Tips To Help You Manage Your Own Property
If you want to manage your rental property/properties yourself, then here are 10 handy tips to help you out. If you would like to go on our mailing list to receive updates and tips or even if you have a question you want answered then send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Select tenants carefully. Make sure you do thorough background checks by interviewing referees fully, complete credit checks, and interviewing prospective tenants. Confirm identity through drivers licence or passport. Make a note of vehicle registration numbers. Ask the right questions to ensure you are getting truthful answers. Don’t accept things on face value.
- Make sure you comply fully with the Residential Tenancies Act 1986. You can’t contract out of the Act by having a private agreement with your tenant. There are hefty fines for things such as not providing a receipt for the bond and not lodging the bond with the Bond Centre within timeframes. Your tenancy agreement (by law) must specify the levels of insulation in the property and you need to give careful consideration to including in it information around testing for methamphetamine.
- Ensure you are compliant with the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. If you are a Landlord tenanting a property, you are classed as a PCBU under the Act and therefore liable to huge fines and imprisonment should you, the tenant or a contractor be injured at the property. Any contractor you use must have the appropriate documentation and you should check this is compliant with the Act before using them. If you are doing your own maintenance you also need to have a health and safety plan and make a hazard identification assessment.
- Follow up on arrears promptly. The longer you leave it the bigger the problem becomes. Contact your tenant on day one and follow up with a 14 day notice immediately so that the legal process is underway and you minimise delays
- Treat tenants fairly and with respect. They are your customers and vital to your income.
- Conduct regular inspections of the property. Don’t forget to give 48 hours notice, which must be in writing. Most insurance companies now will not pay out on claims if you have not undertaken 3-monthly inspections. Keep a record of your inspections.
- Before your tenants move in, thoroughly document and photograph the condition of the property inside and out including storage spaces such as under the house – if you have to make a claim later to the Tenancy Tribunal regarding rubbish removal or the condition of your property you will need to prove what it was like when the tenancy started.
- Review your rent at least annually. Provide supporting information with your rent increase notification to show how you justify the increase and ensure the notice complies with the Residential Tenancies Act 1986.
- Respond to tenant requests for repairs or maintenance issues promptly – protect your asset and your income.
- When a tenant gives notice to end the tenancy, provide the tenant with a list of cleaning requirements so they know early what is expected in terms of how they leave the property.
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