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Property Management Auckland Information Pages

The following property management Auckland information is aimed to inform landlords and tenants of information we feel is of value. If you would like information on a topic not featured in the items below please contact us.

What to look for in a property management Auckland company?

  1. Look for a company that is knowledgeable of the local market and passionate about what they do. They should treat your property as if it was their own knowing that property owners want to maximise their return on investment and have tenants who will look after their investment. The property manager should have knowledge of the local market and know what renters are looking for. The property manager should be able to make recommendations to the owner that will increase overall return while improving the property so that it becomes more desirable, which will help increase rental rates, lower turnover and decrease vacancy.
  2. Meet with the property manager face to face and discuss your expectations of them and find out what they can offer you.
  3. Ask your property manager for the names of two references. Nobody can give a better picture of the service, than a current customer. Ask your property management company to give you the names of two clients with similar type properties. They can tell you best and can usually give a good picture of the strengths and weaknesses and their contentment with the service.
  4. Your property manager should be able to provide great customer service. Ask them what makes them stand out from the rest. Good customer service is something you should expect and a company with good customer service has to make sure the other aspects of their business are on point because they are always telling you about it. Keeping owners informed and constant communication about the market and how their property is being managed is necessary in any property management relationship.
  5. Ask your property manager what kind of property package they run and make sure your money spends time in your account not the managers. Companies usually collect the rent on the first of the month so it should take no longer than eight days to collect rents and prepare all monthly statements.
  6. Ask you property management company you runs their accounting and what knowledge they have. Organisation and great accounting skills will ensure your property management company is accounting for your property correctly.
  7. Find a property management company that puts time in to finding the right tenant and one that has a good relationship with the tenants. Tenants are a customer of the property and should be treated like one. Happy tenants leads to lower turnover, and thus less re-letting fee. Choose a property management company that cares, it will increase your property’s return.

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Property Management Auckland Investment

Property Investment has been the choice for many New Zealanders for a number of years now. It is easy to see why this is so as you can choose the type of property you want to invest in, the geographical area you want to invest in, you can choose whether you want to look after it yourself (hands on) or have it looked after by a managing agent (passive). The average person can invest in property part time while still working full time or running a business and the concept of property investment is easy to understand when comparing it to other forms of investment. In recent years there has been high demand for rental properties due to people making a lifestyle choice to rent rather than buy their own homes, and the price of properties making it harder for first home buyers to make that purchase.

Investors have been able to claim expenses and depreciation against rental income and this has made their investment tax effective. However from 1 April 2011 the government has removed the ability for investors to claim depreciation on the value of the building and thus reducing the tax effectiveness of property as an investment. However many people don’t realise that you are still allowed to claim depreciation on the value of chattels and fit out of the property. You can maximise the value of these chattels by getting a special valuation to itemise each and every separate item and put a value on them. This will be a one off cost to the investor but with chattels and fit out itemised separately a higher depreciation rate may be claimable than the 3% you previously claimed on the building.

Even with this change to the law property investment will still be an investment of choice as you can:

  • Have your tenant paying off your investment for you
  • Have the ability to purchase properties for less than they are worth
  • The ability to make minor cosmetic changes to the property in order to maximise rents

By purchasing properties for less than they are actually worth we instantly create equity in the property from the first day we own it, thus apart from helping us to build our wealth and net worth at a faster pace, this also plays two very important roles with our investing.

  • Reduces risk in our Investing
  • If enough equity is created it may provide the deposit for the next property

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Landlord Insurance

There are several types of Landlord Insurance.

Many standard insurance policies do not cover the risks often associated with rental properties, such as malicious damage or theft by tenants and their guests. It is important that you review what insurance companies can offer, particularly those specialising in landlord insurance and below are some of the areas to look out for.

Does the policy cover:

Loss of rents for:

  • Premises left un-tenantable due to malicious damage to the building and contents.
  • Prevention of access
  • Absconding Tenant
  • Death of a tenant (under a sole tenancy) up to six weeks rent
  • Defaulting payments – Conditional order or Tribunal Order up to fourteen weeks rent
  • Failure to vacate possession
  • Tenancy Hardship (Where the court awards a tenant a release from lease obligations due to hardship up to four weeks rent).

Bond Monies – When a claim is paid for loss of rent, the bond is retained by the property manager to cover the re-letting expenses.

Legal Liability – Does the policy cover your legal liability as a landlord for an occurrence which causes damage to other people’s property, death or bodily injury to other people and the limit of indemnity is $1,000,000.00.

Excess – What are the excess for Malicious damage per claim, what are the excess for Loss of rent per claim.

Loss or Damage To Contents - Does the policy covers general household contents including carpets, curtains, blinds, light fittings and even furniture left for the tenants use. Are these items covered against loss resulting from:

  • Malicious damage by all persons including tenants
  • Theft, riot and civil commotion
  • Fire, explosions, lighting
  • Breaking of fixed glass
  • Storm and rainwater
  • Water damage
  • Impact damage, leakage of oil

It is important that you protect your investment and that means having adequate insurance to cover all situations where loss and damage can occur.

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Landlord Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the Landlord to make sure that the property is in a reasonable state of cleanliness and in a reasonable state of repair taking into account the age and character of the property and the period during which the property is likely to remain habitable and available for residential purposes.

It is the Landlords responsibility to comply with the requirements in respect of buildings, health, and safety under any enactment so far as they apply to the property and if the property does not have a reticulated water supply, then the Landlord must provide adequate means of the collection and storage of water.

It is the Landlords responsibility to compensate the tenant for any reasonable expenses that the tenant incurs with respect to repairing the property, where the property was in a state of disrepair that would result in a breach of the Tenancy Agreement by the tenant and could cause injury to persons or property and the tenant has made a reasonable attempt to give notice to the Landlord of the state of the disrepair and the Landlord has not taken any action.

It is the Landlords responsibility to make sure all reasonable steps are taken to ensure that none of the Landlords other tenants causes or permits any interference with the peace, comfort or privacy of the tenant in the use of the premises.

If the Landlord fails to comply with any of the above it is an unlawful act.

The Landlord cannot interfere with the supply of gas, electricity, water, telephone or other services to the property, except where the interference is necessary to avoid danger to any person or to enable maintenance and repairs to be carried out.

It is the Landlords responsibility to provide and maintain such locks and other similar devices that are necessary to ensure that the property is reasonably secure.

It is the Landlords responsibility to inform the tenant in writing if they intend to put the house on the market.

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Property Management Auckland - Signs Of A P-lab

A P-Lab is a laboratory set up to illegally produce methamphetamine. In 2004 police found 300 plus P-Labs.

The following are warning signs of P-Labs

  • Unusual chemical smells that are not normally present in the area
  • Numerous chemical containers stored or stock piled around properties
  • Stained glass equipment and cookware
  • Plastic or glass containers fitted with glass or rubber tubing
  • Numerous cold medication or tablet packages lying around or in the rubbish
  • Portable gas tanks or cylinders not normally seen or used in the area
  • Chemical stains or etching marks around household kitchen oven, bench, sinks, laundry, toilet, bath or storm water drains
  • Yellow/brown or red staining of interior floor wall ceiling, furnishings and appliance surfaces
  • Boarded or blacked out windows
  • Added ventilation or plumbing
  • Excessive security

P is the most common form of methamphetamine and is highly addictive. It can lead to memory loss, aggressive behaviour, violence, psychotic and paranoid behaviour and potential cardiac and neurological damage.

The manufacturing of P presents its own hazards. The production of P requires hazardous chemicals. Chemicals used are often corrosive (acids), explosive, flammable (solvents) and toxic. The toxic, acidic and potentially flammable fumes and waste chemical by-products produced during the cooking process pose significant health and environmental risks. Based on overseas experience, the risks of a P Lab fire or explosion is high and has resulted in extensive damage to adjacent properties.

A way of protecting your rental property against a tenant starting up a P Lab is the purchase or rental of a Methminder. The cost of decontaminating a P Lab can range from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars and some properties may be beyond repair. A Meth Minder starts at 29.95 per month ( if you buy a meth minder unit) or you can lease a unit for $49.95 per month. These payments are tax deductible.

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Property Management Auckland - Squatters Rights

What is a Squatter – A squatter is a person who has lawful possession of a property but that right to that property has expired or no longer exists but that person still resides at the property.

In normal circumstances squatters are not entitled to be served with a copy of any application made for their eviction. In some cases however where a landlord is unaware of all the facts it would be prudent for a copy of the application to be served at the premises so that an opportunity is given for the party to be heard. A copy of the application does not need to be served individually it can be served to the premises and attached to the front door.

A Landlord can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for an order to remove both squatters and trespassers from the premises. If you need further information about this you can contact your Local Tenancy Services Branch and speak to their staff about this matter. A Landlord or their agent is unable to charge rent to a squatter or trespasser.

What is the difference between a Squatter and a Trespasser. Where a squatter originally had lawful possession of a property but their right to stay was extinguished a Trespasser is someone who has unlawfully gained possession of the property and has no legal right to be in that property.

A Trespasser can be asked to leave by the owner or the occupier and if they still remain at the property they can be arrested under the Trespass Act.

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