Issues for DIY landlords

01 April 2017

It’s not unusual for our Quinovic offices around New Zealand to be asked by investors who have had bad experiences with do-it-yourself property management to sort out the mess left by tenants. They may have had a few good years with responsible tenants but when things turn bad they just don’t have the ability to deal with the situation.

Of course, the time to dot the i’s and cross the t’s is right at the start of your time as a landlord, and that’s why our professional experience and expertise is in increasing demand with the unprecedented growth in residential property investment over the last few years.

Here are some points that anyone considering taking a chance on DIY management should seriously consider. And if you’d like to discuss your situation, give your local Quinovic office a call; we are more than happy to help.

  1. Legislation: The Residential Tenancies Act is designed to protect yours and your tenants’ rights and obligations and you need to be familiar with its provisions. Using the correct documents and forms from the start of a tenancy to the end will help if you have to attend the Tribunal or make an insurance claim.
  2. Professional Distance: The relationship with your tenant should be a business one to enable you to deal with these issues (e.g. rent arrears, property damage) professionally without getting emotionally involved.
  3. Rent Collection: It needs to be set out clearly from the beginning of the tenancy how much rent is payable and when it is due. Keep records of ALL payments and check they are being made on the due date. Formal processes need to be followed, lodged on time and followed through if rent is not paid.
  4. R & M: Regular repairs and maintenance are needed on every property to ensure damage is not exacerbated. Know rights of the tenant for both scheduled and emergency repairs. Your Quinovic property manager can organise all these repairs for you using our good quality trades people and we can manage the whole situation for you if required.
  5. Rental Appraisal & Rent Increases: Market knowledge is crucial to ensure your property is rented as quickly as possible. We have access to this information and follow the correct procedures, including the legislation covering rent increases.
  6. Inspections: Detailed ongoing condition reports and photos need to be completed when a new tenant moves into a property because it will be referred to at the end of the tenancy to determine how the property must be left by the tenant. The report should be detailed with a ‘description & condition’ of everything within the property, from carpet, appliance brands, model and makes, serial numbers, window covering types, light fittings etc. We take 300-600 photos to ensure nothing gets missed or challenged, with a copy given to the tenant at the start of the tenancy and a copy kept on our file. We complete routine inspections approximately 12 weekly and adhere to legislative requirements about inspections.
  7. Vacant Property: When your tenant leaves, the correct steps need to be followed:

Advertising/Marketing – Aims to notify as many people as possible that the property is or will be available for rent. We use our website and to advertise all of our properties and they are included in weekly emails sent to prospective tenants registered with us. There are also brochures at our reception and flyers in our office window. Other factors to consider include:

Enquiries – When tenants enquire about your property, they expect a prompt reply and appointment to view. If you don’t have the time, you may risk losing a great tenant.

Tenant screening – A thorough application process is a MUST because you need to know everything about them. Our property management team will have access to information about tenants’ rental histories that you might not have.

Application acceptance – After the tenant has been chosen all the relevant paperwork needs to be completed/signed and lodged in a timely manner to ensure you don’t lose the tenant to another landlord. A tenancy agreement needs to be completed and bond needs to be lodged.

  1. Time: Do you have the time to deal with situations when they arise? We have the time to do the important things that ensure tenancies run smoothly.
  2. Record Keeping: Quinovic’s record keeping and tracking systems ensure that we receive, check and pay all of your property’s bills. At the end of each month you will receive a statement of all transactions and End of Financial Year statements for your accountant.
  3. Costs: Landlords who decide to self-manage to save money very often find, after taking the above factors into account, that DIY is far from a cost effective option.

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