The Condition of the Property
Before we complete any property management agreement with a new customer, we always visit the property to ensure that the property is presented in a good, safe and clean condition; or to discuss with the property owner what needs to be done before the property can be rented, and whether we can help by using our contractors to get the work done.
To help you with this, please consider the following:
What is the difference between clean and “reasonably clean”?
A property which is spotless inside with taps glistening will generally rent faster and attract a better tenant than one which isn’t. If a property needs cleaning, we can arrange this on your behalf. When a tenant leaves a property, they are only required under law to leave it “reasonably clean and tidy”. This is a very vague term, but certainly, it does not extend to leaving it in such a condition that it may be promoted for re-tenanting without having to do any work. A good tenant who moves into an immaculate property will often leave it in the same way, but if they do not, and it is only “what a reasonable person would consider reasonable to be”, then some additional cleaning will be needed at the property owners expense to ensure a good replacement tenant is found.
Our tenancy agreements requires tenants to have the carpets professionally cleaned at the end of their tenancy, but if we cannot prove that the carpets have been cleaned before the tenancy begins, then this clause is not enforceable. We can arrange this for you, but if you as the property owner arrange it yourself, we would ask for a copy of the receipt of payment to use in evidence if required.
Gardening & Rubbish
Similarly, with the condition of the lawns, garden beds, rubbish and compost. To ensure that the clauses in the tenancy agreement are enforceable, we would ask that the lawns have been recently mowed, edges cut, garden beds weeded, and all compost and other rubbish are removed from the property.
Locks & Latches
There is a requirement for the Landlord to provide a secure and safe property. This means that it must be able to be secured with adequate working locks on all external doors, and catches on all external windows. Simple two lever mortise locks are not suitable security for insurance purposes. We can help you to upgrade the security to comply with the minimum requirements if need be.
It is not realistic to rent a four bedroom house and provide one key, so we ask the Property Owner to provide two full sets of keys for all locks on the property, and one additional set of keys to the front door for every adult tenant. One full set of keys will be retained by the Property Manager as a spare set. Similarly, properties with auto-garage doors and security access systems need to have sufficient access cards/keys/openers for reasonable living.
From April 2003 smoke alarms became mandatory for all dwellings under the New Zealand Building Code. They are cheap and they save lives. If the rental property does not have them fitted, then we will arrange for suitable battery powered smoke alarms to be fitted. We will also arrange to have them tested, and batteries replaced as needed to ensure that they are in working condition.
In addition to your Insurance of the dwelling, property owners should remember to insure the contents like the carpets, drapes, light-fittings, whiteware, and any other items of inventory provided in the tenancy. We also recommend checking to make sure that this also covers any damage caused to the tenant’s property by any building defect or accident. Eg. a burst water pipe.
We are here to help
Sometimes time, location or other factors make it difficult or impossible for Property Owners to do these things. We can help. We can accept funds into our Trust Account on your behalf, arrange for the necessary work to be done, provide you copies of the invoices, and disburse the balance of any monies held which are not needed.