Buying a rental property and finding good tenants to rent the place sounds easy, but the reality can be anything but. Landlords can make many mistakes, which can lead to a lack of income, unhappy tenants/landlords or even worse a damaged property.
With interest rates as low as they are, now is a good time to think about investing in a rental property. However, there are four rules that we recommend following that will make the buying and ongoing venture of being a rental property owner successful.
With the cold Wellington winter just around the corner now is a good time to prepare your rental property for the colder days. These few simple maintenance tasks can make all the difference, and your tenants will appreciate it. Of course if you want someone else to take care of it for you – our friendly team can organise and manage the maintenance of your rental property for you.
When the Government made the announcement of the new rental standards there was a lot of confusion around the timing that landlords would have to complete the work and what exactly needs to be done in order to meet the standards. Below we have simplified the new requirements to make them easier for landlords to understand what needs to be done and what tenants should expect.
Letting fees were a topic of discussion in 2018 and in early November the Government announced they would prohibit property managers from charging a letting fee to tenants. The ban started on 12 December, however prior to this date, many property management companies announced that they would still need to charge some type of letting fee. This letting fee would be charged to the property owner rather than the new tenant.
Summer is a busy period for property managers. The start of the year brings a surge of students and new residents to the City. Last summer saw an unprecedented amount of people looking for a new rental, and with demand putting pressure on supply, we’re expecting that this summer will be just as challenging for tenants, if not more, than last year.
If the unthinkable was to happen to your investment property would you have the right insurance cover? Most insurance companies in New Zealand have a policy in place that cover rental’s many call it landlord insurance. This type of insurance policy is designed specifically for landlords and usually replaces the need for home and content insurance on rentals.
The Residential Tenancies Act came into force over 30 years ago for the purpose of governing the rental market but, over the past few months the tenancy law reform has been the topic of debate with property managers, landlords, tenants and policy makers. There has been a lot of discussion around the rights tenants could be given and the lack of control landlords will have if these proposed changes come into place.
Property maintenance includes a wide range of activities from, replacing a light bulb to bigger jobs like replacing windows or fixtures. While you most likely maintain your rental throughout tenancies by fixing broken windows and addressing plumbing issues it is also important to look at the superficial maintenance at the end of each tenancy.
Throughout our time as property managers, we’ve always worked to place the right tenant in the right property that fits their needs and suits their lifestyle. We don’t just work with property owners to fill their home and make them money – we work with them to ensure the tenant is the right fit for the place, and will treat the home with respect as well as keep it in great condition.
For some years, Nice Place had a policy of meth testing every property between every tenant to ensure that we are moving new tenants in to a clean property, and to check that outgoing tenants have left it in a reasonably clean condition.
Earlier this year, we saw a flurry of activity in the rental market. As with every January and February, when students are arriving in the city – we saw an increase in enquiries, pushing demand higher and exhausting the supply of rental stock. There were stories upon stories of tenants not being able to even find a flat, let alone make it along to viewings.
Late last year, we were approached by a landlord who suspected their tenant was illegally sub-letting the apartment in Wellington’s CBD. Because of our success with Airbnb previously, we took over the management of the property, and began investigating.
Since the Government proposed to remove letting fees altogether, there’s been plenty of speculation about how this will impact the cost of rent. But what we’ve found is that a lot of tenants, and even landlords, aren’t actually aware what it’s there for and how it affects them.
Airbnb has become a global ‘go-to’ for short term accommodation. The peer-to-peer room sharing website has impacted short term-rentals in many cities around the world, and here in New Zealand it seems to be causing problems too.
With the current rental market, we’re seeing mum and dad property investors pulling out of their property investments left, right and centre. This has to do with the uncertainty of how the market will move, as well as a lack of understanding and knowledge of how to adapt.
In the current Wellington rental market, properties are receiving hundreds, if not thousands of enquiries. Many students are claiming that landlords are increasing the rent due to the extra $50 increase in student allowances. For some landlords – this may be true, but overall it is simply being put down to high demand and lack of supply, as well as the increasing costs of property investment. So, what is going on in Wellington?
Airbnb can provide an extra supplement to cover costs of rent, or generate income – but it comes with risks and consequences. With the holiday season approaching, and the growing use of Airbnb – we are seeing concerns in the property management industry, with property investors getting worried about their rentals being sublet online to people they don’t know.
Wellington is experiencing a shortage of rental properties currently, but if you think it’s tough out there now, just wait for Jan/Feb where we’re going to see more cases of 40+ people lining up down the street to view a property.
Maintenance requests can turn into an unnecessarily long process, and can result in frustrated tenants. We are excited to provide our tenants with an easy to use, maintenance request process, using new software called Tapi.
There are many changes in the property management industry lately, we want to make sure not only are we are ahead of these changes by complying to all necessary standards, but that our landlords and tenants are aware of these changes.
Brrrrr! It’s cold outside – we’re all being treated to a classic New Zealand winter. It’s blisteringly cold, never ending rain, snow fall and stormy winds. You might not escape it when you’re outside but when you’re home it’d be nice to snuggle up and be warm and dry without it hitting the pocket too hard.
As a side conversation from the topical subject of the housing market, the media are putting a lot of attention on the rental properties, and in many cases focusing on the condition of these properties. A good story of course highlights the worst of the stock, which are usually mouldy, damp, cold and poorly kept.
Recently, the Tenancy Tribunal ruled in our favour that sub-letting a rental property on the online accommodation marketplace Airbnb is in breach of the Residential Tenancies Act, but there is far more to the story than a simple breach.
According to market data, between 2010 and 2016, the average duration of a tenant in a rental was two years, and one in ten lived in their rental property for more than five years. But while it’s not overly uncommon to rent for 2 – 3 years, it’s becoming increasingly popular for people to lock in for fixed term periods and sign for another fixed term following the end of the lease.
Compared to 2015, the 2016 year for us was largely a result of changes in Wellington’s rental market. We saw a 52% decrease in the number of properties we listed for lease during our busiest time of year compared to the same time the year before, even though we had a 45% increase in the number of properties we’re managing.