Melissa Benge

Tribunal Rules Against Landlord in Smoke Alarms Case

July 2, 2018
Earlier this year an Auckland landlord was fined $2,000 by the Tenancy Tribunal for not fitting his rental property with smoke alarms in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act and Regulations. The ruling was a stern reminder that all landlords must comply with smoke alarm legislation. Let’s look at how landlords and tenants can both ensure their rental properties meet the standard… How many smoke alarms does a house need? Smoke alarm requirements for rental properties are clearly outlined in the...

Is Modular Design Key to Delivering KiwiBuild on Time?

In March we talked about the state of the New Zealand housing market, sharing some developments that show it’s not all doom and gloom for house buyers and renters. In that post we touched on Housing Minister Phil Twyford commenting that the KiwiBuild policy, planning to construct 100,000 homes in ten years, was the answer to freeing up housing stock and increasing availability in the rental markets. The KiwiBuild policy isn’t without its detractors who say the target is unattainable and...

Is Hiring a Gardener and Lawnmower for a Rental Property Worth it?

April 3, 2018
While responsibility for building maintenance of the actual house on a rental property is clearly the responsibility of the landlord or property manager, upkeep of the gardens and lawns is much more open to interpretation. It begs of landlords the questions: do I take care of them? Do I leave it to the tenants, or do I get a contractor in? Let’s delve into the pros and cons of each option and how they may affect your relationship with your tenants...

The New Zealand Housing Market - Is It as Bad as It Seems?

March 2, 2018
Talk of reform to address the ‘housing crisis’ has been dominating our headlines since the new coalition government took up house in parliament back in October 2017. One could be forgiven for assuming all is not well in the housing market and that now is not the time to buy, sell or rent. But a quick revision of recent developments paints a not so gloomy picture for all those involved. Foreign house-buyer ban policy may be eased, resulting in more housing...

Compliance Warning for All Landlords

February 2, 2018
In late November 2017, Andrew King, executive officer for The New Zealand Property Investors Federation (NZPIF), warned landlords to check the legality of their investment properties. The warning followed a Tenancy Tribunal ruling in April 2017, instructing Dunedin landlord, Vic Inglis to repay nearly $11,000 in rent to his tenant, Natalie Parry, after it was discovered his property contained unconsented work during Parry’s tenancy. Judge Kevin Phillips later overturned the ruling – which was based on a 2013 High Court...

Do you have the financial sense to be a landlord?

January 9, 2018
In July of 2017 we posed the question – would you make a good landlord? We talked about the practical demands placed on a typical landlord to help you assess your suitability. Today we’re going to concentrate on the financial side of the equation, delving into the monetary pros and cons of owning a rental property. Higher leverage than other asset classes Perhaps the most obvious financial positive to becoming a landlord is the lower investment required when compared to other...

Can Minimalism Help You Buy Your First Home?

December 4, 2017
The latest buzzword in the stream of idealistic, modern trends is minimalism. Not the 1950s art movement, but the act of reducing the physical and emotional clutter in our homes and lives for a happier existence. The pillar of the minimalism mindset is rethinking what you truly value and what you really need to lead a meaningful life. Can this mental trimming of the fat change our approach to house hunting and help first time buyers find ‘home’ sooner? We’re obsessed...

Does Christchurch Have Everything Auckland's Missing?

November 7, 2017
Auckland’s soaring house prices, traffic headaches and growing population are motivating its residents to up sticks and relocate elsewhere in God’s Zone. But where are they all going and why? Deciding to make the move Considering such a radical sea change is both frightening and exciting. The scary part is changing jobs and finding a house while holding down your current post – a logistical nightmare. The exciting part and the dream for most is the prospect of more affordable housing,...

Selling Privately - Is it Worth It?

October 3, 2017
Selling your property privately is an attractive prospect at first glance – you have more control and you save money by not using a real estate agent. Before launching into this endeavour, what’s needed is a careful look at the effort you’ll invest and how the price you get may not render it worthwhile. So, let’s pull back the curtain and take that careful look at the prospect of selling privately. Selling property is a job made up of multiple jobs...

What to Expect When Selling Inherited Property

September 1, 2017
Selling an inherited property can be a minefield and will likely come at a time when the mourning process renders you emotionally and mentally exhausted. To help, First Avenue Property have outlined a few things to be mindful of before engaging with a lawyer for further information and essential legal advice. Requesting an Updated Title Search To see where things stand with the ownership of the property, you’ll need to start by requesting an updated title search. This will uncover...
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