Calls for property management regulation grow

Wednesday 10 October 2018

The Government should regulate the property management sector as part of its current reform of the rental market, according to industry insiders.

By Miriam Bell

Concerns about the property management industry have led 26 organisations to band together and call for the sector to be subject to a compulsory regulatory regime.

The group – which includes REINZ, Barfoot & Thompson, property management company Real-IQ, and lobby group Anglican Advocacy – have presented Housing Minister Phil Twyford with an open letter on the issue.

They say that property managers have a valuable service to offer, but the conduct of rogue operators is bringing the entire industry into disrepute.

Currently, property managers require no Government mandated training, qualifications, or licence to operate.

But the group says that recent research by Auckland City Council, Consumer NZ and Anglican Advocacy provide evidence that the lack of regulation in this sector is causing harm to consumers.

“Tenants and property owners deserve to know they are dealing with qualified, licensed professionals who abide by sector standards.”

This situation was prompting them to call on Twyford to regulate the residential property management sector and work towards ensuring that all landlords are licensed.

Their call comes as the Government is consulting on proposed reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act – which do not cover the regulation of property managers.

Barfoot & Thompson director Kiri Barfoot says they have long voiced the need for more regulation of the sector to help ensure both landlords and renters are better serviced and protected.

“Property managers have significant responsibility and are trusted not only with people’s assets, but the place they call home.

“Not to include the regulation of property managers in the Government’s current reforms would be an opportunity lost and could leave a significant gap in the proposed rental reforms.”

She says this will allow less scrupulous operators to continue to take advantage of unsuspecting or misinformed landlords and renters.

“With more than a third of Kiwis now renting, and demand continuing to increase, we need to take this opportunity to ensure we have modern systems in place to meet the needs of both renters and landlords.”

This year has seen increasing calls for the regulation of the property management industry.

Last week the Select Committee reporting back on the letting fees ban Bill urged the Government to consider introducing a regulatory regime for property managers.

Meanwhile, REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell says her organisation has been calling for the regulation of property managers for many years as it will better protect both landlords and tenants.

Back in July, the Independent Property Managers Association announced it was joining up with the Property Institute in a bid to improve standards in the property management industry.

It is understood that Twyford also has concerns about the property management sector but has said he will only act after the Government has finished introducing its current programme of tenancy reforms.

Read more:

Regulate property managers – REINZ 

New alliance to up property manager standards 

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