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Property Managers: Time To Regulate

As all property investors should know new tenancy laws have come into effect. While we as property investors may not like some of them, we have to live with them.

By: Philip Macalister

28 February 2021

Of particular concern is the removal of the 90-day notice. What will be interesting to watch over the coming months is how this plays out and how the Tenancy Tribunal rules on the first cases it hears.

But now the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) changes are in place it is time for the Government to reform the property management sector.

According to the Real Estate Institute there are 184,000 rentals under the care of property managers. Our recent personal experiences with a firm which claims to be very precise about how it manages rentals is anything but.

The service has been unprofessional and the conduct of the staff has been appalling at times. There are plenty of good property managers out there but often we hear stories of unprofessional managers.

Indeed, here at the magazine we regularly get calls and emails about bad experiences. Property managers should be regulated in the same way as real estate agents. They should all be licensed, have a property management qualification and importantly there needs to be the equivalent disciplinary body to the Real Estate Authority.

Regulation Supported In The Industry

The Government should not dally with this now the RTA amendments are live. There is a model to follow and the industry is calling for it. There are 70 organisations backing the need for the property management industry to be regulated, and NZ Property Investor supports these organisations. Interestingly some of these organisations include independent property managers who recognise the need for change.

When reviewing, REINZ press on the topic of property managers this comment struck me as pertinent. “We’ve had a number of landlords and tenants share their stories of how the lack of regulation has impacted them personally. We’ve had stories of financial losses, extreme emotional stress, health problems, regulations being ignored, damage to property and a loss of faith in using property managers. Some of the stories we’ve received have been extremely distressing to read,” REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said.

The recent RTA changes clearly favour tenants; now it is time for the Government to give some protection to landlords. These are the people who have invested their own money to provide accommodation for New Zealanders.

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