FAQs about property management

A letting agent focuses solely on finding tenants for your property and will charge an admin fee. A property manager goes much further than that – we’ll find you tenants and then manage everything from rents to repairs. Having a property manager source your tenants can speed up the process for you, give you a bit more peace of mind and maximise the rents you receive. Great tenants make our jobs easier, so we have a vested interest in going the extra mile to find you the best people to rent your property.

The Residential Tenancies Act covers the rights and obligations of you and your tenants. Every landlord and tenant must operate under the rules of the Act. Educating yourself about the Act is important, but Wise Property managers have an in-depth, practical understanding of how it can affect you, and we can help guide you through any tricky situations.

Depending on the unique requirements of your property we advertise online and in press, work with relocation companies and put up signs. We maintain such good relationships with our tenants that we also have a waiting list of people looking for properties to rent with us. Most of this cost is covered by an admin fee paid by the tenant. On the rare occasion we may discuss the need for a larger advertising budget, which you’ll need to cover. We show people through the property ourselves. No keys are given directly to potential tenants and the property is never left open and unattended.

Although nobody can guarantee that you’ll have the perfect tenants, following good procedures will significantly minimise the risk. We ask all prospective tenants to fill out an application form with personal information, referees and their current or previous landlord. All our forms have been drafted by lawyers directly involved in the industry, so you know you have all your bases covered. We’ll check tenants’ references and credit history, and because we personally show them through the property we’ll also form a personal opinion of them – our years of experience means we can quickly spot the good tenants and the bad

This depends on the market, the time of the year and the presentation of your property. The rental market is very competitive, so if your property is well presented you could rent it within a few days at a good price. However, it’s good to plan for three to four weeks to find a tenant; remember that sometimes it’s worth waiting a few weeks for the best tenants.

Presenting your property in the best condition possible is very important. This could be as simple as replacing light bulbs, mowing the lawns, having the carpets steam-cleaned or, in some cases, getting a commercial cleaner in. Fixing any damage or wear and tear before you begin showing people through will attract better tenants more quickly. Pricing your property at the right level is important too. Sometimes taking a slightly lower rent will mean you avoid downtime and can take your pick of tenants, which can save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run. You’ll find that if you attract great tenants, you can always use the competition to push the price up.

This varies from property to property and will depend on the size, quality and location of your property. Although property values have increased, rental prices haven’t risen to match. So if you’re looking to buy a rental property or haven’t had a rental appraisal in a while, feel free to call us. We can give you an expert and up-to-date rental appraisal.

Once we understand your long-term plans, we’ll recommend either a periodic or fixed-term tenancy to suit your particular property and situation. We always try to avoid having fixed term tenancies that end in December or early January as this can be a difficult time to find tenants.

A periodic tenancy means tenants may move whenever they like, but must first give 21 days’ notice. Similarly, you must give your tenants 42 days’ notice if you wish to move into the property or if you’ve sold with an unconditional purchase agreement. If you wish the tenants to vacate for any other reason you must give 90 days’ notice. A fixed term tenancy runs for a fixed period of time. Notice to either party cannot be given. This means you may not take possession of the property during the fixed term, and if you sell, it must be with the sitting tenant.

We ask for a bond equivalent to four weeks’ rent, which is used to cover any repairs or tidying needed once your tenants move out. We prefer to ask for a larger bond and only one week’s rent in advance as this better protects your finances if tenants leave your property in a mess. This bond is held with the Department of Building and Housing as per the Tenancy Act and is paid back to the tenants when they move out, minus any costs for repairs or cleaning.

You can, as long as they don’t contradict the Residential Tenancies Act. Any clauses that do are unenforceable even if signed by the tenant. Let us know about the clauses you’d like to include in the tenancy agreement – we can help you understand what is and isn’t enforceable, so that your agreement will hold weight if the worst happens.

The first inspection is conducted at the same time as the tenancy agreement is completed. Before signing, we meet with the tenants at the property to record any existing damage or wear and tear. This report is extensive and can contain up to 200 photos – it is also completely free.

We prefer to inspect properties every three months. This is more frequent than properties are usually inspected, but generally means your investment will be kept tidier. It also gives us opportunity to build relationships with your tenants, which is important if anything goes wrong. Your property will also be inspected before a tenant moves in or out. Should we spot anything needing repair or maintenance, we’ll inspect the property again once the work has been completed. So you are aware, tenants must be given written notice of the inspection at least 48 hours before, and inspections can be done only between certain hours.

The gardens and lawns are generally the tenant’s responsibility. Leaving a lawnmower for your tenant to use will encourage them to maintain your property, but you will be in charge of servicing it. If you have an extensive garden, one that needs specialist attention or one that is shared by more than one tenancy, we recommend including regular professional maintenance in the rental price.

All work at your property can be completed by our carefully selected tradespeople. We’ll pay them for their work with the rents collected from your property – these charges will show on your monthly statement.

This depends on your property and situation – we can help you decide which option will best suit you.

You can place your property on the market while it’s tenanted, but there are certain processes you’ll need to follow. Our understanding of the Tenancy Act means we can guide you through these when the time comes.

Tenants pay their rent in advance. This comes through our trust account and is checked daily so we can spot late payments quickly. You’ll be paid fortnightly on the 1st and the 15th of each month. If a normal payout day falls on a weekend or public holiday you can expect your payment to come through on next working day. Every month you’ll also receive a full statement showing rents collected and any payments made on your behalf.

All money received on your behalf is paid into our trust account. This account is independently audited and does not form a part of our company’s operational bank accounts. All payments made on behalf of the owner are also made from this account. Your transactions are individually identified in this account, balanced daily and a monthly statement sent to you.

We’re available to respond to any urgent matters seven days a week. We’re in the office Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5pm, but can be reached on our mobiles after hours. For an out-of-hours emergency it is best to text.

No, we can’t, however our careful procedures and years of experience mean that we can significantly increase the likelihood that your property will be looked after. We regularly inspect properties, fix problems before they escalate and build relationships with homeowners in the area.

Yes, rents received are considered income and must be declared. Things like maintenance costs, management fees, interest on mortgages and depreciation become claimable expenses. We recommend you review the Inland Revenue Department website and seek independent financial advice.

You’ll need to let your insurance company know that the property is to be rented. We also recommend you take out what is normally called “landlord’s extension” insurance. This is similar to a contents policy and covers your fixtures and fittings.