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Property Investor News

Working in property management is a team effort. Usually you’ll hear from you Property Manager however, due to annual leave and fluctuating workloads sometimes you’ll hear from other dedicated Walker Weir team members. So here’s a quick introduction to some of the team at Walker Weir

Ryan Weir - Business Owner

Ryan spent 10 years in the financial industry, covering many relationship management roles. As a landlord himself, he understands the issues and what's most important to many property owners.

He bought his first house at the age of 19 and began renting it out in Dunedin, where he was born and raised. Ryan is a second generation property manager and co-founded Walker Weir in 2012.

He loves traveling and has an eye for improving property to enhance returns.

Brett Gordon - Senior Property Manager

Brett has specialised in Residential Property Management for approximately 15 years and has developed an expertise managing houses, apartments and units all over Auckland. He is extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of tenancy management and treats landlords and tenants alike as valued clients.

In an ever-changing industry, Brett is proud to be at Walker Weir Property Management, staying at the forefront of technology and knowledge in the field.

Sinead Conroy - Property Manager

Sinead has spent 5 years in Property Management shared between New Zealand and the UK. After completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Housing Management along with her experience to date Sinead has a wealth of knowledge in Property Maintenance and Tenancy Management which allows for her to provide an all-inclusive service to her clients.

Next Disbursement:  Friday 1st of June 2018

May 15th, 2018

If the residential rental market were the stock market: 

Then market commentators would say that we were in the middle of a ‘bear market’. The term ‘bear market’ is used to describe the stock market when stock values are falling and the overriding feeling is one of pessimism. While property values seem to be holding their own, just, there certainly does appear to be an ‘air’ of negativity amongst landlords. And it’s not hard to identify the source of the angst. The present Government’s proposed changes around the Residential Tenancies Act and other legislative changes will negatively impact landlords by increasing their costs, of that there is little doubt. Private landlords remain the biggest providers of residential rental properties in this country and it seems incredibly short sighted to negatively target the largest provider in such an important sector. With around half of all Kiwis now living in rental accommodation, the backlash, if the Government doesn’t get things right could be exponential. Industry experts (including us) have for some time been saying that the over-riding effect will be an increase in rents. Not convinced? Then think about these stats from NZ Property Investors Federation (NZPIF). According to their analysis, overall rental prices are up 6.1% in 2018 compared with the same period in 2017. And what’s worse for renters is that this is a higher price rise than during the last two years where rental prices increased 3.4% in 2017 and 3% in 2016. According to NZPIF and our own analysis rental price increases are set to continue as landlords continue to try to off-set their increasing costs.

Buy, sell or hold:

 Last month we talked about the options for investors in this sort of market. Given that we’ve compared our present residential market to the stock market we thought that we would leave it to arguably the World’s foremost share market commentator and investor, Warren Buffet who made the following (now) famous quote when asked about his share buying strategy. Buffet said “Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful”.

Twyford introduces Bill to end Property Managers from charging tenants a letting fee:

It’s very common practice for Property Management companies to charge tenants a letting fee at the beginning of a tenancy. The fee is normally equivalent to one weeks rent and helps property managers off-set the costs involved with setting up and commencing a new tenancy. In some cases, landlords are also charged a fee at the beginning of a new tenancy to cover fees that other PM companies separate out in their list of charges. According to Mr Twyford there is no justification for landlords passing this cost on to tenants and banning the charging of tenant letting fees will help make rent more affordable which will in turn help tenants save to buy their own home. Bloody rubbish! Is it just us, or can others see the problems that this will invariably cause the industry? For example, the Independent Property Managers Association (IPMA) recently surveyed their members and found that abolishing tenant letting fees will affect the bottom line of their business by 10 – 15%. Other industry surveys have shown that up to 80% of property management companies will endeavour recovering the cost from property owners by introducing administration fees or increasing management fees or a combination of both. And the best way for landlords to cover the increased costs will be rent increases. And in breaking news – it was recently reported that Mr Twyford accepted that abolishing letting fees was likely to result in rents increasing but justified this by saying that the letting fee is charged to tenants at a time when they have to find up to four weeks bond and two weeks for rent in advance. As rents invariably increase (which they will) the property management industry and landlords will cop the blame. Tenants and media commentators won’t drill down to identify that it was in fact the Government’s strategies that resulted in the increases.

Walker Weir strategies: 

Obviously the proposed changes are a concern to us at Walker Weir. There aren’t many businesses out there (regardless of what industry they are involved in) that could afford to lose approximately 15% off their bottom lines. As a result, we, are looking at a range of strategies that we may implement to help off-set the negative impact on our business. What we are not going to do is panic. We will consider all of the options available and consult with as many industry experts as possible.

Maintenance: 

As a Property Manager there is nothing worse that contacting a landlord to advise them of maintenance that is required only to be told that they won’t or can’t do it as a result of not having the money. That should never be the case and that sort of response ‘no longer cuts the mustard’. Often when mentoring new investors we tell them to treat their landlord duties the same as they would any other business. Compare for example owning a corner dairy with being a landlord. How often will you, as a customer, keep going back to a dairy with very little or poor stock. The same applies for the quality of a rental and the landlords attitude to maintenance. Good quality, well maintained rental properties attract better tenants, better rents AND the tenants stick around. They stay on in the rental property because they understand that the landlord is trying to offer them the best the property will allow. And a final word on maintenance – The Residential Tenancies Act states that necessary maintenance must be carried out. It’s an unlawful Act not to carry out necessary maintenance.

Insulation: 2019 is just around the corner folks so you have just over 12 months to have your rental properties insulated to meet the new Government standards (if they aren’t already). Any property that is not sufficiently insulated will not able to be lawfully rented after June 2019.

FAQ:

Q. As a landlord how much notice do I have to give to the tenant if I want to visit the property?

A:  This question follows on from last month’s FAQ which dealt with giving tenants 48 hours’ notice of an inspection and 24 hours’ notice to carry out repairs and maintenance. In some ways it’s a bit of a ‘trick’ question because the simple answer is that you don’t have to give the tenants any notice if you merely want to enter onto the property. For example, you want to speak in person with the tenant. However, if the tenant requests that you leave then you must do so immediately. Please don’t get confused. We are referring here to the likes of visiting the property and knocking on the door. We are not talking about entering the premises.

 

Heatpump and fire servicing reminder: For safety reasons it’s important that fires are cleaned yearly. Heat pumps should be serviced at least every two years.

Next Disbursement:  Tuesday 15 May 2018.

Disclaimer: Given the opinions expressed in parts of this email 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.

May 10th, 2018

We hope that you had a happy and enjoyable Easter. Your next mid-week break won’t be until ANZAC day on the 25th of this month.

 

Landlord costs increasing:
There seems to be little doubt that this year will see increased costs for landlords. The likes of the Governments Healthy Homes Guarantee Act (which will introduce minimum standards for rental properties), and also their plans to ring-fence rental property losses together with the likelihood of increased management costs from tenancy law reform all have the potential to have a negative impact for investors. At the same time all of this is happening, rates and insurance costs are on the increase. However, while the proposed Government changes are a worry to some in the industry for most investors interest rates are the bigger cost concern rather than regulatory costs. In a recent media article, a prominent Auckland property investor, David Whitburn, put it all in perspective when he said that the increased costs can be factored in and compensated for by rent increases. Whitburn went on to say that while the regulatory changes may be getting to people they shouldn’t be the ‘straw that breaks the camel’s back’. He also added that industry changes are leading to a trend away from self-management and towards professional property management in a bid to stay on top of compliance requirements and costs. We agree with Whitburn and his view backs up our long-held contention that the days of DIY property management are a thing of the past.

 

Has there ever been a better time to invest in property?
The answer to this isn’t as simple as it was perhaps this time last year. But provided you’re not a member of the ‘chicken little’ club there are still good opportunities out there for astute investors, especially if they adhere to time-proven strategies such as:

  • Try to buy under rented properties (invariably these will be privately managed properties) and get the rent up to market rent ASAP. This adds value to the property immediately.
    Add value to the property to increase the weekly rent. An example of adding value might be adding a heat pump or insulation.
  • Be patient and buy well. A good way of ensuring that you buy well is staying in touch with your Property Manager so they can put you in touch with property investors wanting to sell. Often this will mean no real estate agents, and you know what that means – no real estate commission included in the price.
    Know your market. Trademe and Realestate.co are great for this. Just load your particular search criteria and let their software do the work for you.
  • Persistence pays off. Don’t give up. Once you have decided on the type of property you want to buy and your budget stick with it. Persistence almost always pays off.

 

When is the best time to sell my rental?
As the old saying goes “if you can rent it then don’t sell it”. Speak to any avid investor and they’ll all tell you about the properties they have sold and then gone on to regret the sale. If you have to sell your investment property, then please get in touch with us first and we may be able to put you in touch with an investor looking to buy.

 

Today’s news – tomorrows fish and chip wrapper:
OK only those of you who are old enough will know that fish and chips used to come wrapped in old newspapers. And yes, for the very pedantic out there most of our news doesn’t even come in hard print these days but you’ll know what we are trying to say. It seems like landlords and Property Managers are fair game these days for any wannabe reporter looking for an easy story. We’ve heard it all – landlords are rich people taking advantage of poor hard done-by tenants. Tenants are only striving to get ahead and are being prevented from buying a home by the greedy landlords who get in and buy them first and then there’s the big bad Property Managers. If they aren’t ripping off the tenants by seeking far too much rent for properties, they are charging landlords far too much for looking after their properties. Bollocks!

 

To the lot of it we say:
Yes, there will always be the odd landlord or property manager who will let the ‘team’ down but generally speaking when you look around at how many of us there are out there, the problems and significant issues are minimal.

 

Real Estate companies waking up to conflicts of interest:
We’ve been concerned for a long time now with real estate companies using their own in-house property managers for rental appraisals of properties for sale. There is a clear conflict of interest when they do this in our view. We have heard of one company that no longer allows its agents to use the company’s property management arm for rental appraisals. So good on that company we say. By doing this they will invariably decrease the number of new property owners ‘stung’ by purchasing a rental property on the basis of an in-house rental appraisal that the property is unable to achieve.

 

FAQ:
Q. How much notice does a landlord have to give a tenant of a routine inspection?
A: 48 hours’ notice is required before a routine inspection and 24 hours’ notice for access to carry out any repairs or maintenance. We often have problems with real estate agents thinking the same applies to them for viewings at a tenanted property. That’s not the case. For viewings with the likes of real estate agents or for viewings for potential tenants the ‘sitting’ tenant must agree to the viewing

 

Regards from the hard-working team at Walker Weir.

Kind regards,

ryan

Ryan Weir

Business Owner

April 4th, 2018

Welcome to the fist of our 2018 monthly disbursement messages.

Healthy Homes Guarantee Act:
It shouldn’t be news to anyone involved in residential property rentals that the Labour Government have it in mind to ‘tidy up’ the rental market. Just how successful they are remains to be seen. One of their initiatives is the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act. Tenants advocacy groups have been vocal stating that the advent of the new Act will be a wake-up call for landlords and that landlords are concerned about it to the extent that they are exiting the market in their droves. The reality is quite different. Most landlords (and certainly the large majority) are in favour of providing a healthy and safe home for their tenants. They realise that in the long-term that will also translate to longer tenures by tenants and better rental returns. The Auckland Property Investors Association recently surveyed their members in terms of assessing the ‘favourability’ of various policies on the horizon. Here are the results, with the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act coming in as the 3rd most favourable.

 

Not surprisingly, the idea of a capital gains tax came in last:

1. Relaxation of current LVR restrictions
2. Longer fixed-term tenancies
3. Healthy Homes Guarantee Act
4. Extension of Bright Line Test
5. Limiting rent increases to once a year
6. Removal of negative gearing
7. Ring-fencing tax losses
8. Removal of 42-day notice to terminate
9. Debt-to-income restrictions
10. Capital gains tax

 

2018 – a year of opportunity?

Most of the investors we’ve spoken to recently believe that the market has stabilised, and the foreseeable future is reasonably predictable. Generally, they are all in agreement, rents are going to increase. It’s a no brainer – landlords are going to want to recoup the added costs involved with upgrading insulation, installing smoke alarms etc. and the best way of doing that is increased rents, which will over time result in increased yields. The landlords who have sold or are considering selling because of the implications of upcoming legislative changes are the ‘chicken little’ investors. Contrary to what they might think, the sky isn’t falling in – in fact there will be good investment opportunities throughout 2018 with an easing of the LVR’s, strong immigration, low interest rates and generally a good level of business confidence. So, the choice is yours. You can sell up and invest your money in the bank at 2% or (if you’re lucky) 3% or take advantage of the opportunities 2018 will present – and the probability of increased yields.

 

Licencing of Property Managers and Property Management companies:

There’s been speculation in the media recently about the compulsory licencing of Property Managers. Bring it on we say! Here at Walker Weir we make no bones about it – we whole heartedly support the licencing and regulation of the property management industry. All too often we hear of landlords who have missed out on receiving their rent from the property management company responsible for collecting it on their behalf. That, should be punishable by severe fines and expulsion from the industry. There’s no room in property management for cowboys. They give us all a bad name so the sooner they are forced out of the industry, the better.

 

Five things a Property Manager hates to hear:

1. “this house is so much cleaner than when I moved in” – and it isn’t!
2. “I thought because it’s only a puppy it would be OK”
3. “I keep the windows closed and the curtains pulled to stop the mould getting worse”.
4. “I spent more than I should have over Xmas and don’t have enough to pay my rent now, so you’ll just have to wait”
5. “I took the batteries out of the smoke alarm because they were flat and the beeping kept me awake at night”

 

Holiday Home rentals:

If you have just left the batch after your Christmas holiday and you’re looking to rent it out during the year then you need to be aware that there are different tax rules for ‘mixed-use holiday homes’. The tax rules come into play where:
1. You stay in the holiday home yourself sometimes
2. You rent it out to others sometimes
3. It’s not used for a total of 62 days or more during the tax year.

If you earn less than $4000 a year from renting it out then you don’t need to include this income in your annual tax return, but you won’t be able to claim any expenses either. If in doubt have a word with your accountant.

You should also talk to your insurer if you are renting out your holiday batch to make sure that you are fully covered. You may also need to consider public liability insurance to protect you if a guest gets hurt while staying at your property. Remember that decks more than a meter high need to be fenced, as do pools more than 400mm deep and if you provide kayaks or boats they need to be seaworthy and life jackets provided.

 

FAQ:

Q:  At the end of a tenancy can I have the property professionally cleaned and pass the cost onto my tenants if they haven’t left the property clean enough?

A: Section 40 (1) (e) (iii) of the RTA states that on the termination of a tenancy the tenant shall leave the premises in a reasonably clean and reasonably (our emphasis) tidy condition. Landlords often struggle with what is reasonable and invariably have a higher standard of what constitutes ‘reasonable’ than the outgoing tenant. Strange that. The best way to approach this from a landlords point of view (or in our case from a Property Managers view) is to take a common sense approach and consider what an unrelated 3rd party would consider. If you still feel that the property needs additional cleaning to bring it up to a reasonable standard, then the services of a cleaner can be engaged. But be warned! If it ends up at the Tenancy Tribunal you may not get all of the cleaning costs back, or any at all if the adjudicator feels that the property was left reasonably clean at the end of the tenancy.

 

Next Disbursement:

Mid-month – Thursday 15 February 2018.

 

Disclaimer:

Given the opinions expressed in parts of this email 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.

 

Regards from the hard-working team at Walker Weir.

Kind regards,

ryan

Ryan Weir

Business Owner

February 15th, 2018

End of year disbursement payments:

This will be the last disbursement message this year. Hurrah we hear some of you say! Your next disbursement payment will be made on Wednesday 3 January 2018. Because most of you will still be in holiday mode there will be no disbursement message. The hard-working crew at Walker Weir will be working and on call right through the stat days this year, although where possible, we will be working reduced hours.

 

QV house price index:

Once adjusted for inflation, national house values are up by 4.4% year-on-year, leaving the national average value at $664,485. According to a QV spokesperson national value growth was led by stronger growth in Wellington, Dunedin and many other regional centres. Easing of the LVR’s is likely to improve activity and demand in the housing market through the summer months the spokesperson said.

 

Five golden rules for property investors:

  1. Try to buy below value or find a way to add value.
  2. It’s a business so treat it as such. Cash flow is important.
  3. You can’t do it on your own. An efficient team and professional property manager is important.
  4. Keep the big picture in mind.

 

Property investment vs Bitcoin:

Up until a couple of months ago most of us wouldn’t have even known what bitcoin was. In fact, do we still even know what it is? Wikipedia tells us that bitcoin is a ‘cryptocurrency and worldwide payment system. It is the first decentralized digital currency, as the system works without a central bank or single administrator’. Perhaps you need to be under the age of 17 to understand what that means. We still think that there’s security in bricks and mortar, but information from a local broker claimed that $150 invested in Bitcoin 6 years ago would now be worth a staggering 1.5 million!

 

FAQ:

Q: As a landlord what are my obligations to fix or repair my property during the term of a tenancy?

A: Landlords have an obligation under the Residential Tenancies Act to provide and maintain premises in a reasonable state of cleanliness and provide and maintain the premises in a reasonable state of repair having regard to the age and character of the premises.

Landlords who don’t meet these standards may be committing an unlawful act and tenants may sue (for exemplary damages) the landlord for breaching these standards or not meeting them.

Repairs and maintenance need to be addressed in a timely manner to prevent tenants taking Tribunal action. Where a tenant can show that repairs have not been carried out in a timely manner or they’ve dragged on too long then our experience is that generally, they will be supported by the Tribunal.

 

Next Disbursement:

Next year! Wednesday 3 January 2018.

From all of us to all of you. Have a very merry Xmas and a happy New Year.

 

Disclaimer:

Given the opinions expressed in parts of this email 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,

ryan

Ryan Weir

Business Owner

December 28th, 2017

Unlawful properties update:

For those of you who haven’t followed the Dunedin case of Vic Inglis and the case of his unconsented property here it is in abbreviated form. Inglis rented his property to a female tenant after having lived in it for a short time himself. During the tenancy there was an issue with the tenant and Inglis took her to the Tenancy Tribunal. The tenant made enquires with the Dunedin City Council and found that some alteration work at the property had been applied for but had not been signed off once it was completed. The tenant made a claim for all of the rent that she had paid on the basis that the property, by virtue of the fact that it had unconsented work, was unlawful. The Dunedin Tenancy Tribunal adjudicator agreed with the tenant and Inglis was ordered to pay back all the rent that the tenant had paid while in the tenancy. Inglis was able to show that the alterations had all been completed properly and obtained retrospective sign-off but the adjudicator was not swayed by that. Quite rightfully in our view, Inglis appealed and Judge Kevin Phillips overturned the TT decision. Thank God for common sense. In summary Judge Phillips found that the adjudicator took too literal a view on a previous High Court decision. He found that the alterations to Inglis property had been completed appropriately, and that the tenant was in no way adversely affected by the fact that the work hadn’t been ‘officially’ consented. The tenant was ordered to repay the rent and the original TT order was overturned.

Learnings from this decision are many. Firstly, the TT is not always right (well we knew that already). The Tribunal has a duty to ensure fairness to both landlords and tenants and in this case the original outcome was patently unfair to the Landlord. The moral of the story is however – rental properties need to have the correct consents in place. If for example a tenant (or anyone for that matter) is hurt or adversely effected because of unconsented building work the Tribunal has the authority to fine a landlord up to $50,000.

 

Crystal ball gazing – the changing face of the rental market:

The business of being a landlord is constantly changing, but never more so that the last few years. There’s a lot to negativity around at the moment, particularly from landlords, but having had a good gaze into our crystal ball we don’t agree with all of the doom and gloom. The demographics amongst renters is shifting. Gone are the days when landlords were the wealthy ones and the tenants the poor ones. More and more we are finding that our tenants are wealthy professionals who have made the choice to be not tied down with property ownership. These people want good quality, well maintained properties and they are prepared to pay the appropriate rent for them. Neither are they ‘transient’ so landlords renting to these tenants can expect their properties to be well looked after and for the tenants to be there for the long haul. And while we are at it let’s not dismiss the effect automation in our lives is going to make. For example, it’s been predicted that no more petrol cars will be built after 2025 (that’s only 8 years away folks) and five years after that most journeys will be undertaken in Uber style self-drive electric cars! We’re not quite sure how we feel about that, but moving on – people will be able to live further away from where they work as they will work while being driven by an unmanned electric car on their way to the office (if they even ned or have an office that is). Car parks and home garages will be a thing of the past ….hmmm how many more bedrooms could I fit into that rental if I no longer need the double garage? Yes things are going to change but rest assured the world is always going to need rental properties and landlords.

 

Market update:

Trade Me have advised that there has been a big drop in rental listings compared with last year. Their rental property index found the number of rental listings last month was down 50% on last year! They reported that they hadn’t seen that kind of drop in advertising previously. So what’s it all about? According to head of Trade Me Property, Nigel Jefferies it has to do with credit restrictions on first home buyers meaning fewer can get into the market and were therefore renting longer. He also said that new legislation on capital gains tax could be scaring off new landlords. He said the average rental property was receiving 28% more enquiries on the auction site in the first week of listing, compared with a year ago. We aren’t sure of the exact percentages here in Dunedin, but there is no doubt that good quality properties, advertised at the right rent are highly sought after and are being snapped up like hot cakes. The other trend we are noticing is the high number tenants opting to sign back on for another year’s tenancy.

 

FAQ:

Q: Does a fixed term tenancy agreement automatically extend?

A: No, it doesn’t. Where a landlord wishes to end a fixed term tenancy at the conclusion of the tenancy he/she must write to the tenant between 21 and 90 days from the tenancy ending advising the tenant that the tenancy will end on the due date. If the landlord fails to do that then the tenancy automatically reverts to a periodic tenancy and the landlord would need to give the tenant 90 days notice for them to vacate.

Insulation reminder: 2019 is just around the corner and we have already started hearing reports of insulation prices increasing. If your rental is not fully insulated by the time its compulsory then it will probably cost you twice as much. Get in and get it done now before the price rises.

 

Next Disbursement:

Friday 15 December 2017.

 

Disclaimer:

Given the opinions expressed in parts of this email 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,

ryan

Ryan Weir
Business Owner

December 15th, 2017

On the 23rd of September this year, New Zealand’s election will take place.  Here’s what the minority parties key policies are on Housing:

Act Party

✓ Sees sudden reform as socially disruptive transfer away from those who have invested in the current market.

✓ Would remove New Zealand’s large cities from the Resource Management Act, and create separate urban development legislation, prioritising land supply and reducing red tape on developers.

✓ Incentivise councils to consent more land for development and build more infrastructure, by sharing a portion of GST levied on construction.

✓ Get Councils out of the building standards process, by replacing council building inspections and compliance with a mandatory private insurance regime for buildings.

Greens

✓ Reduce speculative investment in the housing market by tightening the rules around loss attributing qualifying companies and introducing a capital gains tax on all but the family home.

✓ Providing funding to third sector housing organisations for a minimum of 1,000 units a year for the next 3 years

✓ low interest finance for low income households

✓ shift tenancies to more secure, predictable tenure arrangements

New Zealand First

✓ Non-residents who are not New Zealand citizens would be ineligible for home ownership except if a genuine need to do so can be demonstrated.

✓ Establish new state agency to acquire land in the Auckland Special Housing Areas

✓ Sell sections under long term agreements up to 25 years on a cost recovery basis.  Sections would be offered to first home buyers with low interest rates like 2% and then the home buyer would build on the home using normal bank finance.

✓ Better housing quality, sustainability and adequate insurance in light of recent earthquakes

The Opportunities Party

✓ Overhaul the tax system

✓ People’s income taxes would fall, but all owners of homes would pay tax each year as though they were an investment.

✓ Wants to tax all assets including houses saying “around 80 per cent of adults will be either unaffected or pay less tax as a result of this taxation reform.”

If you’d like to discuss these policies further and how they may impact the Auckland Rental market, feel free to contact me, Ryan, at Walker Weir Property Management.

August 29th, 2017

Walker Weir has the edge over its competitors when it comes to advertising your property for rent.

We use cutting edge systems which mean tenants can not only book in for viewings online but also apply for our properties online 24/7 without the inconvenience of having to print, scan and sign forms.

Properties need to be advertised with good images. A poor photograph can lead to low levels of interest and poor turn out at viewings. With this in mind we put extra care into every photograph and make sure we get the best angles and high quality needed.

You can see here how we compare to some of our top competitors. The difference speaks for it's self!

Another difference for your listing is the positioning on Trade Me. See below how our listing is number 1 on the list. Where as a competitor listing the same property was on page 3.

Having your listing on page one will give you more page views and more interest in your property resulting in getting it rented faster.

So if you are looking for property management that leads the way and puts your listing as a priority then get in touch either by phone Ryan on 0226579432 or by email at ryan@walkerweir.co.nz.

July 24th, 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.

When is discrimination lawful?

In a recently publicised case a rental agent refused to arrange a house viewing for a heavily pregnant woman and her partner because the landlord did not want children living there. The matter was referred to the Human Rights Commission where a spokesperson said the Human Rights Act deemed it unlawful to discriminate based on “family status” which included caring for children. Andrew King, the executive officer of the New Zealand Property Investors Federation, said it was not an issue he had heard of in the past. In the past landlords had often preferred families because they were more stable tenants but since the Osaki case, where the Court of Appeal ruled last year that a tenant did not have to pay for damage after leaving a pot of oil on the stove and causing a fire, landlords were more wary of potential damage to their property and were looking closely at the suitability of tenants they were putting into their properties . http://www.nzherald.co.nz/property/news … d=11874883 – 13 June

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.

Insulation:

It is now an unlawful act for a landlord not to stipulate on a tenancy agreement the extent and types of insulation a rental property has. The Tenancy Tribunal has made it quite clear in a recent ruling that failure to disclose insulation on a tenancy agreement is unlawful. In June 2019 it will be unlawful to rent a property which is not adequately insulated. We are working very hard to ensure that all of our owners are aware of these new laws. We will be unable to complete new tenancies where we have not been given the appropriate information about a rental properties insulation.

Next landlord disbursement date:

Tuesday 1 August 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 Walker Weir.

ryan

July 18th, 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 Walker Weir 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 Auckland 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.

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.
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 Walker Weir Property Management.

July 6th, 2017
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