The information below is intended to provide landlords a brief summary of answers to common questions and serve as general guidance.
Should you have any specific queries regarding the management of your investment property
How do you determine the best rent for my rental property?
There are three factors we consider in determining the best rent for your property: i) demand for your property (or similar properties); ii) availability of similar properties on the market; and iii) what we have rented currently. Our goal is to strive to get you the maximum rent possible and these factors will give us sufficient context to price your property.
What if I want a rent amount that is higher?
If you place your rental property on the market and prospective tenants think your rent is too high, the property may stay vacant longer than necessary, reducing your annual rental return for every week it is vacant. This is an important consideration, should you choose to place your rental property on the market at a higher rental price than what we advise.
How do you advertise my rental property?
After signing a Management Agreement authorizing us to act on your behalf, we will prepare a listing of your rental property. We always start marketing as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary lost rents and maximize your returns.
How does someone apply for my rental property?
We always ask that the prospective tenant fill in an application form, providing sufficient information to enable an identity check to be performed and give us permission to check the information provided.
How do you check an applicant?
From the information provided, we contact references to verify their identity, as well as check and confirm their tenancy history from their current or previous landlord/agent. As we are members of TINZ we also perform a credit check through TINZ which checks through several databases for any record of the applicant being reported as a defaulter.
Who selects the applicant for my property?
You do. Having reviewed details of all applicants, we use our professional experience and judgement to recommend preferred applicants to you, but it is ultimately your decision on which applicant to select as your tenant.
How much bond do you take from the tenant?
We collect the maximum allowed under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986, which is four weeks.
When do you pay back bond monies?
After the tenant has vacated and returned the keys, the property has been inspected and is in a satisfactory condition when compared with the ingoing inspection report, and once all monies have been paid, we can then refund the bond.
If I allow pets at my rental property, what expectations will be given to the tenant?
We recommend that you avoid allowing pets at your rental property however if the tenant wishes to have a pet included as part of the lease and you approve, an additional clause is included in their residential tenancy agreement stipulating: i) the number and type of pets; ii) the responsibility of the tenant for any damage to the property caused by the pet; iii) the requirement for any carpet at the property to be professionally cleaned at the end of the tenancy; and iv) the requirement for the property to be fumigated at the end of the tenancy.
How clean should the property be when a new tenant moves in?
The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 stipulates that the rental property should be in a reasonable clean and tidy state. We use our experience to judge this reasonable clean and tidy state.
Do you inspect the property at the beginning of a tenancy and how often during the tenancy?
Prior to a tenant moving in, we conduct a comprehensive inspection of every area of your property. The report from this ingoing inspection forms the basis of comparison with the outgoing inspection report at the end of the tenancy in determining whether any damage was incurred during the tenancy. During the tenancy, the property is inspected every 13 weeks. If a problem is detected during an inspection the tenant is given 14 days to remedy the problem upon which the property will be reinspected.
How do you collect the rent?
We receive rent by electronic funds transfer directly into our trust account.
When do I get paid my rent?
Rental monies are paid out twice a month on the 16th and on the 1st, less any management fees, reimbursements and contractor payments. These are deposited into your nominated bank account. Invoices are emailed to you and also available via your unique log in code to our management software.
What happens if my tenant does not pay the rent?
We have a zero tolerance for rent arrears and we monitor them daily. We contact tenants immediately when they miss a payment to determine the circumstances behind their arrears and confirm when payment will occur. We also keep you abreast of the situation via email and we will continue to monitor the situation, keeping close contact with the tenant. If the situation persists and the tenant gets behind in their rent by more than 4 days, we will then formally serve a 14 days notice. Please note that 14 days is the minimum legislated time-frame that must pass to allow the tenant to remedy the breach. The minimum legislated time-frame that must pass before an application can be made to the Tribunal to seek a termination on non payment of rent is 21 days.
When do you review the rent during the time that you manage my property?
Rental reviews are conducted normally every 12 months, however this time-frame is extremely subject to current market trends and can shorten as the market dictates.
Who is responsible for repairs to my property and general wear and tear?
It is your responsibility as a landlord to keep the property in a reasonable state of repair. As a managing agent acting on your behalf, we will utilize a network of preferred tradespersons to perform any required works, in a timely manner and at a reasonable cost. The cost of repairs can only be charged to the tenant in the event that the repairs are required as a result of damage caused by the tenant that is beyond general wear and tear.
What happens if a repair is required after hours, or on weekends?
In the event that an “urgent repair” (as defined in the Residential Tenancies Act 1986) is required, the tenant is permitted to arrange for such work to be carried out without your approval, however the tenant has a responsibility under the Act to contact the landlord first to have the repair arranged. As a landlord, not only will you be responsible for the cost of these repairs (as normal), you will also be responsible for any call-out or after hours charge.
Who is responsible for maintaining the lawns and gardens?
Unless otherwise agreed, the tenant is responsible for maintaining any lawns and gardens of the property during their tenancy. However, it is the responsibility of the landlord to maintain shrubs and trees.
How much notice do I need to give my tenant if I want them to vacate the property?
The minimum notice period you are required to provide as a landlord on any Termination Notice varies quite significantly depending on the nature of your tenancy agreement (fixed-term or periodic) and reasons behind you needing your tenant to vacate the property (e.g. sale of property, breach of agreement by tenant etc.). For a more specific answer for your circumstances, contact us.
How much notice does my tenant need to give if they wish to vacate the property?
The tenant needs to give 21 days’ notice in writing to vacate a periodic agreement. If the fixed term is for longer than 90 days, the tenancy will automatically become a periodic tenancy when it expires unless the landlord or the tenant gives notice to say they don’t want that to happen. This notice must be given between 90 and 21 days before the end of the fixed term.
Who pays the electricity and/or gas charges?
These are normally a tenant’s expense. However if there are charges relating to the supply of these services to a property, then the supply charges are at the landlord’s cost.
Who pays for water and sewerage charges?
The tenant pays for water charges if a) the property has a separate water meter b) the water supplier provides water to the property on a metered basis c) the charges can be exclusively attributed to the tenant’s occupation of the premises.
A metered water supply allows a water supplier to charge for the amount of water used. The landlord pays for water charges if the water account is in the landlord’s name. The landlord can then seek reimbursement from the tenant. Or, either party can ask the water supplier if the account can be transferred to the tenant’s name. Where the tenant reimburses the landlord for water charges, the tenant pays water charges only for the property they’re renting.
Water suppliers may charge for wastewater in different ways, including fixed charges or charges for the amount of wastewater produced. This varies around the country. Landlords are usually responsible for fixed wastewater charges. These are charged whether or not the property is occupied. Tenants may be charged for the wastewater they produce. Some water suppliers calculate wastewater based on how much water they supply.
What happens if water charges aren’t paid?
If the tenant pays the landlord, but the landlord doesn’t pay the supplier and the water is disconnected, the landlord may be responsible for reconnection. If the tenant doesn’t pay, the tenant is in breach of their tenancy agreement. The landlord can issue a 14-day notice to remedy to give the tenant 14 days to pay. If the tenant still doesn’t pay, the landlord can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to get it sorted.
What happens to the tenancy if I wish to sell my property?
Where the owner is required, under an unconditional agreement for the sale of the premises, to give the purchaser vacant possession, 42 days’ notice is required. In any other case, 90 days’ notice is required. If there is any fixed-term lease agreement in place during the sale of your property, then the tenant may stay until the end of their lease, meaning that the buyer must acquire the property as an investment property and honour the existing fixed term tenancy