Owners Tips

Quinovic works with a wide range of property owners:

  • Owners relocating and renting out the family home;
  • Investors needing help with their property investment portfolio;
  • Investors who want their property portfolio to work smarter for them;
  • Owners who’ve been managing their own properties and no longer want the responsibility and hassle;
  • Owners whose current Property Managers are not providing satisfactory service.

With extensive knowledge of, and experience in residential property management, Quinovic Merivale offers owners and investors the following useful tips:

Fixed-term Tenancy vs. Periodic Tenancy

We always recommend Fixed-term Tenancy to property owners because it’s the safest option. It’ll eliminate potential tenants who are not serious about renting your property from the get-go. It gives you control over the termination date – line this up with peak tenancy times in your market. (Hint: not in the middle of winter and not during the four weeks over Christmas!)

It’s possible for a tenant to break a Fixed-term Tenancy, but the tenants becomes liable for any expenses incurred in the process as well as rent until a new tenant is secured.

A Fixed-Term Tenancy automatically becomes a Periodic Tenancy 21 days prior to the termination date if neither party has notified the other that it intends terminating, or an extension of the tenancy has been signed. (This is a trap many private landlords fall prey to.)

Starting a Tenancy

Checking References
It’s vitally important to complete thorough reference and credit checks on your potential tenants. How can you tell whether they’re bona fide references and not something provided by a friend or colleague?

Think through your questions carefully before calling referees. Rather than tell them what you’ve been told, ask what their relationship is to the applicant. Listen carefully to what is not being said and for any hesitations.

If possible run a credit check through Tenancy Information New Zealand (TINZ).This service not only checks the applicant’s financial history but also any other tenancy issues. However, this service is usually not available to private landlords.)

Named Tenants
Have as many adults as possible named on the tenancy and make them jointly and severally responsible. If things go wrong, you can go after each party for any outstanding monies.

Condition Reports
Ensure that there’s agreement at the beginning of the tenancy between both parties about the condition of the property. A photographic record can be extremely beneficial in case of a dispute later on.

Clauses
Make sure that you have a good understanding of which clauses can and
cannot be enforced under the Residential Tenancies Act.

  • Rent increases during a Fixed-term Tenancy are possible provided there’s a clause to that effect in the Agreement.
  • Professional carpet cleaning at the end of the tenancy is a common clause in any Agreement. However this will not be upheld in a tribunal hearing. The tenant must leave a property in a reasonable state of cleanliness. Professional cleaning of any description may not be required. However, photographs of items in less than a reasonable condition may support your case.

Bonds
Always pay your bonds to Tenancy Services within 22 days of receipt thereof.
Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to $1000.

Ending a Tenancy
Make sure that both parties are clear 21 days prior to the end of the tenancy that’s not continuing. Failure to do so means the tenancy has automatically become ‘Periodic’.

We recommend that you send a letter or e-mail to your tenant outlining your expectations when they vacate your property.