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What to do when things go wrong. SOS for Kiwi landlords.

What to do when things go wrong. SOS for kiwi landlords

It’s not always plain sailing when it comes to property management, but there are some solutions. 

It’s all going swimmingly: you’ve found the perfect property, your bank is happy with the numbers and your ideal tenant has signed the tenancy agreement and moved in. Now all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the fruits of your investment. What could possibly go wrong?

Whether it’s rent arrears, a surprise cattery in the backyard or broken chattels your tenants haven’t bothered to tell you about, breaches of tenancy are a common problem for landlords. Read on for some (possibly) all too familiar problems, and download our free eBook "My House. Your Castle." to get a complete guide on resolving these issues.

Expecting the unexpected.

Heard the one about the landlord who turned up to find 12 people living in his one-bedroom investment unit? How about the tenants who thought their front yard was a great place to keep their collection of old tyres? Finding the perfect tenant isn’t always as easy as we’d like. Check out some common problems landlords face below, along with our six-point checklist to help when things go wrong.

Show me the money.

It’s only a one-off, they’re between jobs, they promise they’ll make up the rent arrears next week…sure, giving them one week, or maybe even two is the kindhearted thing to do when your lovely tenant is going through tough times, but what happens when a week turns into a month, and the sob stories keep coming?

Unpaid rent is the biggest bugbear for New Zealand landlords, accounting for more than 60% of complaints to the Tenancy Tribunal each year. So what happens when your perfect tenant turns into a friend in perpetual need?

All is not as it seems.

She signed the tenancy agreement promising she’s a non smoking, houseproud working professional with no pets, but on your first inspection you find a dog on the property and cigarette holes in the curtains.

Repairing and maintaining property costs more than the expected wear and tear when things go wrong. You don’t want to be left with a bill for cleaning up after previous tenants have tuned your investment into a home for stray dogs or, worst case scenario, a methamphetamine lab. Costs for these unforeseen situations can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix, not to mention the time out of our already busy lives. While there’s no sure way of knowing whether your tenant is a secret rubbish hoarder, there are ways to minimise risk and maximise your rent.

How many is too many?

Regular guests who are not on the tenancy agreement are a common problem in New Zealand rental properties. We’ve all read the stories about renters subletting their houses to others or finding spare mattresses hidden under beds and extra toothbrushes in the bathroom. Breaches of the tenancy agreement, whether through unpaid rent, mess or unwanted guests are all stresses you don’t need.

Help! What can I do?

Follow these 6 top tips for getting around the curliest problems:

  1. Market your property to attract the right kind of tenantmake sure you have a clear idea of exactly the kind of people you’d like living in your investment.

  2. Vetting tenants first is a must – make sure they have good references from previous tenancies and employment.

  3. Regular inspections will make sure you can stay on top on anything that pops up.

  4. Know your legal rights and the proper procedures to follow when things go wrong.

  5. Maintaining a calm and professional relationship with your tenant is paramount.

  6. Engaging a property manager can remove a lot of the hassle and add experience and knowledge to the rental property process.

Finding the perfect tenant can be tricky and time consuming, but there are ways to take the stress out of property management. For a clear four-point check and expert tips on how to come out on top when things go wrong, download our free eBook “My House. Your Castle.”.

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