Housing Minister announces reform of the RTA: The Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford has announced a targeted reform of the Residential Tenancies Act. Since the RTA came into force, homeownership rates have declined and the proportion of households living in rental homes has increased. More people, including families and older people, are renting for longer, or for life. Apparently, the reform of the RTA aims to promote good-faith relationships in the renting environment, and to ensure there are appropriate protections in place for both tenants and landlords.
A discussion document has been released asking for comment. Here is a link to an abbreviated version of the discussion document. http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/housing-property/residential-tenancies/rta-reform/pdf-library/rta-review-infographc.pdf
All landlords and Property Managers are urged to take the opportunity to read the discussion document and have your say on the proposed reforms on the online survey. This is your chance to have your voice in heard. Consultation is open until 5pm Sunday 21th of October 2018.
Here is the link to the survey. Please take the time to complete it, as you can be assured that tenancy groups will be strongly urging their members to complete it, and without balanced arguments to their views, our industry could face dramatic change. https://www.research.net/r/rta-reform-survey
- NZ 2018 conference: This year’s 2-day conference was held at Peppers Clearwater Resort in Christchurch. We welcomed two new franchises – Rachel and Alex from Christchurch and Mark and Erika from Greater Wellington. It was a very full on two days with lots of very interesting guest speakers, including Wayne Alexander from FYI media talking about how we can best use video in property management. Other speakers included Sonia Bizczak from Maintenance Manager and Property Safe. Franchise delegates were very impressed with the Maintenance Manager product which is designed to help property managers, landlords and trades person deal with maintenance issues at rental properties. We also heard from Diane Nelson who is the owner of Real Landlord Insurance. Diane is an ex-property manager, so she has designed her insurance packages specifically for landlords who utelise the services of a property manager. If you are interested in more information on her insurance packages please get in touch. Another great speaker was Alison (Ali) Aitken. Ali is a very well know identity in Christchurch and has worked in Real Estate for the last 30 years. She has now sold over 1 billion dollars’ worth of Real Estate so some of her tips around the area of customer service were of great interest.
- Property Managers Association: OK that’s a real mouth full; IPMA for short! Karen Withers, the chair person of the IPMA was also a speaker at the conference. With the ‘bad press’ property managers and landlords have been getting lately it was great to have Karen at the conference. Her over-riding message was the need for absolute professionalism within our industry. The IPMA has now joined with the Property Institute (PINZ). Bringing the IPMA under the umbrella of the Property Institute has been described as a game changer for the sector. This is a strategic move on the part of IPMA as the Property Institute already has a very high profile and ‘voice’ in NZ around property related matters. It has the potential to dramatically lift expected standards and bring residential property management into line with other property professionals according to the Chief Executive of PINZ, Ashley Church. All Propertyscouts franchises intend joining the IPMA (some are already members) and Milton, our Propertyscouts NZ franchisor, is on the 10-member committee. ipma.org.nz
Regulation: Yes, that old chestnut! Maybe it’s just us but it seems like you can’t open a newspaper or any sort of social media these days without reading about the absolute need for Property Managers to be regulated – and the sooner the better according to some commentators. As it happens we agree with regulation, but not knee-jerk regulation done on the fly. Thankfully, Ashley Church from PINZ has obtained an undertaking from the Housing Minister that regulation will not take place during the current Governments term. This is designed to give the industry time to get its house in order and hopefully for the IPMA and PINZ to come up with a combined plan for regulating the industry. The alternative (which is being actively advanced in some sectors of the industry) is for property managers to be regulated by the Real Estate Institute.
Market update: Auckland and Wellington rents have frozen over winter but according to Trade Me Property’s Head of Property Nigel Jeffries, they are expected to surge once summer demand sets in. Rents in Auckland and Wellington remained unchanged at $550 and $480 per week respectively, for a fourth consecutive month in July, the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index shows. According to Jeffries this is unusual as the winter rental market typically takes a bit of a breather and drops off during the colder months. On a national level, the median rent was up 5.6% on July last year to $475 per week. This is likely driven by the fact that 13 of New Zealand’s 15 regions saw rental increases compared to this time last year. Jeffries says they are seeing huge demand throughout the country, but the regions with the biggest increases were Hawke’s Bay (up 11.1%), Otago (up 8.4%) and Southland (up 8%). For those of you who religiously read our disbursement messages you’ll know that for at least the last 12 months we’ve been saying that rents (across the board) will continue to increase. We like it when we’re proven right!
Smoke Alarm reminder: We are pretty certain you will all be aware by now that the law states ALL rental properties must have a sufficient number of working smoke alarms. Here at Propertyscouts we offer a voluntary, yearly smoke alarm service, for $99. Recently a large Real Estate company, Barfoot and Thompson were criticised in the media for sending out misleading information to their customers indicating that the smoke alarm service they offered was compulsory. So just to be clear – the law states that rental properties must have working smoke alarms. However, the law does not state that smoke alarms must be serviced on a yearly basis, that’s a decision for the Landlord to make. When bad information like this is sent out it gets us thinking – maybe the Real Estate companies should stick to selling houses and leave property management to the Property Managers.
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.
Insulation: Tick tock, tick tock. We’re sure you get the message!
- Who pays for gas at a rental when the gas is supplied by gas bottles? The answer to this question is that if there is a charge for the hire of the gas bottles then the Landlord is responsible for paying the hire charge. The tenant is only responsible for paying for the gas.