Property manager needed?

Ray asks:
(updated on Sunday, June 21st 2015)

I am moving to Australia for a two to three year project. I have a freehold home in New Zealand which I want to rent out while away to family. Do I need a property manager? What are my best options?

Our Experts Answer:

Many landlords will tell you that doing business with family is easier from arm’s length.  You may love them dearly, but you still have a property that needs to be looked after, and as tenants they will have responsibilities.  I am aware of one couple who lived across the road from their rental property, but still engaged a property manager when their daughter became a tenant.  Than allowed the parents to remain “Mum and Dad”, and their property manager became the landlord.  Everyone, including the tenant, was very happy with the arrangement. A landlord who is out of New Zealand for longer than 21 consecutive days must ensure that the landlord has an agent in New Zealand.  If you are going to have a tenancy agreement with your family member then you will need to have a local agent (so that the tenant can easily report maintenance issues, etc.).  Your best option, therefore, is to engage a professional property manager who will proactively manage all aspects of your property and the tenancy, including rents, inspections and maintenance, while keeping you informed.  That will give you confidence that things are under control at home while you are overseas.

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