At the beginning of the year, the New Zealand Government proposed a raft of changes to the Residential Tenancies Act. As a landlord, there is a lot to get your head around if you aren’t completely up to date with regulations surrounding the Tenancy Act.

Luckily, you have employed a property manager to handle your property portfolio and they are completely on board with the legislation…or are they?

Part of the changes to the Tenancy Act may include regulating property managers to ensure they are licensed to practice. Wait a second! Shouldn’t a property manager be licensed just like a Real Estate Agent?

Well, according to current New Zealand Tenancy Laws, anyone can be a property manager—they don’t have to be licensed to any governing board to do so. This means that you could get a property manager who doesn’t understand current laws, may be negligent in keeping regular checks of the rental properties in your portfolio and will not be responsible for any fall out that could occur due to negligence.

Just to be clear, that responsibility will fall on you, the owner. You will also be responsible for any costs that could mount up.

At present, the team at Vertigro, your property management specialists, is part of several national and international property management education boards. Two of our property managers, Megan and Monique, have completed their NZ Residential Property Management Level 4 qualification. Many of our new staff members are also currently working on this programme.

While we are not obliged, legally, to complete this qualification, we feel it is a great way to cement our existing knowledge on all the rules and regulations that a rental property owner needs to stick to to keep their portfolio of homes compliant.

We welcome legislating property managers to abide by professional standards; however, we have noticed a few other aspects of the proposal that may have implications on how a rental property could operate in the future.

As members of REINZ, we also have professional indemnity insurance, which keeps our landlords safe from any issues that could arise, outside of our existing comprehensive rental package, which includes regular checks and constant communication with both our renters and landlords.

Some of the rulings in the proposal are great news for the landlord and the renter, as they put the onus firmly on the property manager to deliver fair outcomes. According to the Ministry of Housing and Development, over 40% of New Zealand’s rental accommodation is managed by a Residential property manager.

The proposed changes to the legislation will heavily impact the property manager, rather than the landlord. In fact, individual property managers could face fines of up to $40,000. Property management companies could face a $100,000 fine if they cannot meet requirements under the new laws.

Your rental portfolio is proof of the hard work and dedication you have put into building it. However, it can be chipped away by the mounting costs of a legal battle. It’s important to check that you have an experienced property manager on the case by asking them a series of questions surrounding their experience and qualifications before you employ them.
If you are concerned about the possible upcoming changes in property law, and would like to speak with a specialist who understands the ins and outs, get in touch with the friendly team at Vertigro here or give us a call on 09 473 5891.