Property management FOR LANDLORDS

For Landlords

Our full service property management team provides an exceptional, award-winning service covering the wider Auckland region, based in East Tamaki.

We remove the hassle that can come with owning residential investment properties, so you can sit back and relax, while we find your dream tenants for you.

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How much can I rent my property for?

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With 22+ years of experience, Harcourts Hoverd & Co specialise in looking after all aspects of your property – maximising your returns, new government legislation, keeping up with maintenance and finding you the right tenants.

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Have Confidence

Whether this is your first investment property, or you have several, you deserve the peace of mind that only comes with trusting the best. Why settle for someone who does the bare minimum when you can have a great relationship with your property manager and a thoroughly successful investment experience?

Maximise your returns

Many property managers get lazy when it comes to making money for you from your property. They don’t understand the market, they set a low rental rate, and do the least required to try and give you a good result. Our property managers know the market like the back of their hand. With years of expertise navigating the market, they can help you maximise the value of your property.

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Manage My Property

Landlord FAQ’S

How soon can you rent my property?

Our goal is to find a replacement tenant within the 28 day notice period that a tenant would issue OR if there is no tenant at all, then in as little time as possible.

The goal for us here is to ensure that the tenant we select and place into your property meets ALL our criteria before they are given access to the property.  We have learnt over many years of experience that this is a critical stage of the tenancy process and if we short cut this process then this can lead to unnecessary challenges during the tenancy.

Are tenants responsible for paying water rates?

We can only charge the tenants for metered water usage provided there is a separate water meter for each tenancy.  It is illegal to do so otherwise.

How long do you sign tenants up for?

Our company policy is that we commit all tenants to a minimum 12-month fixed term tenancy agreement. We want to know that the tenant is intent on staying in the property which is why we ask for a Fixed Term of 12-months. If they hesitate at this term then we know that they usually have other plans which they have NOT shared with us and are probably only wanting the property short term. Therefore, asking them to commit to a longer tenancy usually exposes any intention of tenants wanting to rent the property short term and this is the main reason we choose Fixed Term tenancies over Open Term (periodic tenancies). Also committing tenants to longer-term tenancies is an assurance of continuity of rent as there is no break in tenancy with a fixed term tenancy.

When a tenant is in arrears, what is your process?

Our Property Management team knows from the very first day that a tenant has not paid their rent. Our team receives a rent arrears report every morning which highlights to us who has not paid rent and we can then take immediate legal action to recover the rent owed. We follow a strict rent arrears procedure to ensure unpaid rent is dealt with quickly. After we have issued the required legal notices, if the tenant has still not resolved the rent arrears, then we will apply for mediation OR termination of the tenancy with Tenancy Services.

If the tenant does not pay the rent – who will pay it (Rent Guarantee) ?

The tenant has the sole legal obligation to pay rent – not Hoverd & Co Property Management. The tenant has a contract to pay rent, not us as Property Managers. However, we do have solutions for you that will work in your favour where we can arrange to have your rent paid for you (when the tenant does not pay), but you need to be a client of ours for this to happen.

Who is responsible for garden maintenance?

The tenant is responsible for the care of the garden and this obligation is written into our tenancy agreements. However, trees maintenance, hedges and extensive garden work and/or landscaping is the property owners responsibility.

How do you calculate what a property should rent for?

Because we have been managing Auckland properties for almost 20 years and now have huge numbers of properties under our care, we have an extensive database to source comparison properties from to calculate a market rent for your investment property.

Additionally, as a professional Property Management Company, we have additional resources available to us that are not readily available to the public which allows us more data from which to form our opinions on rental rates.

What amount should I budget for property maintenance each year?

It is often suggested in our industry that an investor allocate approximately 1% of the value of the property towards property maintenance each year.  However, this can be quite misleading because you have a brand new property then the maintenance in this home will vary considerably with a 40-year-old property.

Do you arrange Maintenance for us?

We have a strict policy regarding the maintenance of our client properties. If there is maintenance that is required, we always discuss this with you first, prior to authorising any expenditure. We are mindful that this is your money and therefore we all need to be clear on what is being spent and when. Our Management programme that we use (to control all our property maintenance) is excellent in ensuring open lines of communication between yourselves, the tenants and ourselves so that you are always informed at each step of the maintenance job.

What tenancy documentation do you use and who signs it?

Hoverd & Co Property Management use a huge array of forms, templates, and contracts to ensure that your interests are protected. Today, we must operate under continually tighter government restrictions and need to have fully documented processes and procedures to ensure we remain fully compliant and meet all our obligation under the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) and the Privacy Act. This means that having a Management Authority in place, Tenants Application form, Tenancy Agreement, Inspection Reports, Healthy Homes Report, Smoke Alarm Certification, Methamphetamine Reports and so much more is required to ensure that you as the Landlord meet all your legal obligations under the RTA. If your property is audited by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) and does not meet the criteria then you risk fines for non-compliance which is why a robust paper trail is required.

Who is responsible for maintaining the chattels in the property?

Owners are responsible for maintaining chattels (for example – broken a light fitting). then it is the property owner responsibility to repair the damaged chattel. Intentional damage: If a tenant (or their invited guests) intentionally damages the landlord’s property, the tenant must tell the landlord. The landlord can ask the tenant to repair the damage, or to pay the cost of replacement or repair. Careless damage: On 27 August 2019, new legislation took effect, which will affect tenants’ liability for damage. If tenants or their guests carelessly damage a rental property, they are liable for the cost of the damage up to four weeks’ rent or the landlord’s insurance excess (if applicable), whichever is lower.

Do you recommend what the rent level should be, or can I?

Initially, we will offer our opinion of where we see the rent rate for your property (bearing in mind that every property is different and therefore the rent can be different) and will offer our reasoning as to why we recommend a rent rate. However, it is your property and you can, therefore, set the rate at whatever level you wish. Be careful though, for if you set it too high, then we will not receive any enquiry whatsoever from prospective tenants, as they will see better value properties elsewhere.

Is having a swimming pool or spa pool a risk?

The Fencing of Swimming Pools Act needs to be complied with – so ensure you have a compliant pool fence around the pool. There are substantial fines that can be imposed on the property owner if the pool fence is not compliant. We can advise on individual cases.

Is it a good idea to fit a burglar alarm?

The tenancy law states that it is the owners responsibility to provide a safe and secure home for your tenants. However, there is no legal requirement to fit a burglar alarm.

Who holds keys to my property?

Hoverd & Co Property Management need to hold two sets of keys to the property. One set to give to the tenant and the other set we retain so that we can complete the routine inspections or access the property in an emergency.

What Insurance do I need?

We strongly advise tenants to get their own contents insurance to cover themselves in an event of a flood, damage, theft etc. If tenants or their guests cause careless damage in a rental property, they will be liable for the cost of the damage up to four weeks’ rent or the landlord’s insurance excess, whichever is lower. Building, tenanted property insurance and property chattels/contents insurance is totally your cost.

Do I have to allow pets and what happens if I do?

It is your absolute right to decline pets to the property. In our opinion, we always decline pets for very sound reasons. 1. They can increase the wear and tear on a property – particularly large dogs. 2. If cats urinate in a corner of a room somewhere, the smell is almost impossible to remove. Costs  to rectify any pet damages could be at your cost as the owner of the property if you did agree to allow pets.

I would like to inspect my property – Can I do this?

Absolutely you can, provided the minimum 48 hour notice period is issued and ideally that you accompany your Property Manager to the inspection. Your Property Manager will liaise with the tenant to arrange a suitable time for the inspection to take place.

What if I need to sell my property?

You absolutely are able to sell your property whenever you wish. However, IF there is a tenant in place who has a fixed term tenancy, then you will not be able to settle the sale of the property until either the tenant voluntarily vacates OR you wait until the tenant fixed term tenancy expires. The third option is that a buyer buys the property but keeps the tenants in the property in which case you can settle the property purchases whenever you wish.

How do you deal with Vacancy periods throughout the year?

Tenants must issue 28 days notice of their intention to leave a tenancy and our goal is that new tenants are selected and approved ready to move into the property as soon as the departing tenants leave the property.

In the rare occasion where it takes longer to rent a property due to market forces then you factor in 2 weeks into your budget when calculating your investment returns/yields.

Are smoke alarm compulsory?

Absolutely YES, these are now mandatory if you are making a property available for rent. The new legislation introduced a little while ago ensures the safety of tenants by legislating this aspect and if not complied with substantial fines can be issued against the property owner.

Is it a ‘User Pays’ policy regarding lightbulbs?

The Residential Tenancies Act does not cover who is responsible for supplying or replacing light bulbs. It’s a good idea to talk about this at the start of the tenancy and note what you agree in the tenancy agreement. It may be that the landlord supplies working light bulbs at the start of the tenancy, and the tenant replaces any that stop working. As non-standard light bulbs can be more expensive or harder to fit, the landlord may agree to pay for these.

How often can I increase the rent?

Once a tenant moves into a property the rent cannot be increased for a period of 180 days.  Also, any rent increase needs to be reasonable and if the increase is too high then the tenant may dispute this increase through the tenancy court. Also, if you have a fixed term tenancy and there is no ‘Rent Increase’ clause in the agreement then you will be unable to increase the rent until expiry of the fixed period term.

What happens when a Tenancy ends?

We will complete an Outgoing Inspection Report and then compare the report with the Ingoing Report when they started their tenancy and any differences or work required (apart from fair wear & tear items) will be invoiced to the tenant. A Fixed Term tenancy automatically becomes Periodic when the Fixed Term ends. If the Landlord or Tenant do not want it to become Periodic, they must give notice stating this. The notice must be given between 90 and 21 days before the expiry of the Fixed Term. If you wish to retain the tenant then we will renegotiate with the tenants for a further fixed term.

What is my obligation regarding Insulation?

The Healthy Homes Insulation Standards require a minimum standard of ceiling and underfloor insulation in rental properties. This includes information for how insulation is installed. If you do not get the property insulated and are unable to provide an Insulation Statement then you are liable for a fine issued by the MBIE

Who pays if there is damage to the property at the end of the tenancy agreement?

Tenants are liable to pay for the damage they create to the property however, this must be able to be proven to be malicious or intentional damage. Please see information above about insurance claims and tenancies.

What is an Owners Insulation Statement?

New legislation now requires owners and Property Management companies to provide an Insulation Statement with EVERY new tenancy and we must hold the Statement on file.  Since 1 July 2019, all rental properties must have ceiling and underfloor insulation where it is reasonably practicable to install. This statement must include: whether there is insulation in the rental home. where it is in the walls, ceiling and underfloor.

Can a tenant break or end a Fixed Term tenancy agreement?

In most cases a tenant cannot terminate a Fixed Term tenancy. If they leave the property during the Fixed Term then they will be liable for ALL rent payable to the end of the Fixed Term period or until a new tenant is placed into the property. Occasionally there are circumstances that may occur which places the tenant into financial hardship, and by the tenant remaining in the property under these conditions of duress can be grounds for termination of the Fixed Term tenancy. The tenant simply needs to apply to court and be heard by an adjudicator to explain their case after which the adjudicator in almost every financial hardship case terminate the Fixed Term tenancy.

Who pays for blocked gutters?

The property owner is responsible for the clearing/cleaning of gutters.

When & should I complete a Meth Test?

We absolutely recommend that you complete a test at the commencement AND end of a tenancy so that if there is an increased reading then we absolutely know who is responsible.

We DO NOT recommend completing a test during a tenancy and can explain more should you require more information on this.

What happens if the tenant doesn’t pay rent?

We have a very clearly defined process in place for those tenants who miss rent payments. We know on day 1 if a tenant has missed paying their rent so are able to act immediately to ensure the payment is made. We will communicate with both the tenant and Landlord so that all stakeholders are aware of the issue and that we are dealing with it.

How often do you inspect the property?

We inspect our properties every 13 weeks, which is every quarter. We MUST complete this process so that we are all aware of how the tenants are caring for your property investment. We know some companies offer 6-monthly inspections but from experience we know this is far too long and much can happen to the property in that time frame. Most insurance companies require inspections to be conducted every 13 weeks.

What do you do to ensure I get the best tenant?

We run a strict application process and collect a significant amount of information from prospective tenants to ensure that completing the screening process, we can consider them a good or safe risk and worthy of the property. We perform background and credit checks and verbal references while working within the Privacy Act guidelines.

Do you do an inspection prior to doing the tenancy agreement?

At the end of every tenancy, we complete what is called in Out-Going inspection, where we record the presentation of the property as we see it on the day. Similarly, we also supply a new tenant with an In-going inspection report so that everyone is aware of the condition of the property at tenancy commencement.

What if I decide to sell the house?

As you are the owner of the house, you are able to sell the property anytime. However, you must let us know if this is what you want to do, so that we can check to make sure there are no Fixed Term tenancies in place that would prevent you from selling the property to any interested person. If the current tenant is signed to a fixed term tenancy, then you are legally unable to remove these tenants from the property until expiry of the fixed term. If in doubt, always ask us first.

Who collects the rent and when does it come to me?

All rents are set up on automatic payments, or if the tenant is a beneficiary, then arranged payments from WINZ. The rents are paid on a day to coincide with the rent commencement day. So if a tenancy has started on a Saturday, then the rent will be due on or before the following Friday to ensure that the tenants do not fall into arrears. Each Tenancy Manager is responsible for ensuring that the rents are paid and if any rents are missed then they will follow our strict process to recover these unpaid rents. We pay the rent funds to our Landlords on mid-month or monthly basis – whichever is your preference.

What areas/suburbs do you cover in Auckland?

Over the years our service has grown to the point where we now cover the wider Auckland region.  To be more specific, we manage properties on the North shore of Auckland to Tuakau in the South.  We cover East to West also including Pakuranga, Halfmoon Bay etc to Mangere Bridge and on to Hobsonville and Henderson.  So essentially the whole of the Auckland region.