Did you know that a property management company can manage millions of dollars of your assets without needing any experience, qualifications or a licence?
Yes it’s true! New Zealand is still one of the few countries in the OECD that doesn’t regulate property managers.
Because the industry is unregulated, choosing the wrong company for the sake of a slightly cheaper fee can end up costing you a LOT of money overall. In the current environment it’s essential to make sure all your bases are covered and everything is done with superb attention to detail, without cutting any legislative corners.
In fact, the wrong property management company can cause so much damage that the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) is now calling on the government to regulate the industry. Watson Real Estate are named supporters of the campaign – with a goal of safeguarding both landlords and tenants from shady property management practices.
As the A Call For Change campaign points out, no regulation means that a property management can manage millions of dollars of assets with only minimal checks on their behaviour.
The current state of play may surprise you, as it means:
X Anyone can set up business as a property manager, without any experience or qualifications.
X Property managers don’t have to hold funds in a trust account.
X Property managers don’t have to hold insurance.
X Money collected by property managers can be paid into the property managers personal account.
X Someone can leave jail one day, and open a property management company the next!
To help landlords choose the right property manager we’ve compiled a list of minimum standards that we believe companies should be meeting. When you consider that the company you choose will be managing upwards of $400,000 of investment for you, then it makes sense to have this level of certainly in place.
How to avoid choosing the wrong property management company
9 minimum standards to check
✔ Trust account: holds your money in a trust account.
✔ Audited: has their trust account audited regularly (we recommend 3 times per year at least).
✔ Safety: carries out criminal checks on new staff when they are hired.
✔ Accreditation: places a high value on investing in staff training and accreditation.
✔ Insurance: has a high level of insurance to safeguard landlords.
✔ Low vacancy and arrears: is able to show you current vacancy and arrears statistics that are consistently low.
✔ Star rating: has a high customer star rating on Google (it’s a great idea to read the previous customer reviews of companies you are considering).
✔ Codes of Practice: Members of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) and The Leading Property Manager’s Association (LPMA) and as such must follow their codes of practice.
✔ Solid Guarantee: offers you a solid guarantee on their services, without a lot of added fine print.
If you’d like advice on the criteria we suggest for selecting a property manager – including accreditation and licences to look then give us a call today.
As award-winning property managers we can give you the peace of mind to know you are following the law and have the correct procedures in place. Our service will save you money, time and leave you worry-free – we guarantee it. In fact, if you’re not happy with our service after three months then we’ll refund your fees in full – no fine print added!
Download our minimum standard checklist
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