The introduction of Auckland ‘Super City’ has seen water services consolidated across the entire Auckland City region, and these are now managed solely by Watercare (an organisation owned by Auckland Council). Watercare has recently introduced a range of changes to water and wastewater charges effective as of 1 July 2012 and customers will now be billed monthly and pay standardised wastewater charges.
These changes have seen the fixed service charge for wastewater increased from $43.28 to $190.00, frustrating some landlords as the Residential Tenancies Act only allows charges that can be individually measured to be passed on to the tenant, resulting in landlords having to wear this cost or pass it on in some form of rent increase.
To view all changes to water and wastewater charges click here
August 16 2012 | Property Management | No Comments »
All rental properties require some form of maintenance on an on-going basis and property managers will usually include a clause in the property management agreement allowing them to spend monies at their discretion. This is to allow for emergencies requiring urgent work where the landlord can’t be contacted.
For general maintenance, Allen Realty property managers work with the owner from the outset to establish maintenance protocols. Clients can either choose to be contacted immediately for all maintenance issues, or have a pre-set spending limit whereby the owner is contacted if the cost is likely to exceed the agreed amount.
For these maintenance protocols to function successfully a property manager with effective communication skills is required.
Click here to read more on property maintenance protocols
July 18 2012 | Property Management and Property Management Law | No Comments »
Clearly stating the maximum occupants on a Residential Tenancy Agreement is a vital part of risk reduction and asset protection for landlords, as the more people in a property, the more wear and tear. This should be checked at every property inspection, and if breached a 14 day notice should be issued to give the tenants time to correct the breach. If the tenant exceeds the number of occupants this is an unlawful act under the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 and exemplary damages of up to $1000 may be awarded to the landlord.
However if the rent is always paid promptly and the property is well presented, it could be worthwhile negotiating an increased rent to take into account the additional tenant and extra wear and tear.
For further information on solving this issue, check out our blog “Too many tenants living in your property?”
June 21 2012 | Managing Tenants and Property Management Law and Renting Your Property | No Comments »
A letting fee is an administration fee as there are obviously costs involved when securing a tenancy. The letting agent will usually charge one week’s rent plus GST and it is payable by the tenant at the beginning of a tenancy. In the past, only licensed agents (MREINZ) were permitted to charge a letting fee, however the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 now allows all those conducting property management as a business to charge a letting fee (note: private owners renting their own property are not entitled to charge a letting fee).
Allen Realty property managers are focused on providing great customer service and provide a number of innovative resources for tenants to assist them at the start and during their tenancy. We believe tenants are more willing to pay a letting fee if they feel they are getting a value for money service.
Tenant resources include:
- Online Tenants Property Alert Service where members can register for alerts on new properties
- Tenant Induction Video which outlines key issues about the tenancy
- Assistance with setting up utilities including power, phone and internet
- 24/7 Online Statement Access where tenants can access their statements any time
- Comprehensive guides about renting which are published by the Department of Building and Housing
- VIP Kings Plant Barn Club Card which offers discounts and gardening tips
Click here to view Allen Realty’s tenant resources in full.
June 18 2012 | Managing Tenants and Property Management and Property Management Law | 1 Comment »
Property managers encounter many differing standards of cleanliness during property inspections, so it is important to educate tenants at the beginning of a tenancy on cleaning guidelines. Any cleaning issues identified during a routine property inspection should be monitored carefully so they do not cause any long term damage to the property.
As soon as a cleaning issue is identified it should be brought to the attention of the tenant both verbally and in writing immediately. If it is a more serious issue, then this should be discussed verbally with the tenant and followed up with a 14 day letter requesting remedy.
The Tenancy Tribunal is unlikely to terminate a tenancy due to a one-off cleaning issue, however if you can provide evidence that the tenant has failed to deal with cleanliness issues over a longer period of time you will have more success with a termination claim.
Read more on dealing with cleaning issues during a tenancy.
June 06 2012 | Managing Tenants and Property Management | No Comments »
A professional property manager has processes in place to manage a landlord’s investment including marketing, rent arrears, inspections and rent reviews. From time to time however they may encounter maintenance issues that require a little more attention than others. This can be seen as a worthwhile investment in order to secure a quality long term tenant and a trouble free tenancy.
Recently an Allen Realty property manager went the extra mile for a valuable tenant so that her daughter could have a special birthday cake. Click here to read the full story.
May 28 2012 | Managing Tenants and Property Management | No Comments »
An integral part of the tenant selection process is obtaining references from a prospective tenant’s previous landlord(s). A landlord/property manager should create a checklist with the most important questions to ask, ensuring that these do not invade the tenant or referees privacy.
Some key questions to ask the referee include:
- What was the address of the tenant’s previous rental?
- How many residents lived at the property?
- How long did the tenant live in the property?
- How much rent did the tenant pay?
You can view more key questions here. Although these questions will assist with selecting a suitable tenant for your rental property, obtaining references from previous landlords is only one part of the tenant selection process. Employment references and thorough credit checks should also be obtained.
May 28 2012 | Managing Tenants and Property Management and Renting Your Property | No Comments »
Allen Realty Auckland Property Management is excited to announce a new initiative in association with Kings Plant Barn. This added-value service gives Allen Realty tenants and landlords access to a VIP Kings Club Card offering member only specials, discount vouchers, newsletters and competitions. We see this as a valuable resource that will encourage customers to improve the presentation of their properties.
You can read more about the Kings Club Card benefits here.
April 19 2012 | Property Management | No Comments »
Property management over the winter period is an entirely different ball game to the summer months. Winter often sees a reduction in demand in the rental market as families and students settle into their routines for the year, and less people move house.
It is advisable to have a marketing plan in place so that if your tenants do give notice during winter, you can advertise immediately and reduce any down time between tenancies. This is an ideal time to inspect the property and address maintenance issues that can become problematic over the winter period.
Key areas that generally require extra attention during winter are gardens, insulation, lighting, security, plumbing and drainage. You can more winter tips for rental property owners here.
March 28 2012 | Property Management and Renting Your Property | No Comments »
Successful property management requires constant input—the more you put in, the more you will get out. We like to call this continual input ‘the process’ and consider this as the most important attribute of property management. A skilled property manager will carry out these set processes that monitor and document important functions on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, six monthly or yearly basis. The implementation of a systematic process is the nuts and bolts of efficient property management so that nothing is missed!
In order to complete these processes, the property manager is required to communicate effectively with both the landlord and tenant, and we consider communication as the second most important attribute of property management.
Click here to read more about property management processes and effective communication.
February 16 2012 | Managing Tenants and Property Management | No Comments »