New to Investment? 10 FAQs

Menique Stuart

It’s common for new investors to have a bunch of questions when it comes to renting out their property for the first time, so we thought, why not put all this information into one place so you can get up to speed with your property management journey  – and feel comfortable knowing the next steps. 

Here are some of our FAQs:

I want to view my property but it’s rented – when can I see it?

A property owner or property manager may enter the property at any stage, however, this can happen no more than once every four weeks and the tenant must be given at least 48 hours notice in writing before you enter the premises.

What happens if a repair is required after hours or on weekends?

Our policy on what constitutes an emergency repair and what does not is conveyed to all our tenants at the beginning of the tenancy and this is also governed by the Act. All tenants are provided with mobile numbers and after-hours contact details if emergencies arise. Your property manager will use fair judgement and caution when dealing with such issues to ensure our obligations to the tenant are being met and your wishes are respected.

What do you explain to the tenant(s) before they move into the property?

We go through the most important expectations with our tenants as part of our tenant induction process. This will include education on issues
such as:

• Rent payment dates and methods required to ensure it is always on time
• What to do in an emergency repair situation, and who to contact
• How often inspections will occur and what we look for
• General expectations and the law (The Act).

Ray White New Zealand provides all of our property managers with our comprehensive Tenant Information Guide which has been produced to help educate all those involved with the process and to minimise the occurrence of risk or issues arising throughout the tenancy.

Who pays for water charges?

The tenant is responsible for all metered water usage charges and the landlord is responsible for daily line/supply charges. Where the water supply is from a tank, the landlord should provide a full tank at the start of the tenancy.

Insurance – is this required?

Although not a legal requirement, we advise all landlords to have comprehensive insurance to cover both their property and the tenancy (these are often two different policies). Investors need to be careful to check their policy wording and the cover that is offered, particularly now around the areas of methamphetamine contamination nd its associated costs, tenant liability for careless or accidental damage and also inspection frequency requirements. It is important for landlords to insure chattels such as carpet, drapes, stove and other whiteware that a tenant may be using and also to maintain a current insurance certificate if the property has a chimney. Always remember to tell your insurance company that the property is tenanted to ensure you have some cover. Ray White property managers have access to comprehensive tenancy related insurance, so please contact us directly to find out more.

Can you guarantee the tenant?

We can never guarantee any approved tenant(s) for your property, however, through our training, systems and processes we do everything we can to ensure all risks are minimised. Although it is expected and communicated as such, the paying of rent and maintaining the property cannot be guaranteed. This is a risk to landlords that comes with allowing someone to rent a property.

How long will it take to rent my property?

The length of time it takes to secure a tenant for your property will largely come down to market demand at the time, the condition of your property and an effective marketing and pricing strategy.

What is the achievable rental amount for my property?

Your property manager will advise you on what is ‘fair market rent’ for your property based upon their market knowledge, current levels of market demand, the area, comparable properties and statistical data.

What happens if a tenant misses a rent payment?

An arrears report is generated daily through our system highlighting any payments that have not been received. Your property manager will then follow their office arrears policy – which typically involves immediate contact with the tenant to determine why the payment is late and constant communication until the debt is paid. This may also include the sending of a 14 day Notice to Remedy for arrears, and the lodgement of a Tenancy Tribunal case if the arrears are not cleared immediately.

How often can my rent be increased?

Rent increases can only occur once every 12 months, and any rent increase cannot occur within 12 months of the tenancy start date or within 12 months of the last increase. Your property manager will advise of a suitable rental figure before any new advertising begins and is also responsible for regular rent reviews on existing tenancies to ensure your return is always maximised.

We know that this would have answered a few of your questions, but no doubt there will be more. If you would like to speak to one of our specialist team, contact us and we will be happy to talk through any questions or concerns you may have.