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By Katrina Green

Despite an overwhelming opinion from attendees at recent Housing and Urban Development Ministry workshops that private landlords should also need to comply with the proposed in-coming regulations for property managers, senior officials say it is not in their remit to recommend that.

While private landlords are covered by the Residential Tenancies Act, I unfortunately do come across many landlords who either do not understand the legislation or seem to think they are exempt from it!

Tenancy law in New Zealand has become very complex over the past few years, and while there are certainly some private landlords who understand and comply, it takes a lot of time and effort to keep on top of the many changes that continue to be introduced.

I fully support the Government’s proposed regulations which include property managers being licensed, having to establish a trust account, holding insurance, undergoing 20 hours of professional development and complying with an independent disciplinary and complaints resolution scheme.  I do however think that because the regulations will be here to protect both landlords and tenants, that private landlords should also need to comply with the same regulations.

Residential Property Managers Association president David Pearse has been reported as saying if the quality of property management is going to be improved it has to include private landlords, and comments that in his opinion the days of DIY landlording are over.

About 59% of the country’s private rental properties are under management which has increased by 10% since 2020, prompted by the introduction of new legislation, Healthy Homes Standards and new rulesregarding tax and the Brightline test, however that still means that around 40% of rental properties are being privately managed. 

Mr Pearse comments that a huge number of people are ignorant about property management and the responsibilities that go with it.  He says that in his opinion the main catalyst causing landlords to get bad service from property managers is that they are running too large portfolios meaning they cannot actually give the service they are expected to give.

I agree with this overall, and have found over the years that keeping a property managers portfolio numbers lower and ensuring they have great administration support means they are able to provide a full service and achieve client satisfaction, both for landlords and tenants.  We are afterall working in a service industry.

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