Melissa Benge

The Lowdown on Letting Fees

October 3, 2018
You may be privy to the government’s recent decision to undertake a broad review of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 with the key goal of improving tenant security and stability while protecting landlords’ interests. While the review is currently in the consultative phase, the introduction of a bill to prohibit the charging of letting fees has been brought forward and is currently before parliament. We thought this was a prime opportunity to answer a few FAQs on just exactly what a...
Filed under Letting fees

REINZ Calls for Regulation of Property Management Industry

September 10, 2018
Recent news of property managers vetting prospective tenants’ bank statements has REINZ calling for industry regulation that offers clarity and transparency for renters, landlords and property managers. Conduct of Property Managers under microscope Around a third of Kiwis are now renting, making the rental market a pressure cooker for all parties involved. The result is property managers and landlords taking extra measures to ensure candidate tenants are capable of paying the rent. A social services select committee hearing submissions on the...

Christchurch Housing Market -- Healthiest in New Zealand?

August 1, 2018
Recent numbers indicate Christchurch’s housing market is fit, healthy and a great place for first-home buyers to get on the real estate ladder. In March we looked at the state of New Zealand’s housing market, asking if it was as bad as the picture painted by the ‘housing crisis’-focused media? We looked at CoreLogic’s report from January 2018, which noted that fewer investors and prices being flat for over a year had led to first-time buyers making up a quarter of...
Filed under Real Estate

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...
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Real Estate News
The Lowdown on Letting Fees TELL ME MORE »
REINZ Calls for Regulation of Property Management Industry TELL ME MORE »
Christchurch Housing Market -- Healthiest in New Zealand? TELL ME MORE »
Tribunal Rules Against Landlord in Smoke Alarms Case TELL ME MORE »
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