Auckland property managementPro-Rentals
Property Management Auckland

Landlord frequently asked questions

Below is a list of the more common questions landlords ask us. If you do not find the answer you are looking for please do not hesitate to contact us with our general enquiry form.

Management fees questions

1. How much will it cost to have my property professionally managed?

2. What potential costs am I exposed to without a professional property manager?

Tenant screening questions

3. How do Pro-Rentals screen prospective tenants?

4. Can a landlord rely solely on the tenancy tribunal data base as an effective screening tool?

5. Can a landlord obtain a criminal history of a prospective tenant?

6. Can a Landlord rely solely on information held on the Veda database? ( formerly Bay corp)

7. How do Pro-Rentals screen their tenants?

8. What is the best database resource used by Pro-Rentals?

9. Why do Pro-Rentals ask for a full employment CV?

10. Why do Pro-Rentals ask for previous addresses and neighbour details?

Rent collection questions

11. How do Pro-Rentals collect rent?

12. What action do Pro-Rentals take when rent is in arrears?

13. What is Swift Mediation?

14. Is mediation legally binding?

Documentation questions

15. Why should the property owners name always be on the tenancy agreement?

16. What contracts do Pro-Rentals use?

17. Why is it necessary for a property manager to seek the advice of a legal expert?

18. Why don't Pro-Rentals use Department of Building and Housing standard contracts?

19. What inspection forms do Pro-Rentals use?

20. Why do Pro-Rentals check so many items?

21. Why don't Pro-Rentals use the standard DHB property inspection report?

22. What documents are supplied to tenants?

Property monitoring questions

23. How do Pro-Rental's monitor property?

Property maintenance questions

24. Why do Pro-Rentals use a licensed building practitioner to do the initial property inspection?

25. What systems do you use to ensure all aspects are inspected?

26. What is the cost of such a detailed inspection?

27. Won't such detailed condition reports cost me more money to maintain my property?

28. How can I save money on maintenance?

29. What sort of equipment is carried by Pro-Rentals service providers that may not be carried by most tradesmen?

30. What sort of products are carried by Pro-Rentals maintenance service providers?

31. How do I know I am getting good value from Pro-Rentals maintenance contractor?

32. How does Pro-Rentals invoicing system work?

33. Can I see an example of a maintenance invoice?

34. What are the main benefits from using a systemised invoicing process?

P-lab questions

35. What is a P-lab?

36. What is the cost of decontaminating a property after it has been used for a P-lab?

37. Does Insurance cover this cost?

38. How can an owner guard against P-labs?

Insurance questions

39. Can an owner insure against loss of rent?

Miscellaneous questions

40. Does a landlord have to notify a tenant of all visits to a property?

41. How can an owner recover tenancy tribunal money orders?

42. Are there any exemplary damages that may be sought from the Tenancy Tribunal which the tenant is liable to pay directly to a landlord?

43. Can a bankrupt enter a legally binding tenancy agreement?

44. What happens if a tenant is made a bankrupt during a tenancy?

45. How can I significantly increase the demand for my property?

46. If I do allow dogs what additional measures should I take?



1. How much will it cost to have my property professionally managed?

This immediate cost can be calculated by choosing a plan that suits you and entering your property details on the fee calculator at the bottom of each plan page. Most clients find actual costs are offset by tax rebates and regular rent reviews. For example if your property is rented out at $400/week on a 7.5% plan then the cost will be $30/ week. However if you own a second home, you are probably paying a high income tax, so the after tax cost is normally closer to $20 week. If you allow for regular rent reviews that you may not be inclined to do yourself, you probably find it is costing you money not to have a professional manager.

2. What potential costs am I exposed to without a professional property manager?

Like most DIY things, economies of scale and systemization provide a higher quality of management than any individual can match. In our experience losses are suffered in several areas including, extended vacancies between letting, rent arrears, under charging rent, failing to recover damages to property, failing to recover cleaning costs, unexpected liability under Residential Tenancies Act (e.g. water charges…) We have found the underlying cause, for all of these losses, is owners find it very difficult to negotiate effectively and underestimate how much time is involved in doing basic management tasks properly. Recent legislation puts greater emphasis on landlords complying with range of Enactments. For example -landlords are legally required to engage a property manager if they are overseas for more than 21 days. Various requirements under both the Building code and Health & Safety regulations carry significant penalties for non-compliance that the general public are unaware of until confronted by a breach that they are liable for.

3. How do Pro-Rentals screen prospective tenants?

We make no apologies for being the most intrusive tenant checking managers in the industry. Our screening manager served over ten years in the New Zealand police and has developed a process utilising data bases, networks and basic investigation skills to ensure tenants are properly vetted.

4. Can a landlord rely solely on the tenancy tribunal data base as an effective screening tool?

NO, The Ministry of Justice have not backdated input of older tribunal orders since the introduction of their registry in April 2009. Not all tribunal orders will be automatically loaded on the Ministry of Justice registry as it is at the adjudicator's discretion as to whether or not the order will go online. Mediated orders will not be loaded online. Approximately half of cases go to mediation only. There is no way to confirm whether the orders have been paid so prospective tenants may already owe substantial debts to previous landlords. Date of births are not stored on the Ministry of Justice registry, therefore there is no way to properly identify whether the order on their registry relates to your prospective tenant. There are many mismatches on common names. The registry only holds Tribunal Orders on their system for up to 3 years even though the Court order can be collected on for up to 6 years.

5. Can a landlord obtain a criminal history of a prospective tenant?

Yes, Only with the prospective tenant's authority on the appropriate form. A criminal record check takes approximately 20 days from the time the application is received by post at the Wellington Ministry of Justice office, however The Clean Slate Act means many serious dishonesty offenders have no criminal record if they have not been convicted in the last seven years.

6. Can a Landlord rely solely on information held on the Veda database? ( formerly Bay corp)

No,Confirming details of bad debtors on Veda can be difficult when date of births are not recorded, so it is difficult to be sure if results actually match the person that share the same name as others.

7. How do Pro-Rentals screen their tenants?

We use a combination of all data bases, networks and investigative skills to reduce the risk of letting to an undesirable tenant.

8. What is the best database resource used by Pro-Rentals?

We are a member of Tenancy Information New Zealand. Property managers throughout New Zealand report defaulting tenants to this private company. The data base holds 86,000 entries and is currently growing at a rate of 130 entries per day. Pro-Rentals has online access to this database enabling us to complete the first stage of screening out undesirable tenants very efficiently.

9. Why do Pro-Rentals ask for a full employment CV?

It is part of a wider process of screening we use to achieve the best selection of tenant as we can. It can indicate work history stability and widen the reference base. It can also alert property managers to time out of the work force, for example prison sentences.

10. Why do Pro-Rentals ask for previous addresses and neighbour details?

Often neighbours will divulge issues that arose that will be likely to occur again. Our experience is that tenants that know their neighbours well tend to be less problematic.

11. How do Pro-Rentals collect rent?

Pro-Rentals administration manager monitors all rental transactions via Console Gateway software on a daily basis. Our administration manager is a chartered accountant and oversees all day to day financial transactions. This includes initial action for any rental arrears, ensuring rent is paid to owners accounts on time, deduction of any fees payable and prompt payment of all service provider invoices.

12. What action do Pro-Rentals take when rent is in arrears?

We work to a strict protocol set up with daily alerts on our monitoring software. If rent is in arrears, our protocol ensures action is taken as time frames are met within the Residential Tenancy Act. As soon as the rent is one day overdue, contact is made by our tenants liaison officer via text message, email or phone call. On day two, if an unsatisfactory agreement is reached our administration manager serves a 14 day notice to remedy. If serious concerns exist for future rent payments, Pro-Rentals seek a swift mediation with a Department of Building & Housing mediator with a view to mediating a solution within 24hrs. Any agreement reached can be underpinned by a Mediation order and carries the same weight as a Tenancy Tribunal order. During this process, if we have serious concerns for the likelihood of the tenant paying rent owed, we will seek an early termination which will be enforced if the tenants fail to comply with terms agreed. After 21 days an application can be made to the tenancy tribunal to terminate the tenancy agreement if rent arrears have not been paid. In practice we allow 22 days to avoid any dispute regarding exact timing at the tribunal.

13. What is Swift Mediation?

It is a fast track mediation service provided by the Department of Housing and Building to deal with things like rent arrears where both the Tenant & the Landlord agree rent is in arrears.

14. Is mediation legally binding?

If the terms of the agreement reached at mediation are not complied with, then any consequence agreed to at mediation automatically becomes a Court order, as if it had been dealt with by the Tenancy Tribunal.

15. Why should the property owners name always be on the tenancy agreement?

Because if the owner wants to reduce the termination notice to 42 days because a family member needs to move in, he won't be able to, unless he is named as the owner/landlord on the tenancy agreement. So if a property manager puts their own name on the agreement, the owner would lose that right, which will have been effectively transferred to the property manager.

16. What contracts do Pro-Rentals use?

Our Tenancy agreements and Management agreements are provided by Scotney Williams. Scotney is the principle of Tenancy Practices Ltd which is an Auckland based company specializing in Tenancy Law. Scotney is recognised as New Zealand's most experienced legal practitioner in relation to the Residential Tenancy Act and is our "go to" man for advice on any unusual circumstances we encounter.

17. Why is it necessary for a property manager to seek the advice of a legal expert?

The Residential Tenancy Act 1986 was significantly amended in 2010, so there is new law relating to many aspects of property management.

18. Why don't Pro-Rentals use Department of Building and Housing standard contracts?

Because we have found they record inadequate details especially when problems are encountered.

19. What inspection forms do Pro-Rentals use?

We have developed our own highly detailed forms which we edit down to suit each property we manage. Our base checklist includes over 1000 prompts on every detail that may be relevant to a property. We normally find once our form is customised to the property there are approximately 500 items that will be checked.

20. Why do Pro-Rentals check so many items?

Because even the most diligent property managers overlook some details. We endeavour to check every detail for two reasons. Firstly, because there are so many items not covered on standard checklists that do cost landlords money to maintain or replace, that when recorded properly should be the tenant's responsibility. Secondly, if there is any dispute on condition of property prior to letting and after the tenancy it is important that good evidence is presented at any dispute hearing.

21. Why don't Pro-Rentals use the standard DHB property inspection report?

Because we have found it to be totally inadequate in the event a tribunal hearing is required. There is insufficient space to adequately describe the condition of a property. The items covered are very superficial and provide insufficient information about the condition of items that are most likely to be damaged. When there is a dispute over damage that could be considered over & above what is fair wear & tear, both tenant and landlords are better protected by more detailed information gathered at the beginning of the tenancy.

22. What documents are supplied to tenants?

Pro-Rentals management process is fully systemised for better communication and efficiency, so we provide tenants with a full information package of documents relevant to the tenancy. Our forms include a Condition of Property at handover checklist, a maintenance protocol information sheet detailing what is considered urgent repairs and how to request a works order and a vacating checklist itemising our expectations to avoid deductions being made from the bond. This package also includes a list of useful contacts including rubbish collection details, power, gas…

23. How do Pro-Rental's monitor property?

Our property managers, work to a monitoring protocol that is commercially sensitive, however it will be fully explained to any owner entering a management contract.

24. Why do Pro-Rentals use a licensed building practitioner to do the initial property inspection?

Because this is the person most qualified to identify and remedy any existing issues with the property. If at a later date there is any dispute, Pro-Rentals will be able to present expert evidence.

25. What systems do you use to ensure all aspects are inspected?

We have a 500+ point checklist that must be signed off by the inspector and photographs recorded of any damage. The checklists are customised to cover the specific type of building materials used and their condition at the time of handover.

26. What is the cost of such a detailed inspection?

$70 + GST (Twice the cost of a normal inspection, but in the case of any damage this inspection enables you to prove pre damaged condition potentially saving a lot more than $70.) Depending on what package is chosen this cost may be included.

27. Won't such detailed condition reports cost me more money to maintain my property?

Yes. Short term there will be more maintenance costs, however these costs are offset by the preventative nature of a lot of the maintenance work. "A stitch in time saves nine" For example it is much better to ease a door that is jamming for say $20 than have to replace a door handle that has been forced too often for $40 or worse still replace a the whole door, repaint $200-300 … It can also alert property owners to Health & Safety issues that carry significant penalties if a tenant has an accident.Most maintenance issues are annoying to tenants, so dealing with them in a timely manner is likely to enable better income to be achieved and obviously a better maintained property stays more valuable for longer.

28. How can I save money on maintenance?

Utilising Pro-Rentals maintenance service will save you money because
1. We use properly equipped maintenance specialists to carry out all work.
2. Vehicles are stocked with products required to do "on the spot" repairs.
3. Work that falls outside their area of expertise can be accessed by a trade qualified person and communicated to the appropriately qualified subcontractor so that they attend fully equipped to deal with the issue that has been accurately described.
4. Seasonal bulk deals are set up where we group a number of properties and negotiate a discounted price. e.g. water blasting, spouting clean…

29. What sort of equipment is carried by Pro-Rentals service providers that may not be carried by most tradesmen?

Ladders, dust sheets, industrial vacuum cleaners, specialist lock tools, plumbing maintenance tools, moisture meters for tracking leaks, power tools, heat guns…

30. What sort of products are carried by Pro-Rentals maintenance service providers?

Wide selection of screws, bolts & nails, door & window lock parts, door stops, tap washers, kitchen cupboards hinges, gib repair kit, spouting & downpipe repairs kits, curtain hooks & rails, hand rail brackets, towel rails, shower curtains, mirrors, toilet roll holders, fast curing fillers ,paints and silicones sealants…

31. How do I know I am getting good value from Pro-Rentals maintenance contractor?

Because there are systems in place that ensure top performance from our maintenance service providers including close monitoring of time taken to attend, quality of work and details on invoices. We provide a competitive environment where top performers are allocated more work and our streamlined invoicing processes enable maintenance service providers to spend more time working productively and less time doing book work. If there is ever an issue with a service provider over charging, Pro-Rentals are well qualified to contest the invoice under the Fair Trading Act.

32. How does Pro-Rentals invoicing system work?

Standard maintenance tasks are listed on our invoice spreadsheets with spaces for time taken to address the issue. The works spreadsheet self generates a detailed accurate invoice which requires minimal input from our service providers.

33. Can I see an example of a maintenance invoice?

Yes, When signing up to a management package you will receive a full document package which will include an example of our various standard forms used to ensure accurate itemised cost details for our owners.

34. What are the main benefits from using a systemised invoicing process?

It is very easy for Pro-Rentals to compare service providers performance on an itemised basis. "apples with apples"

35. What is a P-lab?

It is a dangerous make shift home laboratory set up to cook commonly available chemicals into Methamphetamine. The process produces a highly toxic acid gas which stains floors, wall and ceilings.

36. What is the cost of decontaminating a property after it has been used for a P-lab?

It ranges from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the degree of contamination and whether or not fire resulted.

37. Does Insurance cover this cost?

Probably not, because the damage is the result of an illegal activity.

38. How can an owner guard against P-labs?

There are several tell-tale signs including strange chemical smells, stained glass ware, numerous medication packets, chemical containers and yellow/brownish stains, excessive security and blocked out windows. There is an early alert monitoring system called "meth minder," which can be installed for approximately $30/month.

39. Can an owner insure against loss of rent?

Yes, real Landlord Insurance provides cover to properties managed by professional property managers at a cost of approximately $300 per year.

40. Does a landlord have to notify a tenant of all visits to a property?

No, Consent is not required to inspect the outside of a property including gas meters, water meters, electricity meters. This is based on the definition that premises does not include land or facilities.

41. How can an owner recover tenancy tribunal money orders?

You can do it yourself but you will need some help from the civil enforcement staff of the District Court. Pro-Rentals have service providers who will provide a tenancy debt enforcement service to assist owners compel the payment of money orders. The service is conducted on a no pay no cost basis, subject to some conditions. However it is crucial to have clauses included in tenancy agreements to cover future debt recovery at no cost to the owner.

42. Are there any exemplary damages that may be sought from the Tenancy Tribunal which the tenant is liable to pay directly to a landlord?

Yes
1. Refusing Landlord entry to property $750
2. Changing locks without consent of the landlord $750

43. Can a bankrupt enter a legally binding tenancy agreement?

Yes, up to a limit of $400/week to accommodate his family .See Insolvency Act 1967 Section 53( 2) The bankrupt must advise the Official Assignee of any debt in excess of $100 that he incurs and accommodation details must be given in his " Statement of Affairs" If in doubt a call to Official Assignees Office can clarify the situation.

44. What happens if a tenant is made a bankrupt during a tenancy?

The landlord's debt is treated in the same way as all other unsecured debts.

45. How can I significantly increase the demand for my property?

Allow dogs

46. If I do allow dogs what additional measures should I take?

Sight the current dog registration forms and confirm breed prior to letting. Confirm Kennel arrangements prior to letting. Pre-warn that special inspections will be made to confirm dog is living outside. Make special enquiry into state of previous address where dog was allowed. Add a clause to cover extra cleaning that may be required during tenancy as well as at the end of tenancy. Add a clause detailing consequences for damage to floor coverings etc.

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