Propertyscouts New Plymouth

August 15 2017 Landlord Newsletter - 17th Aug 2017

Election…what election?  This year’s general    election is generating a lot of debate around housing and and in particular rental properties.  TOP (Gareth Morgan’s Opportunities Party) want to   make it a lot more difficult to evict tenants.  TOP also want to change the tenancy laws so that it’s much easier for tenants to stay in a tenancy long   term.  Additionally, the only way a landlord could end a tenancy would be for unpaid rent or property damage.   Market rents would still apply, but regulations to prevent existing tenants  being priced out of the rental properties they live in would be introduced.  Morgan said this would help develop a rental market where tenants have  greater rights and long-term security. 

Morgans ideas aren’t new.  In fact this sort of  model has existed for a long time in the likes of Germany and other European countries.  The difference there however is that tenants provide and install their own fixtures – kitchens, bathroom vanities etc.  And on top of that tenants are      responsible for all of the outgoing costs – rates,    insurance etc.  And when the tenancy finally   comes to an end the tenants have to return it to the exact condition it was in at the commencement of the tenancy. 

As landlords we agree that longer tenancies would be beneficial for all concerned but the appropriate policies need to put in place for all concerned. iven that Morgan’s ideas are so ‘left-field’ it’s our view that there is very little chance of them becoming law.

Labours Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill:  The ‘pet child’ of Andrew Little, the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill is likely to be determined by the result of this years election.  Supported by     Labour but not National the Bill aims to establish minimum standards for insulation, heating,       ventilation and drainage in all rental properties.  The bill would make it a Landlords responsibility to maintain the indoor temperature of a rental property at a pre-determined minimum. 

Methamphetamine:  As reported recently we believe that the methamphetamine screening we at Propertyscouts carry out between tenancies is industry best practice and aligns with the new standards introduced recently by Standards New Zealand.  For a property to now be considered ‘contaminated’ and unsafe it must exceed 1.5ug/100cm which is an increase on the previous limit of 0.5ug/100cm. 

The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which is presently before parliament, if passed in its present form will allow for better management of meth contaminated properties as well as           assessing liability for carless damage to a property and tenanting unsuitable properties. 

Regardless of which party or parties we find holding the reigns after this years elections there are going to be changes for landlords.  Rest assured that on your behalf we will continue to stay abreast of any potential changes and ensure continued compliance with all of the properties  we manage.

FAQ:

Q:  Does a rental property have to have a Code of Compliance. 

A:  Some older properties may not have Code of Compliance documentation but it’s the owners     responsibility to ensure that the property complies with all of the relevant legislation.  That includes  the likes of the Building Act, Building Code, Health Act and local Council Bylaws. 

Our advice whenever we are asked this question is “if in doubt – find out”.

Insulation reminder:  2019 is just around the corner and the one thing you can pretty much       guarantee if your rental is not fully insulated by the time its compulsory then it will probably cost you twice as much. Get in and get it done now before the price rises.

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