Propertyscouts New Plymouth

Frequently Asked Property Management Questions

This section answers commonly asked questions about Propertyscouts New Plymouth's property management service.

 

How hard can managing a property be? I’ve heard of private landlords who have advertised their properties, found tenants really easily and had no problems.

Looking after a rental property is actually a lot harder than it looks AND it takes time to do it properly. Checking up on rent payments and dealing with issues tenants invariably raise are just the norm. If your property turns into a ‘problem’ tenancy then will you be able to spend the time it takes to deal with the various issues that can crop up and will you be confident to take the matter to the Tenancy Tribunal if necessary? Using Propertyscouts allows you to retain control of your property while leaving the day to day administration to us. 

 

As a private landlord, am I obliged to know the Residential Tenancies Act?

Yes - unless of course you have us managing your property for you. All landlords have a legal obligation to abide by the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (RTA) and Amendment Act 2010. Then there’s the Human Rights Act, the Consumer Guarantees Act, the Privacy Act, the Building Act, the…, well we think you get the picture. As the old saying goes - ignorance of the law is no excuse, and no truer words were spoken than when it comes to tenanting a rental property. Here are just some of the more common examples of fines landlords are subject to:

- Interfering with tenants privacy - $2000 fine

- Failing to appoint an agent when out of NZ for more than 21 days - $1000 fine

- Unlawful entry by landlord - $1000 fine

- Failure to meet cleanliness, maintenance or building requirements - $4000 fine

- Unlawful discrimination - $4000 fine

 

How long will it take to find a tenant for my property?

This timeframe depends on a whole range of factors which means we can’t say for sure. We can hazard a guess but that’s a dangerous practice if our guess is wide of the mark. Suffice to say, there’s a lot to consider including the likes of the time of year, location and the features of the property.

Rest assured, we’ll be doing all we can to get your property rented as soon as possible. Most of us at Propertyscouts are property investors just like you, so we know what it’s like to have a property vacant. And while we don’t think this way, consider this - we don’t get any money from you until we have a tenant in your property paying you rent. Now there’s an incentive for you! 

 

What happens if we find tenants are not adequately caring for the property?

Given the high quality of our tenants, in most cases inspections show the property is being kept in a very good condition and there are no issues. Where we have seen something that needs to be rectified, we certainly let them know.

On the rare occasion where an inspection is not satisfactory, we take the following course of action:

- For minor issues, like slightly overgrown lawns, we will leave a friendly note letting them know then we will recheck this at the next routine inspection.

- For more major issues, we will issue the tenants with a notice giving them a set period of time (normally 14 days) to rectify the issue. In this case, we always carry out a follow up inspection to ensure that the issue has been dealt with appropriately by the tenants.

For any problems that we come across during a tenancy, we will continue to work to resolve them until we are satisfied with the outcome - at no cost to you.

 

In a situation where a property owner makes an insurance claim over damage caused by tenants, is Propertyscouts able to recover the property owner’s insurance excess from the tenants or from their bond?

The Courts have determined that even the insurance excess is unable to be recovered from the tenants. The theory behind this decision is that in taking out his or her insurance policy, the landlord agreed to the level of risk determined by the agreed excess.

We don’t agree with the outcome of this case but until there is a law change – make sure you have good insurance with the lowest excess possible. 

 

What happens if the meth screening test Propertyscouts does is positive?

The test we carry out is ‘indicative’ only and is carried out in conjunction with a risk assessment of the property. Where we receive a positive meth screening test result we will retest with another screening test at our own cost. If the second test is also positive we will engage the services of an independent contractor using a lab based testing system. The property owner will be responsible for the cost of any lab based test and additional costs such as decontamination. More often than not these costs are covered by the owner’s insurance. 

 

What happens if something goes wrong out of office hours, like there’s a burst pipe in the middle of the night?

We make sure at least one of us is available to both tenants and property owners 24 hours of the day, 365 days of the year. No private landlord could ever make that claim and nor, in our experience, can a lot of local property management companies. If the tenant rings us, the phone will be answered and a Propertyscouts representative will deal with the problem. In emergency cases, we will arrange for one of our trusted tradespeople to be called out to deal with the problem.

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