having reported the lowest activity during the past 12 years in Dunedin. Anecdotally, Mr Young said discussions with investors, agents and clients indicated there had been a slowing of investor activity.

Propertyscouts Dunedin – change of owners:  Brad and Rebecca Harris who own the very successful Invercargill franchise of Propertyscouts love the business model so much they’ve bought the Dunedin franchise!  What does this mean to all of our Dunedin Landlords?  Nothing actually – other than the possibility of a better and a more improved service.  The Dunedin staffing model will still stay the same with DJ the Operations Manager running the day to day business and Milton overseeing things and helping out where necessary. 

Common sense starts to kick in over tenants damaging landlord’s properties:  The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (No. 2) which has been introduced to Parliament will provide better protections and clarity for landlords, Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith says. “This Bill makes three practical changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to help ensure our tenancy laws better manage methamphetamine contamination, liability for careless damage and the tenancy of unsuitable properties. It builds on the changes we made last year requiring smoke alarms and insulation, and establishing a Tenancy Compliance and Investigations Team.  “This Bill recognises that meth contamination of properties has become a significant issue that needs clearer direction. We want homes to be safe but we also don’t want properties being vacated when the risks are low.  Under the new Bill tenants will be liable for the excess (insurance) cost up to a maximum of four weeks rent for each incident of damage. 

Property maintenance:  It’s an UNLWAFUL ACT for a landlord to fail to adequately maintain a tenanted rental property.  As agents for the landlord that responsibility falls to us and the fine for each breach is $4000. Tenancy Services now operate compliance units to help tenants take action against landlords for issues such as failing to adequately maintain rental properties.

Please help our online profile:  If you are happy with the service we offer then go in the weekly draw for a nice bottle of wine by writing some POSITIVE feedback about us on Google:

Next landlord disbursement date:  Monday 3 July 2017

Disclaimer: Given the opinions expressed in parts of this newsletter it’s important that we make it clear that the contents of this email are opinions and observations and made in good faith. We suggest that in all cases independent legal and financial advice is sought.

Kind regards from the hard working team at Propertyscouts


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