Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need a property management agreement? In this article we answer these important questions as well as outlining what is usually included in a typical property management agreement and where to find a reliable local Auckland and Hamilton property management company.
Owning rental property can be a fantastic way to build wealth and leave a legacy for your heirs. In fact, investing in rental property has been a popular form of investment for thousands of Kiwis for decades. Many successful property investors enter into property management agreements with specialist property management companies as a way to effectively manage their property investments.
What will a property management company do for me?
Investing in rental property is not a walk in the park. It takes a lot of hard work and time to look for and find a suitable property to buy, plus an ongoing commitment of time and hard work to find and manage tenants, and to properly maintain the property so it can continue to generate a good income.
Alternatively, you can engage the services of a reliable property management company to look after your rental property. In exchange for a fee – either a fixed fee or a percentage of the weekly rent – the property manager will take on a variety of tasks associated with managing your rental property, such as finding tenants, collecting the bond and rent, dealing with maintenance issues, and sorting various other aspects of the day-to-day operations associated with the property and the tenants who live in it.
Why do I need a property management agreement?
To ensure a smooth and mutually profitable relationship between yourself and your property management company, it’s essential that you enter into a written agreement that sets out all the terms and conditions of your relationship.
Such an agreement is known as the property management agreement. Its purpose is to clearly stipulate all the responsibilities and tasks for which each party – you the property owner or landlord and your property management company – will be accountable.
As such, a property management agreement is an important legal document. Once the property management agreement is signed, it’s a legally binding document. Therefore, when you contract the services of a reliable property management company to look after your valuable property investment, it’s very important that you pay close attention to the stipulations contained in your property management agreement to ensure you know and understand what is expected of each party, so that nothing falls through the cracks.
What does a typical property management agreement cover?
As the owner of the property, you would naturally want your investment to get the same level of care that you would give it if you had the time to do so. The property management agreement enables you and your property manager to specify the nitty gritty of the responsibilities of each party, including things like:
- The location of the rental property or properties.
- The duration of the agreement between yourself and the property management company.
- The fee the property management company will charge for its services.
- The respective responsibilities of the owner/landlord and the property manager.
- The respective liabilities of the owner and the property management company.
- The conditions for termination of the property management agreement, should either party not meet the expectations of the other.
Where can I find out more about a property management agreement?
If you have invested in a rental property and would like a professional property manager to help you maximise the return on your investment, talk to one of the specialist property managers at Fahey Property Management Ltd. We will also be able to explain all aspects of a property management agreement to you and guide you through the process of what’s involved in setting one up. We’re only a phone call away, so give us a call today on (09) 524 5934.
Where can I find a local property management specialist?
As specialists in Auckland and Waikato based residential property management company, Fahey Property Management Ltd has extensive experience in managing rental properties.
We have built a strong reputation for providing our landlords with friendly, professional service aimed at removing the stress associated with managing all aspects of their rental properties.
Our property management agreements cover everything from listing your rental property for rent to vetting tenants, collecting rent, dealing with tenants and maintaining your property in top earning condition, and a whole lot more. For more detail about our property management services, visit the What We Do page on our website.
What’s my rental property worth?
As specialists in Auckland rental properties and Hamilton rental properties, we at Fahey Property Management offer a free rental appraisal of your Auckland or Hamilton rental property. To arrange for your free rental appraisal, please complete and submit the free rental appraisal request form on our website.
Methamphetamine (commonly also known as ‘P’) is a major social problem in New Zealand. Many landlords and property owners are having to deal with the consequences of meth contamination.
Methamphetamine makers leave dangerous, invisible and long-lasting chemical footprints in their wake. As they move between properties – both commercial and residential, up-market and low-brow – the number of contaminated properties continues to increase.
The results of their activity can make you or your tenant sick, devalue your property and, ultimately, cost you a bundle. In fact, landlords and homeowners pay millions of dollars each year to decontaminate their properties.
One professional meth testing and decontamination company estimate that the police have only busted around 10% of the 20,000 to 40,000 P labs that have existed in New Zealand in the 15 or so years that P has been manufactured here.
What this means is there’s a potential tsunami of meth-contaminated properties heading for owners, landlords, property managers and the rental market that could rival our leaky homes disaster!
How do I test for meth when I’m buying a property?
If you have any concerns or suspicions that a property might be contaminated, it will pay you to have it tested before you buy it.
There are self-testing kits available on the market. While they only cost around $200 and can detect the presence of meth, they cannot indicate the level of contamination.
If the property tests positive for meth, you’ll need to hire a professional outfit to determine the level of contamination and outline what needs to be done to fix it. This part of the process will usually cost around $2500 but can be as high as $10,000 or more.
Depending on the level of meth contamination, the property will likely need specialised cleaning, including the removal and replacement of all soft furnishings and/or wall linings and ceilings. Once cleaned, the property will need to be re-tested to ensure it’s completely free of all traces of meth contamination. This will mean another hit to the wallet of around $2000+.
But it could be a whole lot worse. If the level of meth contamination is found to be so great it might even be cheaper to demolish the property and rebuild it, than try to clean it. How’s that for costs spiraling out of control?
What about insurance coverage?
You may reason that because you have insurance if you discover your rental property has become contaminated your insurer will cover the cost of decontaminating and restoring your property. Right? Wrong!
Different insurers have different schemes for covering owners if their properties burn down as a result of meth-related activities. Some include this under their general fire cover. Others may limit their coverage. Some may outright exclude drug-related damages.
Different insurers will cap the amount of coverage they provide. The decontamination process could easily eat through these limits and leave you financially exposed.
So, depending on your insurer and the exclusions in your policy, you may be protected from meth damage to your rental property. Then again, you might not.
Will my landlord’s insurance cover against P?
Having a landlord’s extension to the standard property insurance will usually cover damage that is not deliberate or malicious (taking into account that insurers and their policies differ considerably).
However, you’ll need to be able to prove that you have done your utmost to exercise due diligence and caution around protecting your property, for example, by doing regular inspections. Or by showing you’re doing everything possible to take proper care of your property, for example, by hiring a property management company.
How can I manage against the risk of meth at my rental?
The best way to reduce the risk of meth contamination to your investment property is to be proactive in managing your tenants.
Test your property to establish a benchmark. The best time to do this is as part of your due diligence on the property before you buy it.
If you’re not skilled in being able to identify high-risk individuals and properties, then appoint a property manager who is. One who will thoroughly check tenants before they move in.
Do regular property inspections and be on the lookout for items associated with meth use. Re-test your property between tenancies if you have any suspicions about what your tenants might have been up to.
We’ll take good care of your rental property.
At Fahey Property Management, we have years of experience in the property rental market and have developed a sixth sense when it comes to spotting a potentially dodgy tenant.
We vet our tenants thoroughly and carry out frequent checks, including three month inspections on all the properties we manage.
Our tenancy agreements also state that we reserve the right to do random meth-testing throughout the tenancy.
We can also provide you with information about landlord’s insurance policies that provide cover against meth contamination.
If you want to invest in real estate, but don’t know the first thing about property management, hiring an experienced property manager can be the right choice for you. Learning as you go can become very expensive.
If you’ve owned income property for any length of time, you’ll know that managing a rental can be financially rewarding. At the same time, you’ve also likely discovered that property management requires a lot of elbow grease, time and expertise. However, many rental property owners are hesitant to hire a property manager, believing it’s expensive and unnecessary.
Why you need to hire a property manager?
The hard truth is that if you want to remain someone who has the time to acquire property, you can’t spend all of your time fixing Hire a property manager and maintaining every rental property you own. Make the decision on how you manage your rental property based on your ultimate goals. In the property game, pragmatism often goes a long way.
Furthermore, contracting the skills, expertise and professionalism of a property manager does not mean you have to hand over full control if you don’t want to. As the owner of the property, you can retain as much or as little responsibility for the management of your property as best suits your situation.
Here are 10 good reasons why you should hire a property manager and let an experienced property management company take the hassle out of your hands:
Property Management knowledge and expertise
Property managers look after properties day in and day out. It is their job. With that comes knowledge and experience. Chances are that they’ve faced most situations that can occur with a rental property and have been able to resolve them for the benefit of everyone. Having access to that expertise is extremely valuable.
The distance between your home and your rental property, even if it is just one property, can be the most important factor when making the decision to hire a property manager. When you’re your own property manager, you’re geographically confined to invest in properties you can reach quickly, which could limit your investment opportunities. Having a property manager means you can take advantage of buying and owning a rental property in areas that may be more affordable or provide a better return on investment, even if you’re nowhere near.
Keeping you sweet with the residential tenancy law
How much do you really know about the laws and regulations that apply to tenanted properties or tenant and landlord rights?
One of the biggest advantages of hiring a property manager is their ability to help you avoid or minimise any legal hassles. A property manager will ensure that you and your rental property complies with all the necessary regulations.
Setting the right rent for the property
When it comes to setting the rental rate for your property, you may think it’s simply a matter of browsing through the local classifieds or online property listings to compare your property with similar ones and you’re done. This might be a good enough method to get an approximate rate. A property manager, however, has access to market research and a much better understanding of how to evaluate the distinct elements of your property to be able to set the optimum rental. When determining the rent for your property, what you’re aiming for is a rent that maximises your rental income while reducing your vacancy rate and attracting good tenants who stay longer.
Marketing your rental property
A property manager is responsible for getting tenants into an unoccupied property. An unoccupied property is a liability on your balance sheet. Rates, repairs and maintenance all cost money, and if there is no rental income then those costs aren’t being offset by anything and your regular income will have to go towards it.
A property manager knows exactly the best way to use all available avenues to market your property for lease – and they’re good at finding and screening tenants quickly.
Screening rental property tenants
Effective tenant screening is integral to finding a tenant who meets your expectations and standards for your rental property. It goes without saying that you need to select a tenant who not only can afford to pay the rent, but is also responsible enough to pay it on time, every time. You also want someone who reflects the qualities you believe an ideal tenant should have. Perhaps you’re looking for someone who doesn’t party too much, has a full-time job, or is fine with your no-pets policy.
If you’re not absolutely sure about your ability to find the right tenants for your property, hire a property manager to do the job. Property managers are trained in the process of vetting prospective tenants, so they know the exact qualities and red flags to look out for.
Property management red tape and rent collection or late rent recovery
Tenancy applications, lease agreements, bond payments, property reports and tenant screening, including background and credit history checks and verifying employment and references – when you hire a property manager they have to deal with all the red tape.
If you’ve ever had to collect money from clients, you’ll know how time-consuming and frustrating it can be. Property managers have their own efficient ways for collecting rent on time and dealing with late-paying tenants so your cash flow stays regular and predictable.
Managing property tenants
Dealing with property tenants doesn’t end once your property is filled. Property managers will conduct regular inspections to ensure your tenants are looking after your property so it retains its value.
They will also handle any problems that arise, saving you time and headaches. However, while a property manager will relieve you of the constant hands-on involvement, they will keep you posted on everything that requires your attention, so you’ll still be the one who has ultimate control over your property.
Rental property maintenance
Picture this: Does a 2 am call from a grumpy tenant asking you to fix a problem with something in the house sound like fun? Unless you really love fixing things (at any time of the day or night) and dealing with disgruntled tenants, then you will definitely appreciate having a property manager at a time like this.
Property managers have relationships with maintenance services and emergency trades people and are set up to deal with ensuring routine maintenance or emergency repairs get done, all without having to wake you at 2am.
Their network of relationships with maintenance workers, tradesmen, contractors, suppliers and vendors is almost impossible for an independent landlord to duplicate. Not only will your property manager get you the best work for the best price, but they’ll also oversee all necessary maintenance.
Saving time and hassle
Are you a full-time employee, retired or somewhere in the middle? It can be a full-time job to track rent payments, deal with complaints and repairs, prepare the property for new tenants, find vendors and deal with bad tenants. It may also become a constant source of stress. If you have a full-time job or some other heavy demand on your time, then you probably don’t have the time to manage your property at a moment’s notice.
If you’re retired, perhaps you have the time, but you may not want to spend it worrying about your property when you have other valued commitments in your life.
Having a property manager to deal with the daily handling of your rental property means you have more time to look for more opportunities for investment, deal with your career, and live your private life.
A final word
Making the decision to hire a property manager will require you to reflect on your personal situation and capacity to adequately maintain your property.
If you’re a very practical person, you live near to your rental properties, and you don’t mind putting in the time, then the do-it-yourself principle of property management could make sense in your case. However, if that doesn’t sound like you or you have multiple properties, then hiring a professional property manager can help you in a lot of ways. The relatively small price tag for having someone to look after your property investments could be a very small price to pay for the comfort and freedom it affords you.
If you’re thinking of investing in a rental property, talk to the team at Fahey Property Management about our property management services. We have a wealth of property and tenant management experience and will be able to help you manage your rental properties to ensure the best returns on your valuable investment.
Contracting a property management agent in Auckland to manage your residential rental property is like hiring an accountant or lawyer to manage your business affairs. Our Auckland property managers at Fahey Property Management perform a whole raft of services on behalf of our landlords, from marketing their properties and finding good tenants, to collecting the rent, looking after routine maintenance, and dealing with any issues and disputes that may arise during the tenancies. In essence, we become your Auckland property agent looking after your valuable real estate investment.
Having an Auckland property manager on hand for dealing with tenancy disputes
How to deal with tenancy disputes?
Conflict of any description is never pleasant, but when it comes to having to deal with a dispute between yourself as a landlord and your tenant, the stress can mount. And if the issue is left unresolved, it can quickly escalate into a serious dispute. The last thing you want to have to do as a landlord is spending nights and weekends sorting out problems.
It’s in situations like this that having one of our Auckland property managers to deal with issues and conflicts on your behalf can really save you a lot of hassle, stress and time. Here are just some of the ways we make your life as a landlord easier.
The best way to prevent issues or conflict from arising in the first place is to keep in regular contact with your tenants. Most landlords simply don’t have the time to regularly check-in with their tenants or keep across every detail of what’s happening at their rental property.
Our property managers, on the other hand, do have the time – after all, managing Auckland rental properties is our full-time job and our area of expertise. We make it our mission to keep you and your tenants fully informed about what’s going on at the property and with the tenancy agreement.
We take a proactive approach to property management, doing all we can to make sure problems do not arise in the first place, and if they do, ensuring they are resolved quickly and efficiently so they don’t get out of control.
Both tenants and landlords have a very personal and subjective relationship with their rental property. Sometimes, when issues arise, it’s good to have a more objective party on hand to lend an impartial ear to the conflict and deal with disagreements in a fair manner.
Having an unbiased mediator in the form of one of our Auckland property managers to negotiate with both parties and understand the situation can lead to a quicker, fairer, less traumatic outcome.
Rental property condition reports
Our property managers know all the ins and outs of property condition reporting, and we conduct regular inspections of your rental properties on your behalf. This is an important way in which we help to protect you from potential conflict with your tenant.
By taking photos of and writing up detailed descriptions of the property at the start of each tenancy and at each inspection, we’re able to protect both the landlord and the tenant in case any damage is found at the end of the tenancy, because we can easily use the condition report to prove if such damage was existing or not.
Our property managers keep detailed records of inspections as well as of any special agreements or discussions with tenants and landlords, which are all very handy for helping to sort issues in the event they escalate into a dispute.
Organising repairs for your rental property
If something does go wrong at a rental property, for example, a water pipe bursts or the hot water cylinder breaks down or the gutters are leaking, not attending to these quickly will not only cause frustration for your tenant and lead to possible conflict, but can also result in serious damage to your property.
Our property managers can quickly arrange for both routine and urgent repairs to the property on your behalf. We also have access to local Auckland preferred suppliers and trades people with proven track records of providing quality service at a fair price, ensuring that regular maintenance, as well as urgent repairs, don’t cost you more than what they should. By overseeing that any needed repairs are done quickly, we’ll also be keeping your tenant happy.
Lack of knowledge about tenant and landlord rights and responsibilities, and the relevant regulations governing tenancies often results in unnecessary disputes between landlords and tenants. Our property managers are complete across all the tenancy laws and we fully understand the various rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords under the Residential Tenancies Act.
If for some reason, you are dealing with tenancy dispute and are not able to resolve it, our property managers in Auckland can provide sound advice to landlords or tenants before they commence any dispute resolution process, and we can support landlords or tenants who wish to make an application to the Tenancy Tribunal. The Tenancy Tribunal is a special court, and a part of the New Zealand justice system, for making decisions about problems that landlords and tenants are unable to settle themselves.
These are just some of the ways in which our Auckland property managers can help you prevent tenancy disputes from arising or, if issues have arisen, get them sorted as hassle-free as possible. Contact the team at Fahey Property Management to find out more about our property management services in Auckland.
There’s no doubt that in most parts of New Zealand, the winter weather is well and truly biting. At times like this, a rental property that’s well insulated and has energy efficient heating is very attractive to tenants. It also has benefits for the rental property owner/landlord.
How does property insulation benefit a rental property owner and tenant?
It benefits landlords because the home will be less prone to damp and deterioration – which means lower maintenance bills! It will also make the property easier to rent to good, long-term tenants – and lower tenant turnover also means less wear and tear on the property.
It benefits tenants because a warm and dry home is good for their health – cold and damp homes are linked to poor health, especially for babies and small children, older people and people who are ill. No one wants to have to take time off work or face unplanned medical bills for avoidable illnesses. Warm, dry homes are also good for a tenant’s wallet in another way because they’ll end up spending less on their energy bill.
In other words, a warm, dry home that’s relatively cheap and easy to heat is something that everyone wants – both landlords and tenants.
Our top rental property tips for protection against winter
The following winter protection rental property tips can help you ensure your rental property is warm, dry and more energy efficient – and it won’t cost you the earth to do so.
1.Make sure your rental property is properly insulated
Nothing beats a well-insulated property. A well-insulated home is warmer and healthier, and it will also save your tenants money on their energy bills. These are all property qualities that are very appealing to tenants.
In fact, new Government rules will soon make it mandatory for all rental properties to be properly insulated. You can read about this in more detail in one of our earlier blogs, including details of Government and Council financial assistance to help bring rental properties up to scratch.
For example, Auckland Council’s Retrofit Your Home scheme, which allows you to apply for up to $5000 worth of financial assistance to insulate or heat your property. If it was built before 2000 and you’re an Auckland Council ratepayer with good payment history. You can repay such assistance over nine years through a targeted rate included on your rates bill.
Also, from 1 July 2016, grants will be available for ceiling and underfloor insulation through Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes for rental properties occupied by low-income tenants, subject to certain criteria. Landlords of the eligible tenants may have to make a contribution towards this.
Yes, while there is a cost involved in all aspects of ensuring your rental property is fit for tenants, it’s all well worth it in the long run. Not only will it keep the actual structure of the property healthy, thereby reducing maintenance costs, but it will also make the property more attractive to tenants and they will stay with you longer.
2.Help tenants save on their hot water bill
A large proportion – as much as a third, in fact – of any tenant’s power bill goes on hot water, especially if the hot water in your rental property is supplied via a hot water cylinder.
A very effective way to lower the power bill is to make sure the hot water cylinder and its pipes are insulated. You can help keep the heat in by using a hot water cylinder wrap – these are available from hardware stores. Also, make sure the thermostat of the hot water cylinder is set at 60oC at the cylinder and no more than 55oC at the tap (this will also prevent scalds). We also recommend that you fit a shower flow restrictor or replace showerheads with low-flow models.
These are all cost-effective options that will reduce the hot water flow rate and help save tenants heaps on their electricity bill, without impacting on their bath-time comfort.
3.Install a heat pump into your rental property
While installing a heat pump might seem like a big cost, a good quality heat pump that is well placed can heat a home very efficiently with surprisingly low running costs. You’re more likely to attract good tenants and keep them longer if your rental property is well insulated and comes with a good heat pump.
4.Inspect the rood and clear rain gutters
It’s important that you don’t skip these tasks, especially at the time of year when lots of leaves are falling because it could have a big impact on your rental property during the winter. Repairing any broken roof tiles or holes in the road will help to keep the structure dry.
Clearing out leaves and other debris from the gutters so they can easily drain water from the roof will prevent them backing up and overflowing into the roof and wall cavities, with resultant moisture and mildew problems – and a hefty repair bill.
At Fahey Property Management our rental property managers have a network of tradies who are on hand should you require this. Helping you maintain your rental property and investment is all part of our property management service.
5.Check doors and windows
It’s been said that up to 20% of heating can be lost through draughts. Locate problem areas around doors and windows where heat is most likely to escape, such as loose caulking, torn weather stripping, and gaps where doors and windows meet frames.
Make the time and take the effort to repair draughty gaps. Doing so will not only protect your valuable rental property from water damage but will also ensure the home stays warm and dry and save your tenants money on their heating bill.
6.Trim trees and hedges
Trim any trees or hedges that reduce or prevent sunlight from entering your rental property. Energy from the sun is free and can go a long way to help to keep a home warm and dry.
Remember, a warm, healthy tenant is a happy tenant – and happy tenants keep landlords happy too!
Need further advice?
If you own a rental property, do you appreciate the fact that having correctly installed and working smoke alarms in rental property is your first line of defense for protecting your valuable investment and keeping your tenants safe in the event of a fire?
According to the New Zealand Fire Service, every year there are more than 3,500 house fires. Furthermore, in 80% of the fatal fires they attend, smoke alarms are either not installed or not working.
These sad statistics have led the Government to recently pass the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill into law.
What this means for landlords
According to the Residential Tenancies Act 2016, from 1 July 2016 working smoke alarms must be installed in all residential rental properties. Also, all new alarms that are installed must be the long-life photoelectric-type smoke alarms, as these last for at least 10 years and the battery cannot be removed.
What this means for landlords is that from 1 July 2016 it’s unlawful for a landlord to fail to comply with their responsibilities under the new requirement that there with working smoke alarms in rental properties.
Failure to comply with the new requirements carries a maximum penalty of a $4000.00 fine for a non-compliant landlord.
However, these new rules are NOT bad news for landlords. While the purpose of the new rules is to ensure all rental properties are safer for tenants, ensuring that each rental property has working smoke alarms will also reduce the tens of millions of dollars’ damage that fires cause to landlords’ properties every year.
What this means for tenants
A tenant also has obligations under the new regulations. A tenant is required to maintain any installed smoke alarms, including replacing batteries if this is required, for the duration of their tenancy.
A tenant can be fined up to $3000.00 if they cause or permit any interference with, or render inoperative, any means of escape from fire. This includes interfering with or making any smoke alarm inoperative, for example by removing the battery or obstructing the alarm itself.
Checklist of legal obligations for landlords, property managers and tenants
Every rental property needs to have at least one working smoke alarm – the number depends on how many bedrooms there are in the rental property, as a working smoke alarm is required in each sleeping space or within 3m of each bedroom door. In a multi-story home, there must be one smoke alarm on each level within the household. If the rental property is a self-contained caravan, sleep-out or similar space there must be a minimum of one working smoke alarm.
If the rental property does not have any smoke alarms installed, the owner of the property has to install long-life photoelectric-type smoke alarms, as these last for at least 10 years and the battery cannot be removed.
All existing smoke alarms must be replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended replacement date as stated on the alarm. When any existing smoke alarms in rental properties are replaced, the replacements must be the long-life, photoelectric-type smoke alarms.
Hard-wired smoke alarms are also acceptable. In the case of hard-wired smoke alarms, the New Zealand Fire Service recommends that the alarms be interconnected and hard-wired to the property’s electrical wiring to ensure that all the smoke alarms activate simultaneously in the event of a fire.
Landlords are responsible for making sure all the smoke alarms in their rental properties are in working order at the beginning of each new tenancy.
Tenants are responsible for replacing the batteries in their smoke alarms and for ensuring the alarms are in good working order by checking them regularly. If a tenant discovers their smoke alarm is not working, they must tell their property manager/landlord immediately.
For optimum protection, fire alarms should be installed on the ceiling in every bedroom, living area and hallway. However, don’t put smoke alarms in a kitchen, bathroom or laundry, as the heat from cooking and clothes drying, and the steam from showering can cause a false activation of the alarm.
The new regulations are already saving property and lives
Already in June, a Whanganui property manager, prompted by the publicity around the new regulations, installed long-life smoke alarms in the properties she was managing. Just a day later, one kicked into action, preventing damage to both property and lives.
Recently, in Westport, a sleeping family of seven was saved by smoke alarms in their rental property, when the alarms, which had been checked by the owner before the family moved in a fortnight previously, activated in the middle of the night.
Get an experiences property manager to look after your rental property
The property managers at Fahey Property Management are experienced in dealing with all aspects of managing a rental property. We ensure we keep up to date on all the various legal requirements relating to residential rental properties, so can help you take care of all the details to protect your tenants, your valuable rental property and your bottom line.
Our property managers will check that the smoke alarms in your rental property comply with the new requirements under the Residential Tenancies Act 2016 and that they are in good working order at the start of each new tenancy. We do regular inspections of the rental properties under our management and provide landlords with a detailed report of any actions required.
Need further advice?
Once your tenancy application is accepted, we will make a time to meet you at our office to sign the tenancy agreement. Here are some key points you need to know about the New Zealand Tenancy Agreement, please ensure you take the time to read through the agreement and check with your property manager if there is anything you don’t understand.
We will collect a bond for the property before you move in, equivalent to 3-4 weeks rent. This bond will be lodged at the Department of Building & Housing and released back to you at the end of your tenancy. It takes both of our signatures to release the bond at the end of the tenancy, so both parties must agree to how the money is distributed.
There are two types of tenancies fixed and periodic. It is important that you understand what both mean and your responsibilities under each tenancy.
Most tenancies at Fahey Property Management (FPM) are Fixed Term. Why? We offer fixed term contracts to our tenants giving you peace of mind knowing you have your home for a certain period of time and (in most cases) will be offered an extension. Fixed term leases are generally 6-12 months, and you can negotiate this with your property manager.
During your fixed term tenancy, either party can give notice to vacate. Either party can give you no less than 21 days at the end of the tenancy. We will contact you before the end of your fixed term tenancy and ask if you would like to stay at the property or vacate.
A Periodic tenancy has a start date but no end date. If you are going to sign a Periodic Tenancy you can give us 21 days notice to vacate, in writing, at any time to vacate the property. The owner can give you 90 days notice to vacate, at any time and they do not need to specify a reason. The owner can give you 42 days notice if they (or a family member) wish to move in to the property or if they receive an unconditional offer of sale.
Move in inspection report
Before you move in to your new home, your property manager will complete a detailed move in inspection. This involves the property manager assessing the current condition of each room, the external building and gardens. You will receive a copy of the report before you move in and have two weeks to make any necessary changes or raise concerns that you may have with any aspect of the property or the report. After this time, we will take that as your acceptance of the report. At the end of your tenancy we will use this report to ascertain if there was any damage to the property during your tenancy. It is therefore, very important that you take some time to look through and add anything we may have missed.
Your tenancy agreement requires that you pay your rent in advance and on time. For example, if you move in on a Saturday, your rent starts then and is due each Saturday thereafter. We suggest you arrange for the money to leave your account at least a day earlier to make sure it reaches us on time. You need to contact your property manager immediately if you are unable to pay your rent for any reason. We understand that sometimes things happen and if you contact us and explain the situation we are all in a much better situation to assist you.
The final step
Once your payments have been made and the Tenancy Agreement signed, we can hand over your keys! You can collect your keys on your agreed move in day. You may not change any locks or other security devices without the written consent of the landlord. It’s always an idea to have a spare key – just in case!
What is a tenancy agreement? Why is it an important document and what should it include? In this article our expert property manager provides answers to these and other frequently asked questions about tenancy agreements.
If you are successful in your application to rent a property, the property manager who represents the landlord of the property (or the landlord themselves) will usually ask you to sign a lease, also known as a residential tenancy agreement or a tenancy agreement, before you are allowed to move into the property.
What’s so important about my tenancy agreement?
The tenancy agreement is a legal contract between the tenant and their landlord or the landlord’s property manager. It sets out all the key legal terms and conditions of the agreement with regard to the tenant’s lease of the property. The tenancy agreement, including all its terms and conditions, is also subject to the stipulations of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986.
What form should my tenancy agreement take?
Every tenancy agreement must be in writing, and the landlord or his property manager must give the tenant a copy of the agreement before the tenancy begins. However, even if a tenancy agreement isn’t in writing, the rights and obligations of tenants and landlords according to the stipulations of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 still apply.
If you’re a prospective tenant it’s very important to thoroughly read your tenancy agreement before you sign it – and if you don’t understand any of the terms and conditions in the agreement, get professional advice before you sign the document.
What type of tenancy agreements are there?
There are two common types of residential property leases or tenancy agreements, namely a fixed-term tenancy agreement and a periodic tenancy agreement.
A fixed-term tenancy agreement is for a lease of a property for a set period of time, usually six or 12 months. When the fixed-term expires, the tenant can either sign a new fixed-term lease or the lease can roll over automatically into a periodic lease. If a lease rolls over to a periodic lease, the tenant does not sign a new tenancy agreement. However, the terms and conditions of the original agreement still apply.
A periodic lease has no fixed term and runs indefinitely on a week-by-week or month-by-month basis until either party gives notice to end the tenancy. While a tenant is required to give 21 days’ notice to end a periodic tenancy, a landlord must give 90 days, except in exceptional situations, for example, the landlord wants to move into his property himself. In such a case the landlord only needs to give the tenant 42 days’ notice of termination of the tenancy.
What should be included in my tenancy agreement?
All tenancy agreements have to contain certain basic information, such as:
- The names and contact details of all parties involved in the tenancy agreement
- The physical address of the property that is being rented
- Whether the tenancy is a fixed-term or periodic tenancy
- The date the tenancy agreement is signed
- The start date of the tenancy and, in the case of a fixed-term tenancy, also the end date of the tenancy
- The amount of rent to be paid, how frequently it has to be paid and to whom it has to be paid
- The bond amount that has to be paid
- How many people can reside at the property
- A list of any fixtures or chattels that come with the property
The tenancy agreement can also include various other obligations or stipulations for the tenant and/or landlord that the parties have agreed to – as long as these comply with the stipulations of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986.
Also, as of 1 July 2016, all tenancy agreements need to include information about what insulation is present in the ceilings, floors or walls of the rental property.
Looking for a property to rent?
Auckland-based property management company Fahey Property Management is a specialist property management company that manages rental properties across the greater Auckland and Hamilton areas. As specialist property managers the team at Fahey Property Management can help you find the perfect rental property.
We have a database of quality rental properties. So, if you cannot find what you’re looking for in the rental properties section on our website, be sure to give us a call on 09 308 5574 to find out what other rental properties are available in our database of Auckland and Hamilton rental properties.
Need further advice?