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office@rubyhousing.co.nz  

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - RENTAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

RUBY HOUSING FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

How do you find tenants for my rental property? We have an extensive advertising process, which includes a Trade Me ad, website ad, rental sign, flyers at local supermarkets, letterbox drops etc, Facebook advertising, marketing to our current tenant list, and marketing to our holiday accommodation guests, all specific to your property. Generally two viewings are held each week, at differing times, and at least one property manager attends each viewing to meet and appraise prospective tenants. No-one is given keys to view a property without a staff member in attendance.

How do you assess the tenants and decide if they are suitable for my property? We meet all prospective tenants at the property, and have a full tenant application form for each interested person to complete. All tenants aged over 18 years must complete this form and provide photo id and references. Our 7 step screening process includes employer references, previous and current landlord references, character referee checks, social media checks, Tenancy Tribunal checks, online background checks and multi-bureau credit checks. We stand by our ability to screen and approve the right tenants for you-if a tenant we have approved for a home requires mediation or a Tenancy Tribunal hearing, we will cover the application costs and administration time.

Should I allow pets?  This depends both on what you prefer for your property, and the suitability of the home to accommodate pets. If you happy to have pets, it is worth considering as tenants with pets are generally more stable, stay longer and may pay a little more, as they recognise it can be hard to move with animals.  

What is the difference between a fixed term and periodic tenancy? A fixed term tenancy is for a set period of time, and neither the tenant nor the landlord can give notice to end the tenancy. A periodic tenancy doesn’t have an end date. The tenant is only required to give three weeks’ notice, however the landlord must give three months notice. For stability of your income, we prefer fixed term tenancies, however some situations may warrant a periodic tenancy. Please discuss with your Property Manager if you are unsure.

What happens if the tenants want to leave before the end of the fixed tenancy?  Sometimes a major event will happen in a tenant’s life, such as redundancy or serious debilitating health problems. In a select few cases we can apply for the tenancy to be ended early, with the proviso the tenants must pay for rent until the home is re-rented, and must cover the costs of obtaining the new tenant.

How often can the rent be increased?  Rent can be increased no more than every six months; we schedule the rent review and assess current and recent market rent information. If the price in the rental market has decreased then the rent will usually stay the same until the next review period. 

How much bond do you collect? We require tenants to pay four weeks bond, which is paid to Tenancy Services and held until the end of the tenancy

What happens if the tenant doesn’t pay rent? We have a robust rent arrears process which starts the day after rent is due to be received; and follows right through to Tenancy Tribunal if required. (See tenant selection process)

Do you inspect my property before the tenant moves in, and at the end of the tenancy? There is a full inspection carried out at the start and end of each tenancy, with photos.

How often is my property inspected? The property is inspected one month after the start of the tenancy, and then three monthly following. If the tenant is not caring well enough for the home we can continue monthly inspections until they are back on track.

Do I get a report so I can see the condition of my property? The inspection report is very detailed, with photos of each room and particular attention to areas which may indicate damp or mould or other water damage, under sinks and basins, guttering, behind curtains. The report is emailed to you and will contain between 50 and 300 photos for you to get a comprehensive view of your property.

Who is responsible for maintaining the lawns and gardens? Under the RTA tenants are responsible for maintaining lawns and gardens, however we do recommend owners cover seasonal maintenance. This can include pruning trees and shrubs, water blasting paths, clearing out guttering and downpipes. Many tenants don’t own a lawnmower, and sometimes to ensure the lawns are kept to a good standard it can worth contracting a company to provide a regular lawn-mowing service.

Do you pass on trade and supplier discounts to me? Yes! No surcharge, no disbursement fee, no padding. If we get a discount, you get a discount.

Can I choose my own tradespeople for maintenance? We have an approved team of accredited tradespeople who we know offer a competent, timely and reasonably priced service in all areas. If you prefer to carry out some work yourself, (such as gardening or general house maintenance) or have your own preferred tradespeople, please let us know. In the event we are unable to reach you or your tradespeople within a reasonable time, our own maintenance team are often able to attend at short notice.

How is the rent collected? Rents are paid by tenants directly into our client Trust Account.

How often does rent get paid to me? Rent Remittances are paid to owners twice a month, on the 1st and 15th of each month, or the next business day following.  

How much are the management fees?  Our management fees are very competitive, with no hidden costs or fees. Please email or call to discuss further with the Managing Director Kim Willems.

Do I need to pay for Trade Me ads, or rental signs? Your Trade Me ad is free to you; however feature listings do attract a separate charge. For Rent signs are free.

Do I pay a fee if mediation or Tenancy Tribunal proceedings need to happen with the tenant to sort out overdue rent or other breaches of the tenancy agreement? If we have assessed and placed the tenant into the property, then there is no charge to you for mediation or Tenancy Tribunal hearings. However if the tenant has been signed through another agency, or privately, we reserve the right to charge for time and costs for Mediation and Tenancy Tribunal activity. See ‘How do you assess prospective tenants”.

Is there an administration fee for reports, digital photos, End of Year financial statements, disbursements, travel costs, credit checks, rent reviews or rental appraisals? NO!!! No fees, no hidden costs, upfront and competitive flat fees only.

Do I pay extra for you to manage and pay for maintenance bills? General maintenance doesn’t attract an extra charge, however if you require renovation, earthquake repair or refurbishment, we can arrange quotes and supervise the work with your approval. This is charged on an hourly basis for any additional work done including arranging assessments and quotes. Quotes and photos will be emailed to you to confirm all details before starting work.

Do you operate a Client Trust Account for rents paid? Yes

What happens if there is damage to the property?  The RTA allows for tenants to be charged for damage they have caused, however the recent Court of Appeal ruling has allowed tenants to question their responsibility, and some are disputing costs. See recent updates by the NZPIF http://www.nzpif.org.nz/news/view/58358 and the Tenancy Tribunal Practice Note 2016/1. General wear and tear is part of the price of having tenants living in a home, however if damage is not caused by the tenants or their visitors then your insurance may cover the costs.

Should I have rental property insurance? While insurance is not compulsory we would recommend a good rental policy with comprehensive cover.

What if I want to move into the property? If the tenant is on a periodic tenancy it is possible to give notice so you can move in, however a fixed term tenancy must continue until the end date.