Our latest Harcourts Otago Market Report is out now.
Our latest Harcourts Otago Market Report is out now.
The Overseas Investment Amendment Bill banning foreigners from purchasing certain residential homes has now been introduced in New Zealand. Continue reading “Overseas Investment Amendment Bill – what the new legislation means for 2018”
When you’re getting ready to sell your property, you’re probably thinking about one thing: how to add value quickly and inexpensively.
One of the most cost-effective ways you can do this is to make sure your outdoor space is in tip-top condition.
Feng shui is an ancient Chinese system of laws that aligns the arrangement of your home in relation to the flow of energy (chi). Based on the idea that our homes are a mirror of what’s happening in our lives, it’s thought you can affect what happens to you by encouraging good energy and repelling bad energy from your home. Continue reading “15 quick feng shui tips for good energy in your home”
Some property owners associate pets with added mess, damage and disturbance which can make it more difficult for pet owners to find a rental home.
However, many landlords are beginning to see the advantages of pet owners as tenants. They may be more responsible if they have a furry friend to look after and they may take even more care of the property.
But, when applying for a rental, pet owners will almost always face competition from people who don’t have the worry of animals. This can be a difficult situation, but we know pet owners deserve just as much of a chance! That’s why we’ve put together these application tips — they’re just a few extra ways that will help you get a look in if you have pets.
Never try to pretend you don’t have pets — we will find out! And it might be a problem down the line. Tell us your situation when you’re first looking for a property and we’ll be able to work to your situation.
The more you can tell us about your pet, the more likely an owner will be to choose you. What breed? How old? Long or short hair? Do they stay at home during the day? Where do they sleep? Do they make a lot of noise? Write it all down and attach to your application — you could even add a photo!
It may seem silly, but references for your pet will go a long way. You could ask a previous property manager or landlord, your vet, doggy day care or pet trainer to put a few good words together about the behaviour and character of your pet.
Tenancy agreements can include a pet clause outlining what will happen in the event of damage caused by pets. They may request the full four weeks’ bond as cover. Make sure you understand the implications and speak to your property manager if you’re unsure.
It doesn’t hurt to ask — a property may be advertised as “no pets”, but exceptions can sometimes be made. If you can deliver on the above points, landlords may be encouraged to choose you.
We love animals and we don’t think you should sacrifice finding a good home just because you have pets. Our number one piece of advice is to stay in touch with your property manager — we can understand your situation and work hard to find you a place that suits you (and your furry companion!) down to the ground.
Get in touch if you’d like to know more about our property management services.
A strategic multi-channel property marketing campaign will almost always deliver a better sale result. Kelvin Collins, CEO at Harcourts Otago, shares four crucial marketing aims which come together to add value to your property. Continue reading “Four key ways property marketing increases the value of your home”
We’ve had times where relationships between our property managers and tenants have broken down.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Our friendly team sees your happiness and comfort as a priority — it’s just as important to us as keeping our landlords happy. Continue reading “13 easy ways to stay on your property manager’s good side”
Meth contaminated properties have popped up a lot in the media over the last few years and, in June 2017, a new national standard came in to provide guidance on the testing and clean-up of methamphetamine in houses.
Standards New Zealand manager Carmen Mak said it would make houses where meth had been found safer.
“Application of the standard will provide assurance that activities such as screening, sampling, testing, assessing, and decontamination of contaminated properties, and disposal of their contents, are carried out in accordance with good practice.”
For landlords, meth contamination is a huge concern. On one side you want to keep your tenants safe and on the other you need to make sure you don’t find yourself with a contaminated house or unable to claim on your insurance.
By following the new standard and operating with best practice, landlords can minimise the risk. Keep reading to find out more.
Methamphetamine is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. It’s a potent stimulant and it has long-lasting and harmful effects on the central nervous system, making it a drug with high potential for widespread abuse.
Properties can become contaminated when tenants use or manufacture meth on the premises, and the level of contamination varies on how much is used or manufactured. When meth is manufactured, contamination tends to be higher and the home may need to be completely stripped and cleaned and, in extreme cases, demolished.
Luckily, strict procedures for identifying meth contamination are becoming more commonplace in New Zealand.
It is your responsibility to provide a safe and healthy home for your tenants. If a landlord rents out a property that is contaminated, they are breaching their obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986, as well as other legislation such as the Building Act and the Health Act.
If possible, conduct a test prior to buying a property as part of your due diligence. The costs of decontamination are high and you want all the information before purchasing.
Here at Harcourts, for example, we now have a clause in all our sale and purchase agreements stating a buyer can decide whether to carry out a contamination test as part of their due diligence process.
If you already own a property and suspect it may be contaminated, it’s vital to take immediate action for the safety of your tenants. If they’re living in a contaminated home, they’re exposed to serious health risks in both the short- and long-term, so “now” is always the best time.
A test usually costs between $100 and $300. Your property manager can advise the right method of testing for you and will put you in contact with a reputable company.
We encourage you to take meth contamination extremely seriously and be vigilant in having your property tested. And, if you find that your property is contaminated, we recommend that you tell the police or local council.
It’s vital to regularly check and update your insurance cover. Some policies may outright excluded drug-related damages and some policies limit cover to a certain amount — a limit of $20,000 for example is unlikely to cover a full decontamination of a meth lab.
There may be certain obligations landlords have to meet such as: exercising reasonable care and obtaining references for tenants; completing inspections every three months and upon change of tenants; keeping written reports of inspections. You may also need to provide evidence that the property became contaminated while you were insured, in which case you will need to have carried out previous meth tests and have recorded their results and dates.
Harcourts Property Management has strict processes in place to protect our landlords against methamphetamine contamination. We take great care in our tenant selection process, we conduct thorough inspections every three months and we keep full documentation of the previously listed items — whatever happens, we’ll help make sure you’re covered should your property become contaminated.
Renting for the first time? Heading to university? You might be feeling a bit apprehensive about getting your own place or maybe you’re unsure about the costs and rules involved in a tenancy.
We’ve put together a list of our most frequently asked questions from tenants to help you get in the know. Keep reading to see if we answer your question and, if not, get in touch and we’ll get back to you quickly. Continue reading “Renting FAQS: your questions answered!”
Our approach begins and ends with client care: you are our priority.
The Harcourts international network spans 830 offices in 10 countries.
Harcourts is NZ's Most Trusted Real Estate Brand (Reader's Digest, 2012-16).