Frequently Asked Questions
What happens when you get a Tenancy Order for rent arrears?
As your property manager, we negotiate with the tenant for a repayment schedule, or in certain cases we place it with debt collectors to enforce.
How do you keep my property well maintained?
Also see “How frequently do you carry out inspections”. In addition to regular inspections if we are in the area, we often drive by to see the general condition of the exterior, as this gives us an idea of what might be happening on the inside! We often form good relationships with neighbours who also assist us in keeping an eye on properties.
We use a variety of reliable contractors who provide a quality service if necessary at a competitive price. If we are not satisfied that a tenant is keeping a property in an acceptable condition then we will take steps via the Tenancy Tribunal to terminate a tenancy and secure a new tenant who will look after the property. The key is suitable tenant selection and ongoing property inspections.
How do you actually carry out the day to day management of my property?
- Systems and policies consistently applied. We have comprehensive management software and a systematic approach to property management which involves us carrying out set tasks over and over, every day, which are designed to assist us to manage your property well. We keep to those systems, and train our staff in the use of those systems so they can provide you with excellent customer service. This way we do not need to rely on any one individual staff member (like many agents do) and instead we concentrate on the correct process being carried out efficiently so nothing is missed. Our aim as your property management company is to manage your property as competently as we do our own. Since we are investors ourselves, and because we are constantly talking to our customers, we believe we have a thorough knowledge of what needs to be done, to manage your property effectively.
- Regular Communication. We are in constant communication with our landlords and investors. It’s what a good property management company should do. This is often via email, or telephone. We respond to queries for a range of items including investment advice, very promptly and generally the same day. If we need to research the query we’ll tell you and come back to you just as soon as possible. We also aim to respond to all tenant enquiries ASAP. They are a most important part of the equation and more often than not, a happy tenant is a happy landlord.
- Our “Team Approach” Saves You Time. We operate a “team” approach to property management. Our systematic approach to the management of your properties combined with our cutting edge technology enables clear lines of communication. Our service is designed so that 90% of your enquiries can be answered by any of our staff who pick up the telephone just in case your property manager is out of the office. It is often unnecessary for any delay as the information you require is generally available at the push of a button.
What happens when a tenant gives notice?
On a Periodic Tenancy a tenant is required to give at least 21 days’ notice in writing to vacate a property. The termination date will be 21 days from the date the notice is received by TPM.
(In the case of Fixed Term Tenancies, we have a comprehensive ‘alerts’ system to manage the renewal of the upcoming Lease that is due to expire.)
If a tenant wants to vacate we enter this information in our system and we send them a letter confirming all details. As property managers, we give them advice and instructions about what condition to leave the property in to ensure their maximum bond is returned.
It is policy to have the tenant maintain rent payments right up until the actual termination date, so that the full bond is maintained, in case of damage. We do not allow for tenants to stop paying rent and use a bond for final rent payments.
We will start to market for new tenants as soon as the current tenants have given notice. This allows us to reduce potential vacancies between tenancies. We do not wait until tenants have vacated before we begin to market them. Rent reviews are undertaken ASAP and properties marketed at new updated market rents. Property management involves effectively managing all of these factors to maximise your occupancy rate.
What happens if I want to move back into the property or sell it?
On a Periodic tenancy (not a fixed term) if you or a family member wants the use of your property, or you wish to sell it, you must advise the tenants in writing giving them 42 days’ notice, plus an additional two days for postage. This offers flexibility for our clients.
On a Fixed Term tenancy, the tenant has the right to occupy until the stated term ends. You may sell the property at any time, “subject to the existing tenancy”, providing you give the required notice. When selling, you are obliged to notify the tenant in writing that the property is on the market. You will also need to give the tenant “reasonable notice” when you wish to have buyers inspect.
How do you find a tenant and who pays to advertise my property for rent?
- Targeting Tenants. From years of providing property management services to landlords, we think the most effective way to locate tenants is through internet web advertising, and our existing tenant databases. As a proactive property management firm, we always have a register of prospective tenants who are updated regularly if properties become available that meet their criteria. For each property we confirm a target profile to match the tenant to the price, property style and location. Our aim is to find the most suitable tenant, at the best weekly rental, in the quickest possible time. Once application forms are received we carry out a comprehensive tenant selection process to ensure they meet our criteria.
- Advertising your property For Rent. This service is included free of charge for all properties under management. Our clients DO NOT pay for any advertising of their properties unless a specific circumstance allows for it.
Can I arrange my own maintenance?
Yes. TPM provides a customised property management service, which means you can choose the service you want. You can do it yourself, or organise a tradesman that you know to address any issues.
Do you do short term/holiday management?
We can provide a short term property management service if you are wanting to go on holiday.
What fees do you charge?
TPM is a specialised property management company. We provide a full service or you can choose a customised one that better suits your needs.
We are not the most expensive in the industry, and we are not the cheapest. Most fees charged in the industry range from 7.5% to 10% plus GST depending on services offered. Our fees are unique in that they are FLAT. You will not find any hidden surprises for extra costs added on when a bill is paid on your behalf, a financial statement is produced or we do an inspection. It is an all-inclusive fee.
Our property management fees are calculated on rents collected only. As we pride ourselves on obtaining near on 100% occupancy for you, our fee should really well speak for itself ! – and of course the fees are tax deductible.
Most of our business comes from current happy customer referrals or referrals from various affiliations we have with many property organisations throughout New Zealand.
How do I know I'm getting value for money and great customer service?
Testimonials. We are a highly recommended property management firm. We are recommended by our customers (and tenants) both in NZ and overseas who entrust their properties to us. See our Testimonials page.
Should I rent my property furnished or unfurnished?
We will cater for your requirements whether it be furnished or unfurnished. However, often furnished properties in the suburbs have less demand then unfurnished properties. This is because most long term tenants have their own possessions which they like to have around them. Auckland CBD and central apartments generally have strong demand as furnished properties. It is advisable to check with your property manager to see what the actual tenant demand is like in the current climate.
For more specific information on our day to day duties and other property management services, and how we can offer a customised service to suit your individual needs please book a free consultation.
What is TPM’s policy on drugs and illegal activities?
Taylor Property Management has a NO tolerance policy for the consumption of drugs or illegal activities being carried out at your rental property. Your property manager will undertake a comprehensive tenant selection process to minimise the risk of bad tenants renting a property. If we are aware that illegal activities are being undertaken at a property we will take steps to terminate tenancies ASAP and involve the police where required.
We highly recommend a Drug Test at the end of each tenancy.
The protection of your asset is our upmost priority and our no tolerance stance on drugs will help ensure that your property is not being used for illegal activities.
What is TPM’s policy on insurance claims?
We recommend landlords take out a specialist Landlord Rental Insurance Cover Policy in addition to general property insurance to provide cover for loss of rent and intentional tenant damage. Your property manager can facilitate claims covered under such policies (provided by REAL Landlord Insurance and RENTSURE) associated with tenant arrears or damages. In these cases we are authorised to make claims on your behalf.
TPM cannot facilitate general property insurance claims such as break-ins, general damages not caused by a tenant, and disasters. Under the Privacy Act we are not party to your insurance agreement and do not have access to your history or information required to lodge a claim. Your property manager can assist you with these claims by providing information we are privy to such as police reports, photos and advice, however the responsibility of lodging the claim lies with the owner. In the event of an emergency and we cannot contact you, we may notify your insurer if we feel there are any issues that may require a claim.
What is the process surrounding testing for the consumption or manufacturing of Meth or P?
TPM offers clients a Meth testing service where your property manager can take ‘Indicative Sample’ tests and send these away to a specialist laboratory to confirm if a property has been contaminated by Meth. Tests will confirm if readings exceed Ministry of Health Guidelines. If a property is identified as being contaminated then the property owner will generally be required to arrange a secondary test to confirm more detailed information including contamination readings in specific locations. Insurance companies can cover events such as this and you should contact them as they may request a secondary test through their own approved provider. If a property is deemed to be contaminated then the owner will be required to decontaminate the property so it is safe for future residents. If your property is insured for this event then it is likely your insurance company will arrange decontamination. If not then TPM can help facilitate any further testing and decontamination.
Prevention is better than cure. We do highly recommend a drug test on every property particularly at the end of a Tenancy.
What is the Tenancy Tribunal and when do you use it?
The Tenancy Tribunal is the power that enforces the Residential Tenancies Act. If there is a dispute between landlords and tenants either party may apply to the Tribunal for a hearing. They will hand down a legal ruling on any dispute in accordance with The Residential Tenancies Act. A Tribunal Order is final and must be adhered to. However, sometimes bailiffs or debt collectors are needed to enforce a Tribunal order.
We use the Tribunal when issues can’t easily be mediated, and this is generally when they are of a more serious nature, such as a tenant will not pay rent despite frequent communication, damages are identified, tenants are causing problems in the neighbourhood or if the tenant disappears and we need to get occupancy. There are many other cases where it may be applicable for us as a property management company to apply to the Tenancy Tribunal on your behalf and this will be carried out by well trained staff who have experience in legal representation and mediation.
What happens when you get a Tenancy Order for rent arrears?
As your property manager, we negotiate with the tenant for a repayment schedule, or in certain cases we place it with debt collectors to enforce.
What rent am I likely to achieve and how long does it take to secure a tenant?
Our experienced team will provide an appraisal to determine a ‘market rent’ for your property. We generally like to have tenants on a Fixed Term Contract so we can manage the vacate process and secure a new tenant well in advance. This ensures the owner achieves 100% occupancy on their investment because the majority of properties we manage have new tenants secured before existing tenants have vacated.
How often do you carry out rent reviews and can I be consulted?
The Residential Tenancies Act allows for rents to be increased every 6 months and we ALWAYS ALLOW provision for this in our Lease agreements.
We carry out property rent reviews on all properties on most inspections as well as on the 6 month anniversary of the date of the agreement or the last increase.
Landlords can have input in to rent reviews and at your request you can be notified in advance of any rent increases as the reviews are carried out.
Can you take over existing properties with existing tenants currently managed by other individuals or professionals?
Yes. Taylor Property Management often takes over the management of properties already being managed by private individuals and other agents. We will arrange the entire transition and keep you informed. We inspect all new properties within the early stages of the management in order to assess any outstanding maintenance issues and carry out rent reviews to ensure that the most competitive market rents are being obtained.
Renovations, repairs and maintenance — should I spend $$$$$$?
Taylor Property Management uses a variety of contractors who are reliable, consistent, and offer value for money. Quotes can be obtained for most maintenance. Clients can also stipulate a maintenance spending limit or choose to have no maintenance carried out without their prior approval. In this case clients will be contacted for all maintenance issues.
The types of renovations, repairs and maintenance that should be carried out can generally be classified in to urgent, short term and long term maintenance. Generally urgent and short term issues are those day to days issues which are essential for health and safety and to comply with provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act.
Long term issues are issues that are not urgent and clients can address and plan for, at some stage down the line, more often than not between tenancies. These issues are generally communicated to clients after inspections. Addressing these issues makes the property more tenantable and often improves the likely weekly rental.
Our flexible property management service allows clients to have an agreement with us in advance with regards to who organises what maintenance when it is necessary. This means you will always know where you stand and you will not have unnecessary costs that you were unaware of. Communication is the key.
Interior décor which optimises rent and saves $$$$$: paint, curtains, carpet — what materials are best?
- Paint: If you want to own or do own multiple properties we suggest to reduce costs, you use the same colour paint on all your properties, both inside and out. This saves the hassle of keeping and looking up records for each property about what colour and paint you have used. Also, it allows your repairs to be cost effective. Light colours make spaces seem larger.
- Curtains: Choose neutral colour curtains also as these won’t clash with a tenant’s possessions, and neutrals tend to set rooms off better. Choose a reasonable quality thermal lined fabric, or pre-made drapes which tend to be cost effective. Net curtains are important to tenants for privacy and security reasons, especially in bedrooms.
- Carpet: Choose a darker, patterned carpet for rental properties, as experience has shown that the pale colours show marks more, and are harder to clean over the long term. Depending on the property, it is possible to use second hand carpet, especially commercial carpet. The right carpet can turn a little used rumpus room into a well utilised extra bedroom, improving the rental return at the same time. Carpet TILES are a great investment as one or two tile square can be changed if there is damage.
Do you have your own Tenancy Agreement?
Yes. Taylor Property Management uses an Agreement that
We’ve kept it as straight forward as possible, so it’s easy to understand for both parties. There is a very specific list of tenancy credentials and conditions to ensure your investment is well protected.
We have a rigorous tenant selection process. All prospective tenants must make an application on the form we provide and undergo a comprehensive tenant selection process including but not limited to credit checks, landlord references, employment references and Tenancy Tribunal database checks. Photographic proof of identity is also required so we can be sure who we are renting the property to.
What type of tenancies do you offer?
We offer both Periodic and Fixed Term tenancies. Periodic tenancies have a start date and no end date and can be terminated by either party giving 21 days’ notice.
Fixed Term tenancies have a start date and a termination date and can not be terminated prior to the termination date unless there is an agreement reached between both parties. Both types of agreements have different advantages. Talk to your property manager for more information about what will suit you best.
How much bond do you take and what happens to it?
We always secure a four week bond and sometimes take an additional “pet bond” if applicable. The bond is receipted by us and lodged with the Department of Building and Housing as soon as it is paid by tenants.
When and how do I get paid my rental income?
All rent is payable weekly, fortnightly or monthly in advance by the tenant into our Trust Account.
At the end of each month we send you a statement accounting to you for the rent and management fees, along with any other disbursements. This can be sent electronically via email or in the post. Interim statements during the month can be sent at your request.
The rent is paid directly into your nominated bank account.
What do you do if the tenant gets behind in their rent or damages my property?
We have a zero rent arrears policy and rents are checked daily. If tenants miss any payments we contact them to request a remedy immediately. The appropriate legal written notices are served. If the tenant does not remedy the missed payment within 7 days an urgent application is made to the Tenancy Tribunal to recover the rent arrears. If necessary we apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for a mediated order, or a termination of tenancy where appropriate. Your property manager will attend any required court hearings. The key to arrears management is systematic, timely and frequent monitoring of rent payments coupled with comprehensive tenant selection screening.
Regular inspections enable us to identify how the tenant is caring for the property, if damages are present or repairs need completing. If we identify issues clients are always kept informed. Certain repairs may be needed to be carried out by the tenant at their cost (eg. if a window has been broken through carelessness) and other repairs may be the responsibility of the landlord (eg. window latches or door locks which have become loose over time with use). If a tenant vacates a property and damages are noted, we will hold the tenant responsible for the cost of making good the damage and have this recorded in the form of a sealed court order if necessary.
What records do you provide me with?
Monthly statements and interim statements if necessary. Every month at the close of the month, our property management services include a complete computerised statement which records all rents collected during the period, together with all disbursements, including any accounts paid on your behalf, (like rates, water, and any authorised repairs) plus the fees deducted.
It will also display the current tenants paid to date, the name of the tenant/s, and the property/ies. We can automatically send your accountant a copy.
Annual Statement: At the close of business for the year we send you an Annual Statement which summarises all the transactions of the financial year. We can automatically send your accountant a copy.
How frequently do you carry out inspections?
As your acting property management company we will complete an inspection at the beginning of a tenancy to record the details and condition of the property at that point in time prior to the tenants moving in. This is often called an “initial” or “ingoing” inspection. When tenants vacate we carry out another called a “bond inspection” to again record the details and condition of the property at that point in time so any issues can be identified and accounted for. These inspections are not charged for and are part of your property management service included in your management fees. If we identify any issues at a bond inspection we will negotiate with the tenant to hold them responsible for any damage. If tenants do not take responsibility and reimburse us for any damages we will make an application to the Tenancy Tribunal for a court hearing to hold the tenant accountable.
During the tenancies we also complete maintenance inspections. We recommend that rental properties are inspected either quarterly (especially newer properties) or at least six monthly, as these inspections can help keep maintenance costs down by dealing more regularly with any items that may require the tenant to remedy.
Some insurance companies require a certain number of inspections so please check your policy to ensure that we assist you to meet any obligations.
What do you do when tenants move out and there are damages?
If damages are identified then owners are informed ASAP. Sometimes the bond needs to be retained where the tenant has not left the property in a satisfactory condition or where there is damage which needs remedying. No bonds are ever refunded unless we are completely satisfied that all rents and water bills are paid up to date and any damages if any are accounted for. It is an exception rather than a rule when bonds do not cover any damages and in this case urgent applications are made through the Tenancy Tribunal to have tenants made responsible for reimbursing us for any damages. Our property management service will take care of this.
What is mediation and why do you use it?
Mediation is a service offered by Tenancy Services. We use mediation (as opposed to the Tribunal) when we believe there is an opportunity to get a quicker response and we believe it’s possible for a more positive outcome from liaising with the tenant directly. When agreements are made between us and tenants at mediation they will be sealed by the courts and enforceable by law.