Change to the rental sector isn’t coming … it’s here.

Grant Foggo

As we hurtle towards the end of 2018 we thought it was worth reflecting on the changes that have, will and are being considered for the rental sector. The fact is the government is determined to change the renting experience, as a result, there will be significant implications for landlords. The team at Comprende are committed to assisting you and are always available to answer any of your questions.

Insulation

This law is in place and our team have been and continue to ensure that your properties are legally compliant. Currently, we have to state the type of insulation on all new tenancy agreements. By July of next year, all properties (with a few exceptions) must meet the new standard which you can read about here:

https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/insulationdeadline/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9N6J1M-o3gIVS4qPCh32agRyEAAYASAAEgK54_D_BwE

or please contact your property manager if you have any questions.

Healthy Homes

The Healthy Homes Guarantee Act passed into law in December 2017.

It amended the Residential Tenancies Act and allows the government to create regulations that will set new standards for rental homes. These are called the Healthy Homes Standards and their objective is to make rental homes warmer and drier, and deliver the greatest benefit to tenants without imposing an unreasonable burden and cost on landlords.

The consultation phase closed on October 22nd and we await the outcome which will set minimum requirements for:

  • heating
  • insulation
  • ventilation
  • draught-stopping
  • drainage, and
  • the control of moisture in residential rental properties.

As soon as the details of these standards are available we will evaluate the impact on your property(ies) and update you of your legal obligations.

Our thoughts on the Healthy Homes is included in our analysis of the next section.

Review of the Residential Tenancies Act

The Residential Tenancies Act governs relationships between landlords and tenants. A reform of the Act is underway to support the Government’s goal of making life better for renters. The Act came into force over 30 years ago to govern a rental market with different characteristics to today’s market.

To make sure the Act remains fit for purpose, a number of changes are planned or already underway.

  • Tenant liability for damage
  • Contamination of rental properties (including methamphetamine)
  • Unlawful residential premises.

In addition, the review is considering:

  • The length of tenancies
  • The removal of fixed term tenancies
  • Tenants with the rights to have a pet
  • Tenants being allowed to make minor modifications to a rental property.

The review of the residential tenancies act and the healthy homes guarantee will have the biggest impact on rental properties in over 30 years. While some of the changes reflect our societies expectations it is in our opinion, likely that the legislation will attempt to achieve too much too quickly and this will be at the cost of investors/ landlords just like you.

Some investors/ landlords will exit the market reducing further the available stock, we do however still have some active investors who are still purchasing additional properties. This combined with an overall improvement in the standard of properties will ensure that upward pressure on rent will remain for the foreseeable future.

Letting Fee’s 

As of December 12, this year we will no longer be able to charge this fee to tenants. This fee has contributed towards the cost of the administrative process of arranging new tenancies and the physical act of showing potential tenants through your property.

We have always attempted to keep our fee structure simple and transparent, unlike other companies we do not charge for arranging maintenance believing that this should be covered by the management fee. We do not charge an administration fee and our advertising and credit checks are charged at cost.

We are currently reviewing the impact that the letting fee ban will have on our business model.

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