Govt must regulate property managers - REINZ

Wednesday 25 September 2019

REINZ has stepped up its campaign to introduce national regulation for property managers with the launch today of a new website devoted to the cause.

By Miriam Bell

According to the real estate body, New Zealand is one of the few countries in the OECD that does not regulate its property managers and this has a negative impact on both landlords and tenants.

REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell says members of both groups report bad experiences due to property managers acting unprofessionally and not being held accountable for their actions.

The lack of regulation also jeopardises the reputation of good property managers, she says.

“We are calling on the Government to formally review the need to regulate the property management industry, including public consultation, and to announce its recommendations for reform before the 2020 election.

“This is in order to provide more transparency and protections across the industry and help to safeguard some of our most vulnerable members of the community.”

That’s why REINZ has launched their campaign “A Call for Change: Better Property Management” and are asking people to visit www.acallforchange.co.nz to share their stories.

Norwell says they believe regulation is required to create an industry where all property managers operate ethically, with honesty and transparency, where tenants are looked after, and where landlords’ assets are protected.

“We also believe that minimum education standards should be a pre-requisite to working in the industry and that property managers should hold all client money in a trust account in order to protect both tenants and landlords.”

However, commitment from the Government to formally review the need for property management regulation is needed to achieve real success, she adds.

There have been calls for the regulation of property managers for many years, but the pressure has increased over the last couple of years as the focus on the rental property industry has grown.

That means it’s not just REINZ who is calling for regulation and reform: alongside tenant advocacy groups, other industry participants are too.

REINZ’s new campaign is supported by 40 organisations around the country. They include the Property Council, realestate.co.nz, property management consultants Real-iQ, Consumer NZ and a wide range of property management companies.

The campaign has been welcomed by Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson. She says the fact that there are no rules about how property managers can and can’t behave has led to many instances of unacceptable conduct.

“This needs to change. Working with the industry to put in place proper regulation will help solve this problem.”

However, Property Managers Institute president David Pearse has pointed out that 66% of rental properties are managed by private landlords, not businesses, and those individuals wouldn’t be covered by the type of regulation REINZ wants.

In relation to this, the Property Managers Institute issued a call, earlier this year, for a landlord licensing system that would ensure only “fit and proper” landlords could operate as landlords.

Read more:

Calls for property management regulation grow 

Call to license landlords 

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