Landlord & owner information
Buying and renting out an investment property is a big decision. It may appear straight forward on the surface, but there are many factors to consider:
- The type of property and the best location.
- The changing rental market.
- Tenant selection.
- Tenancy laws.
- How much and where to spend money to maintain your investment.
- The amount of your time which will be involved.
Here are some points about what a landlord must and must not do.
A landlord MUST:
- Give the tenant receipts for rent if the tenant pays in cash.
- If asked, give the tenant a statement stating what period the rent paid relates to.
- Give the tenant 60 days’ written notice of a rent increase.
- Give the tenant 48 hours’ notice of an inspection.
- Give the tenant 24 hours’ notice of entry to make repairs.
- Inform the tenant of any intention to sell the property.
- Ensure that the locks and fastenings are working and are adequate.
- Make any necessary repairs within a reasonable time period.
- Reimburse the tenant for any urgent repair work that the tenant had to have done (as long as the tenant attempted to notify the landlord before having the work done).
- Make sure the property is clean and in a fit and habitable condition at the beginning of and during the tenancy.
- Pay rates and insurance.
- Take reasonable steps to ensure that tenants aren’t disturbed by the landlord’s other tenants.
- Install a minimum of one working smoke alarm within 3 metres of each bedroom door and on each floor of a multi-level dwelling.
- Also install working smoke alarms in any separate units, caravans or self-contained sleep-outs.
- Install all smoke alarms in accordance with placement requirements identified in the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Ensure at the beginning of each tenancy that smoke alarms have batteries and are in good working order.
A landlord MUST NOT:
- Ask for more than two weeks’ rent in advance at the end of the tenancy.
- At any stage during the tenancy, ask for more rent in advance to be paid.
- Inspect the property more than once in four weeks, unless it is to check on work done by the tenant.
- Harass the tenant.
- Interfere with, or allow others to interfere with a tenant’s reasonable peace, privacy and comfort.
- Interfere with the gas, water, electricity supply or telephone.
- Unreasonably withhold permission (particularly if in breach of the Human Rights Act) for a tenant to sublet or assign the tenancy to someone else if it is not prohibited by the Tenancy Agreement.
- Change the locks without the tenant’s consent.
- Enter the property except as permitted by law or with the tenant’s consent.
The landlord must have insurance for the property (the physical buildings and the section) against fire, storm, flood, damage from burglary, etc, if they want it protected against loss.
To ensure coverage it is vital that you advise the insurance company that the property is tenanted. Check that your policy covers chattels, e.g., carpets and curtains.
We also recommend that landlords take some form of property and income protection insurance.
This is an additional insurance taken out by a landlord to cover:
- Loss of rent due to tenants doing a ‘runner’.
- Loss of rent due to eviction.
- Malicious damage or theft by tenants.
- Rent recovery while malicious damage is being repaired.
Repairs and maintenance
Both the tenant and the landlord have responsibilities and obligations when it comes to repairs and maintenance which both parties should be aware of. After all, it is in both parties’ interests to have the property repaired promptly to prevent further damage and discomfort.
If tenants discover damage or maintenance that needs to be undertaken then they should inform the landlord as soon as possible. If the damage is serious or is likely to cause harm to someone and the tenants have been unable to contact the landlord after making every effort to do so, then the tenants may have the repairs done and ask the landlord to reimburse them (this applies to health and safety issues only). However, if the repairs are not of an urgent nature then the tenants must inform the landlord and ask them to fix it.
If the tenants have asked a landlord to make specific non-urgent repairs and the landlord has not done so in a reasonable amount of time, then the tenants have other actions they can take, such as serving the landlord with a Fourteen Working Day Letter asking for the work to be done. In such situations, it is recommended that the tenant contact Tenancy Services to ensure that they follow the correct procedures.
On some occasions, the landlord may discover damage that has been caused by the tenant. In these cases, the landlord should issue the tenant with a Fourteen Working Day Notice, which will give the tenant two weeks to fix the problem.
If these obligations are fulfilled it is advantageous to both parties. The tenant will have a safe, comfortable place in which to live and the landlord will maintain an investment that will continue to give good returns.
The Tenancy Tribunal is a special court set up to deal with unresolved problems between landlords and tenants which they have been unable to settle themselves.
A Tenancy Tribunal case normally takes place only after mediation between the parties has been attempted and the parties have been unsuccessful at reaching a resolution.
A tenancy adjudicator oversees the case and makes a decision, which is legally binding on both parties.
The adjudicator listens to both parties, any witnesses and evidence that either party feels is important and makes a decision based on this information and any provisions in the Residential Tenancies Act.
For more information, visit the Ministry of Housing website.
View more information for landlords
You can find more information for landlords on the Department of Building and Housing.
Why use a property manager?
When you are a real estate investor what you don’t want is to encounter the day-to-day issues of property management. Our Lochore’s property management service can remove the day to day stress and hassles for you.
Free rental assessment
To enable us to provide you with a complimentary rental assessment of the rental value of your property in the current market, please provide us with the information requested by completing the property appraisal form above (under the photo)
Property Management Authority
Download a copy of our Property Management Authority form
As an investment property owner, you want to know that your property is being managed by a team of professional, ethical and caring people. This is what Lochore’s strives to achieve for all of our investment property owners (landlords). We can offer you a personalised service, from purchase through to finding a quality tenant who will treat your property as their home.
Tenants, investors, landlords receive our total commitment and capable understanding of all the rules and regulations that must be adhered to in this business. We are constantly striving for higher standards in order to provide you the finest property management service available on the North Shore. In summary, we treat your property as if it were our own.
Click on the link below to access the our maintenence request form in PDF format for you to download, print and complete.
Casual letting advice
If you are considering renting your property, we can advise and find a tenant for you. Complete the casual letting form above (under the photo)