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Posted on April 28, 2022

Written by general admin

Landlord responsibilities: The pros and cons of being a private landlord 

If you are keen to invest in property for investment purposes, consider how you will manage your property should you put it up for rent. There are two main options for managing your property as a rental. One option is to become a private landlord and manage the property yourself. The second option is to hire a property management company to take care of the responsibility for you. 

Like many scenarios, there are pros and cons to each. 

What do I need to consider before becoming a private landlord? 

Becoming a private landlord isn’t necessarily easy. There are tenants to manage as well as maintenance to keep on top of. Add to that the regulations that you need to understand and implement to ensure your home is up to the Government’s standards. If you’re considering the DIY approach to property management, consider: 

Do I have time to be a private landlord? 

Like all things, managing a property takes time. Your property won’t always be tenanted which means you’ll need to make time to hold property viewings and properly vet your applicants. Once you’ve found the right tenant there’s still work to do. Your tenants will have maintenance requests or emergencies they need you to deal with from time to time. You might even have to leave work in the middle of the day if something urgent needs attention. 

Remember, that time is money. Even though you’ll save money by foregoing a property manager, you’ll still have to put in hours each month to keep on top of your rental. You’ll also need to devote time to keeping accurate records so that you and your tenants are protected should any issues go to the Tenancy Tribunal. 

Do I live close to my rental property? 

Are you close enough to deal with a burst pipe at your rental property in the middle of the night? Proximity to your rental is very important. Factor in whether there is a lot of traffic between your home and your rental property, or how long it takes you to drive there and back to do property inspections every few months or show potential tenants through your house.   

Am I prepared to learn on the job? 

Learning how to be a property manager takes time. Without a property manager, you may find that it takes you longer to find suitable tenants or reliable tradespeople and these delays can be costly. Having connections to electricians, plumbers, and maintenance people can help you stay on top of maintenance requests faster. 

A property manager can give you the best advice for situations in which you lack experience. For example, there are times when doing major renovations to your property is easier when it is empty. Make sure you understand the rights of your tenants and your responsibilities for evicting tenants.   

Do I understand the regulations, legislation, and laws related to my rental property? 

As a new landlord, you must stay up to date with legislative changes. You will need to understand what the regulations are and how they affect your rental property. If you are looking at buying a rental property, make sure you know whether it meets the healthy home standards for heating, insulation, and ventilation. It can cost tens of thousands of dollars to get an older home up to modern-day standards but failure to do so could result in a hefty fine. 

In the last few years, there are now more responsibilities landlords need to be aware of including:   

  • Fixed-term agreements convert to periodic tenancies at the end of the fixed term 
  • Compliance with new heating and insulation standards as per the Healthy Homes Act 
  • Landlords cannot end a periodic tenancy without cause by providing 90 days’ notice 
  • Tenants can now make minor changes to the premises 
  • Rental properties cannot be advertised without a rental price listed, and landlords cannot invite or encourage tenants to bid on the rental  

As a private landlord, it will be your responsibility to keep up with these changes and understand what they mean for you, your rental, and your tenants. 

Do I know how to deal with and resolve conflict? 

There can be advantages to keeping a professional distance from your tenants. It’s your job to provide a safe environment for tenants to live in and their job to keep your property in a good condition during their tenancy.  

Getting too close to your tenants can make it difficult to be firm with them if something goes wrong. Property managers are usually experts in conflict management and work to resolve conflict so that the property stays tenanted by good people. 

When issues arise, can you put your emotions aside and deal with the issue so that the conflict gets resolved? Could you evict a tenant who you like but fails to pay you on time or breaches their tenancy agreement? There are many difficult scenarios that property managers are better equipped to handle. 

H3: Know when to enlist a property manager 

As a landlord, there is a lot to learn to keep your rental property compliant. At West Auckland Property Management, we have over 30 years of combined experience in local investment property, ownership, and management.   As experts in the Residency Tenancy Act, we make it easy to stay informed about your rights and responsibilities. If you are looking for a premium property management experience, call us at (09) 832 0832.