Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions For Owners
How do you determine market rent for my property?
We always strive to obtain the maximum rent possible for you, based on other properties similar to yours that are currently being rented, or have just been rented, in the same area. Market forces however will determine exactly what amount of rent you achieve. If you have a very desirable property in a sought after location you will get more interest and subsequently a higher rent. If you have a property that is less rentable, you will find it hard to command a premium rent.
Other factors that may come into play are seasonal demand – traditionally the winter months mean properties can be slower to rent, or rent at lower levels, while January-March can be ‘high season’, when the best rents and a good quality tenant selection can be achieved. The other factor that will affect your achievable rent, are the other properties on the market indirect competition to yours, and how their location and features compare to your property.
How do you market my property?
We will list your property on TradeMe. All our properties are listed on Trademe as Feature Combo’s (appears first in searches and categories, and has a distinctive yellow background, bright yellow border, and bold title). Feature Combo’s attract 3 times more views than standard listings. We pride ourselves on taking high quality images that show your property to its best advantage, attracting a higher number of quality prospective tenants. We also use a professional photographer at a very reasonable cost if you want your property to be a cut above the rest. We can also put a ‘For Rent’ sign in front of available properties if required. We monitor our advertising closely – it needs to be working for your benefit.
What happens if you can’t find tenants for my property?
If we have no enquiry or suitable applications for your property, then we will be contacting you to discuss a change in approach. We may need to change the format of our advertising, reduce the rent, or make cosmetic modifications to the property to encourage interest – we will feed back to you, and fast. With a background in Interior Design and Home Staging this is something that I can help you with.
How do you select the right tenant for my property?
First impressions count, and although we will be picking up on all the verbal and non-verbal cues a tenant provides on first meeting ‘gut instinct’ should never be relied upon alone. We interview potential tenants during the property viewings and if we need more information, we ask. All tenants must fill out a comprehensive pre-tenancy application form online in which they nominate referees, who are telephoned and interviewed. These referees will include current and former landlords, employers and an ‘alternative referee’. It a tenant passes these checks then a credit check is completed, one which passes through five major databases, including Veda (formerly Baycorp).
What types of tenancy are there, and which is best?
Many Kiwi’s favour the ‘periodic’ tenancy. This obligates a tenant to give 21 days written notice if they wish to vacate, and a landlord to give 90 days notice if they wish the tenant to vacate.
The other option is a ‘fixed term’ tenancy, which obligates the tenant to lease the property for a fixed term, commonly six to twelve months.
Our preference is overwhelmingly for fixed term tenancies, as our experience has shown that superior results are achieved for our clients with this type of tenancy. There are no unplanned surprises (tenants giving notice on December 1st for example), and a higher degree of certainty is achieved both for our owner clients and our tenants.
How much Bond do you take from the tenant?
We take three weeks rent as Bond and we forward these to the Bond Centre in accordance with Residential Tenancies Act 1986 and 2010 Amendments.
Do tenants need to have their own insurance?
We strongly recommend that all our tenants have contents insurance with public liability cover, which protects them in the event of any damage to their property, eg from a burst pipe, or for any accidental damage they may cause to the property. However under the current New Zealand tenancy legislation they are under no legal obligation to take out insurance.
How often will I get my rent?
You can choose to have your rent disbursed to you twice monthly or monthly.
How often will I receive a statement from you?
Every time we make a disbursement of funds into your nominated account.
Can you send me an end of year Financial Statement?
Absolutely, this will be emailed to you on the first week of the new financial year.
Who will look after my property?
Your property will be looked after by me, Sheree Porter a well trained, experienced Property Manager. I’m the only point of contact for you and your tenants. This means you only have to speak to one person to get all the answers you need.
How often can my property be inspected?
Legally, we are not able to routinely inspect a property more than once a month. We conduct comprehensive inspections at the start and end of a tenancy, then again one month into the tenancy, followed by routine inspections every 13 weeks.
How do Inspections work?
We send the tenants a letter/and or email advising them of our intention to inspect the property, and giving at least seven days’ notice of the inspection. Along with the Notice to Inspect, they will receive a checklist on which they can note any items they think need attention at the property, and updating us with their contact details. As we hold keys to the property, tenants do not need to be present for the Inspection although they are welcome to be home if they wish. Our Inspection should take between 20-45 minutes depending on the size and condition of the property. A comprehensive report including photographs and outlining any maintenance to be completed at the property will be emailed to you within a week.
Who will maintain my property?
We have a pool of experienced and qualified tradesmen whom we call on to maintain and repair our managed portfolio. Many of them have been with us for years, and they are all qualified and well versed in their fields of expertise. If you have preferred tradesmen you wish us to use, we are happy to accommodate this also.
What happens if my tenant doesn’t pay their rent?
We have invested in technology, which allows us to monitor tenant arrears on a daily basis, and we do adhere to a Zero Tolerance policy towards rent arrears. When a tenant is 1 day behind in payments we will contact them via phone, text and/or email to let them know a payment has been missed. When they are 2 days behind we will contact them via phone, text and/or email to let them know a payment has been missed and requesting urgent contact. On the 3rd day we will issue a 14 day notice, and failure to comply will result in an application being filed for mediation which could lead to termination of tenancy under s54 of the Residential Tenancies Act.
We will communicate with you throughout this process and a tenancy would not be terminated without discussing the situation with you first. It is our intention at all times to minimise any loss to the owner, so these actions need to be carried out promptly.
Who pays the water rates?
Tenants are liable for any metered water, and wastewater, that they use. Landlords are liable for the fixed monthly charge on the water account. In practice, we will firstly pay the monthly water charges on your behalf, then invoice the tenants their portion of the account. This will be reimbursed to you directly as soon as we receive it.
What contact will I have with my property manager?
You will hear from Sheree, usually via email, if your tenant hands in their notice to vacate, chooses not to renew their lease, or requests to break their lease. You will be contacted when a lease is due for renewal, and will be asked for authority to extend a lease, and consulted over rent level. You will be emailed regular property inspection reports, twice monthly or monthly accounts, and advised if any maintenance or repair item is expected to cost over your agreed $ limit.
What happens at the end of a tenancy?
We will advise you immediately a tenant hands in their 21 day notice (periodic tenancy) or informs us of their decision not to renew their lease. Provided you are happy to re-let the property, we will advertise it immediately to minimise the potential vacancy, and we will issue a Vacating Checklist to the outgoing tenants, so they are aware of all we expect them to do on vacating the property. Then we begin the process of arranging viewings, liaising with the outgoing tenants, discussing any applications received with you if required, and working to bring one tenancy to a satisfactory close, while commencing a new one – all with minimal disruption to you.
Final inspections are completed at the property once the tenant has vacated, and no Bond will be refunded prior to this time.
What guarantees do you provide?
We pride ourselves on providing a standard of service unsurpassed in the property management industry, so much so that we offer a service guarantee.
How do I arrange for you to manage my property?
Click here to provide us with your contact details and we will arrange a time that suits you to discuss the management of your property. If you are currently with another property manager, we can take care of the transfer for you once we have your completed authority form.