Quake repair work prompts surge in demand for short term tenancies

Friday 23 September 2011

Christchurch landlords’ willing to modify their tenancy expectations could seize opportunities presented by the earthquake repair work.

By The Landlord

That's the view of Department of Building and Housing service delivery deputy chief executive Maria Robertson.

"Based on feedback we've had from people who are looking for rental properties while their homes are repaired, we think there's an opportunity for landlords to benefit from the demand for shorter term tenancies, just a few weeks or months in some cases," she said.

Robertson's view was echoed by Canterbury Property Investors Association president Kim Willems.

"There definitely is increased demand, largely because people who are having their homes repaired when it's only minor repairs, painting and papering and plastering, they really only need to be out of their house for about three or four weeks, so they're definitely looking for somewhere just for that time."

However, Willems said that the majority of landlords simply weren’t set up for short term tenants.

"People have unfurnished, long term rentals which don't really cater for that type of thing," she said.

"A lot of people, for them to do it they'd have to furnish the place, do the turnover, try and meet people's requirements, and they're not really in that kind of market."

She said the bulk of this short term demand was being met by motels and holiday homes.

As well as changing their expectations around tenancy length, Robertson said landlords’ should consider allowing people to have pets in the property too, also something Willems said there had been "a huge demand for."

Robertson said the ability for people to bring pets with them to the Department’s temporary accommodation villages at Kaiapoi and Linwood "has been a real comfort and relief to some."

"In order to benefit from this demand, landlords may need to modify some of their expectations around the length of tenancy and for people to bring their pets while there are new tenants in the market who have those specific needs," she said.

Willems again said that despite the demand, many landlords properties' simply weren't set up to accommodate pets.

"It's quite difficult because as soon as you have pets in there, is it property fenced? Is it suitable for pets? Is it the sort of property that is going to work for that? Then if you have pets with one group of people going in then the next lot maybe have allergies or small children and don't wish to go into a place that's had pet dander and hair," she said.

"There certainly is demand, but that doesn't necessarily mean the properties they're going into are able to cater for it."

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