Tools for first-time landlords

Question from john updated on 9th August 2010:

We presently own two properties and are considering renting one. Before we take this step can you advise us on the musts and must nots of the rental situation from the landlords perspective and/or suggest any websites or other sources of information which may help.

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

There are many things you should be aware of before becoming a landlord, including whether you will manage the tenancy or employ and agent, what obligations landlords and tenants have under the law, what type of tenancy agreement you will have, what pre-tenancy checks you should conduct.

The Department of Building and Housing has information and tools available to assist new landlords.
A helpful tool for first time landlords is the new landlord pack. This contains information about:

  • rights and responsibilities under the renting law (the Residential Tenancies Act 1986)
  • what to check for before you choose your tenants
  • how to make a tenancy agreement
  • taking and lodging bond money
  • the tenancy forms required to manage your property effectively
  • keeping track of rent payments
  • things you can do if your tenant breaches the tenancy agreement
  • how to learn more or get help from us if required

A CD version of the pack is available, which includes advice from landlord and property managers. You can order, or view further information about the pack, at http://www.dbh.govt.nz/landlord-pack.

The Department provides a landlord e-newsletter. This is a quarterly news bulletin which covers new resources and tools, education events and opportunities, and topics of interest.

Information about subscribing is available at http://www.dbh.govt.nz/Utilities/notifications/subscribe-notifications.aspx.

Introductory education seminars are run by the Department, which are designed to help new landlords run their rental properties effectively. There is no charge for the seminar, but you must register to attend as places are limited. You can find further information at http://www.dbh.govt.nz/landlords-events-contacts.

If you are going to manage the tenancy yourself, you may consider whether to join a Property Investors Association. Information regarding this can be viewed at www.nzpif.org.nz. If you would prefer to have someone manage the tenancy on your behalf, you may wish to contact one of the following organisations for further information:

To discuss your situation further, you can contact the Department of Building and Housing on 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

 

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