Property Management

Changes expected to bill regulating property managers

If Chris Bishop is appointed Housing Minister in the National-led coalition Government changes are expected to the previous Government’s Residential Property Managers Bill.

Wednesday, November 08th 2023

The bill introduced to Parliament in August, covers about 42% of the residential tenancy market, and involves compulsory registration and licensing for individual property managers and their organisations, training and entry requirements, practice standards, and a complaints and disciplinary process to be administered by the Real Estate Authority.

It does not include private landlords, Kainga Ora or registered community housing providers.

Residential Property Managers Association (RPMA) chairman David Pearse says Bishop indicated at the association’s recent annual conference he was open to discussing changes to the bill.

He says while the association is for regulation of property managers, it believes the bill as it is written is hugely bureaucratic and doesn’t improve the quality of service to tenants or property owners.

The RMPA has also been vocal in recommending private landlords be included in the bill. Of the submissions received on the previous Government’s original proposal, 182 submitters thought private landlords should be included in the legislation.

When the Bill was first proposed the RPMA suggested the then Government follow the Rent Smart Wales system.

All immediate rental landlords in Wales have to register providing personal details, the addresses of rental properties they own, and the details of those responsible for the letting and/or management activities at the rental property. A landlord registration lasts for five years and details are open for scrutiny through a free public register.

The RMPA lobbied the Labour Government for a similar system but it fell on deaf ears. “Evidence shows that in countries where all landlords are regulated there is high compliance with the law,” says Pearse. “It makes a far more stable environment and lifts the standards of rentals and landlords.”

The exact number of landlords in New Zealand is unknown and is difficult to calculate, he says. “Nobody really knows the state of the market. Designing a regulatory system specifically for property management companies and employees will make it hard to incorporate mum and dad private landlords into it in the future, he says.

Private landlords say they don’t need to be regulated as they are handling tenants’ rent directly and are hardly going to rip themselves off and if tenants have complaints they can have them heard through the Tenancy Tribunal, which can penalise landlords.

The RMPA also opposed the Real Estate Authority administering the complaints and disciplinary process. It says the Housing and Urban Development Ministry will be far better as it operates in and understands the rental market through its Tenancy Services division. 

New submissions on the Bill have already been sent to Bishop by the RMPA. Pearse says Bishop indicated he will study them and take the trajectory of the bill from there. Whether Bishop is appointed Housing Minister or not, the association will be seeking a meeting as soon as possible with the new appointee.

Comments

On Thursday, November 09th 2023 4:38 am Peter Lewis said:

The RPMA can hardly be held to be an unbiased party in this reform - no doubt they would hope that imposing a licencing regeime on self-mamnging landlords would garner them more customers from those who dont want to become licenced. I also note that a recent survey by the independent Consumer organisation made some interesting discoveries on problems in the rental market: "Problems were significantly more likely to be reported by consumers who dealt with a property manager rather than a private landlord. 54% of tenants reported being satisfied with the service provided by private landlords, compared to only 35% who were happy with their property managers. Only 36 per cent of tenants with property managers were satisfied with the condition of their homes, compared with 51 per cent of those renting directly from landlords."

On Friday, November 10th 2023 12:07 am Glenn Morris said:

The new act is anti competitive. Why on earth should and organisation set up to look after the interests of real estate agents be given the keys to keep non real estate agency owned mangers out of the industry. Also one only needs to read the tribunal cases on line to see how often HNZ and social housing providers get themselves into trouble with their tenants. The whole new act smells of mates looking after mates.

On Saturday, November 11th 2023 12:08 am Glenn Morris said:

Labour's act reeks of mates looking after mates. Since when is the organisation set up to control the excesses of real estate agents (those that sell properties for a living) the correct organisation to manage property managers. Sure lots of real estate firms have a management division but what about all those other management firms who specialise in the industry. The innocent law abiding firms will be shut down and competition will be stifled. Also why on earth should HNZ and Social housing landlords dealt a free hand. Readers should scroll through the Tenancy Tribunal cases on line. Social housing providers (when they have not got their names supressed) appear in many cases. The rent arrears of their tenants are usually very high which indicates the skill level of social landlords is not very good.

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