Frequently asked questions
Q: Why do I need professional property managers?
A: Choosing rental properties as an investment does come with risk and we have the experience to manage that risk and optimise your return. The key is whether you have time to manage your own properties and whether you are looking to a professional to add value, advice and greater returns. If so, Lochore’s should be top of your list.
Q: How will you communicate with me?
A: We will develop a relationship to be in touch as often or as infrequently as you like. We use the latest technology available. We can supply you with a log-in and password so you can have 24/7 access to your account information. All of our property managers have their direct-dial numbers linked to their mobile phones.
Q: How can Lochore’s ensure that my property is not let to undesirable tenants?
A: It’s not possible to guarantee the behaviour of a tenant for your property. However, we undertake robust checking procedures (including background checks) to select the best tenants for our landlords. We are not afraid to decline unsuitable tenants and do in fact decline 55% of applicants. We use our professional expertise and experience to verify that the tenant can afford to pay the rent and to make our best judgement about whether the tenant is likely to maintain your property to an acceptable standard. If you are concerned, we recommend that you take out landlord protection insurance to manage your risk.
Q: What does Lochore’s do if a tenant misses their rent payments?
A: Each morning we run an arrears report. When we identify that a tenant has missed their rent payment by one day, we make contact to advise them that a payment has been missed. Lochore’s has zero tolerance for rent arrears. If a tenant is one to three days in arrears, a 14-day letter is sent informing them that a payment has been missed and that they are in breach of their Tenancy Agreement. Any arrears in excess of seven days will be followed up with a final rent warning letter and application to Tenancy Services. The owner will be advised at this point.
The matter will then be heard via mediation for an arrangement of payment of current rent plus any arrears owing. If a satisfactory arrangement cannot be reached by mediation, the matter goes to the Tenancy Tribunal, where an adjudicator makes the final decision – either terminating the tenancy or a sealed order for a fixed payment.
Q: How long will it take to lease my property?
A: At Lochore’s our average time to lease your property will vary according to market conditions. It usually takes less than 21 days. We begin to market your property the day it becomes available to rent. Our Lochore’s team of specialised property managers will focus on finding you a qualified tenant in the shortest possible time.
Q: How will you establish the best rent for my property?
A: We will always attempt to optimise your rental return for you. Establishing the correct market rental entails assessing the level of demand and comparing the rent being charged for properties in the same location and with similar features.
Q: What happens if I want a higher rent than you recommend?
A: You can request a particular rental price, but if we advertise it at your rate and it doesn’t reflect the market rate and the level of demand, then your property may remain vacant longer then if you had followed our recommendation.
Q: Can I give you some special instructions?
A: You can provide us with specific instructions in relation to the property and the way it is managed, providing these instructions fall within the law. Any special instructions will need to be either specified in the Lochore’s Management Agency Authority form or provided in writing to us.
Q: Who is responsible for paying for water usage?
A: If there is no individual meter for the rented property, a tenant cannot be charged for water usage. However, if the property does have an individual meter, then the tenant is responsible for the cost of water used during the tenancy. In New Zealand water usage must be paid in full by the owner of the property including fixed annual charges. We then request reimbursement from the tenant for the water usage component.
Q: What does a tenant need to accompany their application?
A: A photocopy or a scanned copy of their passport or driver’s licence as ID along with previous rental references and proof of their current address. A TINZ credit check is completed with the tenant’s consent, as are background checks.
Q: How much does a tenant pay to move into the property?
A: The first two weeks’ rent plus one week rent plus GST as a letting fee (the tenant pays this) plus three weeks’ bond. Note: under the Residential Tenancy Act up to four weeks’ bond can be charged.
Q: How often can the rent be increased?
A: Under the Residential Tenancies Act rent cannot be increased more than once every 180 days and the landlord must give the tenant 60 days’ written notice of this increase.