Fees hurt landlords

Wednesday 26 February 2014

[UPDATED]Trade Me has increased its charges for rental property listings, and landlords are not happy about it.

By Susan Edmunds

For private landlords, it still costs $99 to list a rental property with an asking rent of less than $400 per week. But the fee to list a property that will rent for between $400 and $799 a week has increased to $129, and a property with an asking rent of $800 or more now costs $149 to advertise.

For agents, listings fees have increased from $34 to $39 per listing and Trade Me has removed the cap of $999. 

Property manager Susan Wendell, of Wendell Property Management, said it was hurting property managers and owners.

“It has made a big difference. We now have to pass some of the costs, if not all of them, on to our owners.”

She said a new management contract had been drawn up for her agency that charged owners a fee upon re-letting, to cover the cost of listing the property on Trade Me.

She was expecting a negative reaction from landlords who had been with her business for a long time.

Some had had their properties on her books for a long time and she said it was always difficult to introduce new charges to those people.

But she said in this case the charges were out of her control. “It’s early days but it’s not going to be received all right by owners I’ve been dealing with for 10 or 15 years.”

Stacey Mooney, of Chase Property Management, said there had been an uproar over the new fees. “It’s just another cost we don’t want to pay and we don’t want the landlord to have to pay it, either.”

She said most property managers were now either splitting the cost of the listing with the owner, or asking the owner to foot the bill. “Then the letting fee can cover it as well, so it depends,” she said.

Trade Me said that because it had removed the office subscription fee of up to $250, property managers listing up to 25 properties per month would be better off. 

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