FAQ's For Landlords

Must I have the place insulated?
Yes. As from July 1st 2019, where ever practicable, the house must be insulated to a minimum standard. If there is no roof cavity or if there is a concrete floor then clearly insulating those areas are NOT practicable. As of NOW 2017 we MUST identify on all new tenancy agreements the current level of insulation. We do suggest that owners get started on the insulation NOW and not try to leave it till the last minute! There will be a fine of up to $4,000.00 for owners who have failed to insulate by July 1st 2019, so please take this seriously.

Must I install smoke alarms?
Yes, it is an offence to fail to provide smoke alarms, however it is now the tenant's responsibility to replace the battery. It's important that the correct type of smoke alarm is installed too as the rules have changed. We have to use Photoelectric ones with a 10 year battery life - available at Bunnings and Mitre 10 stores.

What do you charge owners for managing my property?
Our fee is 9% +gst of rents received and that includes all advertising, all inspections, all credit checking and references, monthly statements, our time at mediation and Tenancy Tribunal. We can negotiate a lower fee for multiple properties.

How often do you pay out to me?
We pay our owners twice a month, usually the 15th and 30th, unless of course if those days are Public holidays in which case we usually pay earlier.

What else do you charge for?
Repairs and maintenance also attracts a charge as we have one team member who handles that job as well as arranging quotes and getting jobs checked before paying out. However the figure can be reduced if, for example, you arrange the work yourself (you might have friend who is a tradesman?) or, if you arrange the whole thing, after we have alerted you to the problem, then no fee is incurred at all.

When do you review the rent?
Very good question, because rents are driven by supply and demand and that changes all the time - we always look at the rent when a tenant vacates and we do an annual review as well. Many owners decline the need to raise the rent too often as they are happy with the tenant and keen for them to remain.

How often do you do inspections?
Routine inspections are carried out approximately every 13 weeks, if we try to do them too frequently that can be seen by the Tribunal as "unreasonable" unless we have a good reason, such as following up on a 14 day notice to remedy something like mould, lack of ventilation or cleaning.

Can I come along when you do an inspection?
Yes you certainly can, always good for you to meet your tenant and see your property. But please don't offer them your phone number and don't plan to be their friend - it will almost certainly end in tears. It is critical that your tenant always works through us, so we have paper trail, and we know the rules.

Do I have a single person in charge of my rental property?
No. We run a task management system which means we have a specialist in each role, however you can always deal with the management team of Richard, Pauline or Maree and we can follow up with the specialist, so you will get emails and phone calls from any one of our team and we do keep a strong paper trail so everyone here knows about your property.

Do you have a policy on pets?
Yes, but it is your call of course. We are not keen on dogs as we have had staff attacked while doing inspections and too often we hear "he's an outside dog only" but why does he have a basket in the lounge? However we can be persuaded if the tenant is in need of a guide dog or similar.

What happens when a rent is missed?
We download payments made into our trust account every weekday morning so we know by 9.00am who has missed. We are able to make contact with the tenant more or less immediately, by visit, text or phone call and we can smell a tame excuse and know the difference between genuine error or a serious cash flow problem. We can issue a 14 day notice to remedy the breach of not paying the rent but we can't take them to court until they are 3 weeks in arrears so it's important for us to react quickly.

Can we charge interest from a tenant who misses a rent payment?
Unfortunately no, but please lobby your MP as hard as you can, because if a rent is missed and your mortgage payment is then missed, you get charged a fee by you bank, so why should you pay for something that's not your fault?

Why can't a tenant be made to pay for accidentally breaking a window?
A recent court case, known as the Osaki case, ruled that the owners have to prove that the damage was deliberate or caused during an illegal act, so little Johnny, who kicked a ball which broke the window, is without blame, so you have to pay for it to be fixed. Very often the parents oflittle Johnny will pay, but if it we took them to tribunal for compensation it would get thrown out!

I want the carpets professionally cleaned at the end of the tenancy.
The Act tells us that the house can only be "reasonably clean" so putting in a clause requiring the carpet to be commercially cleaned is an illegal act as the Court take the view that its an attempt to pervert the law. We have been warned by The Tenancy tribunal that they will fine any landlord or property manager who does that - IF they ever see that clause in a tenancy agreement.

Our Preferred Service Providers

At Rotorua Rentals, we only employ the services of reputable, reliable and experienced service providers.

Mortgage Brokers

The Mortgage Centre
Ph 07 345 8001
www.mortgagecentrerotorua.co.nz

Building Inspectors

Inspect BoP
Ph 07 347 7410

Registered Valuers

Telfer Young
Ph 07 348 1059
www.telferyoung.com

Chattels Valuers

Valu-It
Ph 07 839 3272
www.Valuit.co.nz

Insurance Brokers

Dawson Insurance
Ph 07 348 0479

Specialist Landlord Insurance

Real Landlord Insurance NZ Ltd
Ph 09 438 0650
www.RLINZ.co.nz

Tenancy Services

Department of Building and Housing
Ph 0800 737 666
www.DBH.govt.nz