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Property Owner F.A.Q’S

I want to view my property but it’s rented – when can I see it?
A property owner or property manager may enter the property at any stage, however, this can happen no more than once every four weeks and the tenant must be given at least 48 hours’ notice in writing before entering the premises.

What happens if a repair is required after hours, or on weekends?
Our policy on what constitutes an emergency repair and what does not is conveyed to all of our tenants at the beginning of the tenancy and this is also governed by the Act.
All tenants are provided with mobile numbers and after hours contact details if emergencies arise. Your property manager will use fair judgement and caution when dealing with such issues to ensure our obligations to the tenant are being met and your wishes are respected.

What do you explain to the tenant(s) before they move into the property?
We go through all of the most important expectations with our tenants as part of our tenant induction process. This will include education on issues such as:
• Rent payment dates and methods required to ensure it is always on time.
• What to do in an emergency repair situation, and who to contact.
• How often inspections will occur and what we look for.
• General expectations and the law (the Act)
Ray White New Zealand provides all of our property managers with a comprehensive Tenant Information Guide that has been produced to help educate all those involved with the process and to minimise the occurrence of risk or issues rising throughout the tenancy.
If you would like to see a copy of this document, please contact your property manager directly.

Who pays for water charges?
The tenant is responsible for all metered water usage charges and the landlord is responsible for daily line/supply charges. Where the water supply is from a tank, the landlord should provide a full tank at the start of the tenancy.

Insurance – is this required?
Although not a legal requirement, we advise all landlords to have comprehensive insurance to cover both their property and the tenancy(these are often two different policies). Investors need to be careful to check their policy wording and the cover that is offered, particularly now around the areas of Methamphetamine contamination and its associated costs, tenant liability for careless or accidental damage and also inspection frequency requirements.
It is important for landlords to insure chattels such as carpet, drapes, stove and other whiteware that a tenant may be using and also to maintain a current insurance certificate if the property has a chimney. Always remember to tell your insurance company that the property is tenanted to ensure you have some cover.
Ray White property managers have access to comprehensive tenancy related insurance so please contact us directly to find out more.

Gardens – who is responsible?
Under the Act, gardens and lawns are to be kept in a “reasonable condition” by the tenants. Pruning trees and hedges, spraying and vine removal are the landlord’s responsibility. We advise that in properties with large gardens or those that require more maintenance than usual, landlords consider the option of maintaining this as a part of the weekly rent to ensure standards are kept at an acceptable level long term.

Can you guarantee the tenant?
We can never guarantee any approved tenant(s) for your property, however, through our training, systems and processes we do everything we can to ensure all risks are minimised.
Although it is expected and communicated as such, the paying of rent and maintaining the property cannot be guaranteed. This is a landlord risk that comes with allowing someone to rent a property.

How long will it take to rent my property?
The length of time it takes to secure a tenant for your property will largely come down to market demand at the time, the condition of your property and an effective marketing and pricing strategy. If an existing tenant gives three weeks’ notice
(as they are entitled to do so), it is highly likely that a new tenant will be secured and ready to take possession as close to that vacate date as possible.
Your property manager will do everything in their power to minimise your vacancy period as well as providing you with regular feedback throughout the process.

What is the achievable rental amount for my property?
Your property manager will advise you on what is ‘fair market rent’ for your property based upon their market knowledge, current levels of market demand, the area, comparable properties and statistical data.
Depending on your needs, a higher figure can be attempted, although this may increase your risk of extended vacancy periods. In these situations, you will be given regular client feedback and advice should you wish to adjust the asking rent.

What happens if a tenant misses a rent payment?
An arrears report is generated daily through our system, highlighting any payments that have not been received.
Your property manager will then follow their office arrears policy – which typically involves immediate contact with the tenant to determine why the payment is late and constant communication until the debt is paid. This may also include the sending of a 14 day Notice to Remedy for arrears, and the lodgement of a Tenancy Tribunal case if the arrears are not cleared immediately.
If you would like further information, please ask your property manager for a copy of their arrears policy.

How often can my rent be increased?
Currently and at the time of printing (October 2018), a property manager is prevented from increasing the rent during a tenancy any more than once every 180 days, or within the first six months of a new tenancy beginning. Any increase must be provided with 60 days’ written notice to the tenant and at a fair market level.
Your property manager will advise of a suitable rental figure before any new advertising begins and is also responsible for regular rent reviews on existing tenancies to ensure your return is always maximised.

What’s the rule around pets at my property? (if permitted)
If permission is granted for a tenant to keep a pet at the property your property manager will ensure the following criteria and obligations are met:
• No additional pet other than that already agreed in the tenancy agreement may occupy the property.
• The pet must be removed from the property if it becomes bothersome to the neighbours and affects the quiet peace and enjoyment of surrounding properties (after reasonable warning has been given in writing).
• The tenant is responsible for any damage caused by their pet.

Pest control services – who’s responsible?
Depending on the circumstances and level of infestation, the onus is on the landlord to provide adequate pest control services either by providing the appropriate bait or employing the services of a pest control company. In the case where a tenant has likely caused or influenced an infestation, your property manager will seek the cost back from the tenant. However, this situation is best assessed on a case by case basis and needs to be proven in order to claim back any compensation.