Becoming a Landlord and Managing Your Rental
There are a number of important things landlords should know to ensure their properties are run smoothly and successfully.
Here are our big five ‘must knows’ for New Zealand landlords:
Here are a couple of things you need to be aware of:
- The New Zealand bond requirement is the equivalent of a maximum of four weeks rent
- This legally must be lodged with Tenancy Services within 23 working days of its receipt
- If you are using a property manager, ensure the bond has been lodged and your tenant has been notified of this.
Maximising your rental income is key to your investment, but there are restrictions you’ll need to keep in mind when it comes to payment in advance, rent increases and more.
- Legally you may only ask tenants to pay a maximum of two weeks rent in advance
- If you are managing the property yourself, you can’t legally charge any fees to cover advertising costs
- The price needs to reflect the market rates and quality of the property. If you’re unsure of market rental values for your property, request a free rental appraisal
- If you want to increase the rent you need to give your tenant 60 days’ notice and it must be at least 180 days since the last increase or beginning of agreement.
You can expect maintenance issues to arise with your rental property. In fact, if no issues arise, you might want to be slightly worried!
- You’re obliged to ensure any appliance that was working when a tenant moved in remains in working order unless you can prove tenant negligence.
- The tenant is obliged to give written notice of any issues at the property. These must be fixed within a reasonable amount of time otherwise the tenant can issue you with a 14-day Notice to Remedy.
There are a number of rules around property inspections, so make sure you’re not falling foul of any of the below.
Notice to rectify and breach notices - If you spot something minor like the lawns are looking a little shabby (and it’s in your agreement that they will keep them tidy) you can give the tenants 14 days’ notice to rectify. This needs to be in writing. If you spot something more serious (what’s that growing in the ceiling cavity?!) you can issue a breach notice. Remember, tenants must receive at least 48 hours’ notice of inspection and it should be three or more months since the last inspection.
If you’re going to be out of the country for an extended period, you have a responsibility to be contactable and on the ground or appoint someone to be. You need to appoint an agent if leaving the country for more than 21 days.
- The agent becomes responsible for the property, handles tenant enquiries and any emergencies
- You must legally notify the tenant – in writing – of your absence and provide contact details of the new person responsible
- You must legally contact tenancy services, which holds the bond, to give them the new temporary manager’s details.