New Zealand’s rental industry will be stronger if the Government considers regulating both private and professional property management, like overseas markets do, in their review of the Residential Tenancies Act.
Currently, there are no standards for management of rental properties, whether looked after by a private landlord or professional agency. Anyone can call themselves a property manager – which can lead to bad experiences for both property owners and property residents. Grant Foggo, Director of Wellington-based Comprende Property Management, believes regulating those who look after properties would close an important loop.
“We welcome the policies to increase housing supply and ensure homes are warm and dry. These are all positive things for both property owners and residents. However, if we’re expecting rental homes to be at a certain standard, we should also expect the people managing them to be at a certain standard,” says Grant Foggo.
Scotland and Wales have both introduced measures to register and monitor private and professional managers. In Wales, anyone managing a property needs to hold a license, pass a ‘Fit and Proper Person’ test and agree to a Code of Practice, all designed to strengthen the sector.
“We need to recognise rental properties are an important part of our accommodation ecosystem. For decades we’ve been encouraged to invest in property to save for retirement. However, it’s clear we need a more professional approach to property management if we are to meet the new standards for rentals. This works overseas” says Grant Foggo.
“We’ve found the relationship between a property owner and resident is the best when there’s a focus on meeting the needs of each. However, this isn’t the industry standard.
“This is a complex issue, but we believe if the Government is reviewing the rental sector then regulation of private and public management should also be considered – it works overseas in similar markets, and could work in New Zealand,” says Grant Foggo.