In recent years there have been growing calls for regulation of the property management industry and now the new Labour government looks set to do just that.
One of the party’s housing policies is to start regulating property management services to ensure they meet professional standards and a Code of Conduct.
Earlier this year, in response to the way the issue was trending, the NZPIF decided to develop their own education program for self-managing landlords who make up 60% of all property managers.
NZPIF executive officer Sharon Cullwick says that while there is no indication as yet that the government’s plans will extend to self-managing landlords, the initiative is a positive way to improve the experience of both tenants and landlords.
“It also means that if the government does bring in legislation which requires self-managing landlords to be registered, we already have an established programme in place to work with and build on.”
Cullwick says the high demands on property managers mean they do not typically stay in the profession for longer than 12 months anyway.
“However, most self-managing landlords, due to their vested interest in their properties, are in it for the long-term - on average over five years.
“Self-managing landlords rely on the weekly rent to pay the mortgage on their property. So, unlike a property manager employed by a company, they are more likely to ensure the tenant /landlord relationship is a successful and long-lasting one.”
This initiative is a positive way to improve the experience of both prospective tenants and landlords, she says.
It seems that self-managing landlords recognise this: since the education programme was launched, in April this year, it has attracted 554 registered participants and over 227 people have already completed it.
The programme teaches self-managing landlords all about the “vital basics” like the Residential Tenancies Act, necessary forms and documents, fixed-term and periodic tenancies, and the rights and responsibilities of both the tenant and the landlord.
It also provides critical information about how to successfully rent out a property, carry out property inspections, handle tenant issues and the processes to follow if things go wrong, as well as on property maintenance and improvements.
Cullwick says that although the programme is designed for the newer investor, it contains information that even the most experienced property investor will benefit from learning.
“We think that it’s important to keep growing and improving your knowledge and the programme does this. But, ultimately, the purpose of the program is to help landlords run their property investments like professionals.”
NZPIF is offering the programme free to members of any of the local Property Investors’ Associations which are affiliated to NZPIF. It is also available to associate members and non-members for a fee.
More information on the programme can be found here.
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