Monthly Archives: October 2014

Who Is Responsible For Digital Television In Your Rental Property?

Where a landlord has installed a property with the equipment necessary to receive digital television, the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 places an obligation on the landlord to repair and maintain that equipment.  

If a property is not equipped to receive digital television, or is only equipped to receive analogue television, it is unlikely that the landlord would have a responsibility to install the equipment required to receive digital TV.

Can tenants install digital television equipment themselves?  

If a property does not have the equipment required to receive digital television, then a tenant may wish to install it themselves. However, as the equipment might be seen to be a fixture, the tenant must first seek permission from the landlord to install it themselves. The landlord would not be able to unreasonably withhold that permission.

Before granting permission to install the equipment, it would be wise for both the landlord and tenant to agree as to who owns the equipment, and who will be responsible for the repair and maintenance once it is installed. Any agreement regarding this should be recorded in writing.

It is also important to note that a tenant may remove any of their own fixtures at the end of a tenancy provided it will not cause irreparable damage to the property. For this reason a landlord may decide that they would prefer to install the required equipment

Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

How To Keep Good Tenants

Your property manager will do everything possible to ensure the tenants that move into your rental are ones you will want to keep long term.  Ideally these will be tenants that not only pay the rent on time, but are good neighbours, require minimal contact and who keep up with all basic garden and household maintenance.  However, in order to keep good tenants for a long period, it is recommended you follow a few simple rules to ensure they remain happy living in your property.

Regular maintenance

Ask your property manager to organise a regular schedule of maintenance for your investment property. This does not need to be expensive, but should include basics such as a yearly or twice yearly garden tidy, over and above what the tenant is required to carry out, and regular gutter clearing.


Remember your rental property will depreciate just like your home. It is necessary to occasionally renew paint jobs, upgrade appliances and replace fixtures.


Your property manager will clearly communicate all inspections, rent reviews and any other issues affecting your tenant. Listen to feedback provided by the tenant and take action where appropriate. Proceed with goodwill and your tenants are more likely to treat you with the same courtesy.

Auckland Suburb

What’s Happening In The New Zealand Property Market?

Auckland and Christchurch have recovered from the winter lull that is traditional in real estate, with written sales up and average prices continuing to increase.

Elsewhere in the country the recovery is not so obvious, with the provinces still struggling under the Reserve Bank’s loan to value (LVR) restrictions.

The Reserve Bank signalled it may look to remove LVR restrictions at the end of the year and, as far as provincial New Zealand goes, this would be a much needed respite for the struggling real estate market. In Christchurch and Auckland LVR restrictions have done little to dampen demand for housing and the resulting price increases.

Harcourts CEO Hayden Duncan says it is simple demand and supply. In Christchurch and Auckland demand is outstripping supply and prices will continue to rise until this is no longer the case. As the city’s populations show no sign of slowing down, the only answer is rapid and quality construction of new homes.

Auckland and Northland

Written sales are up 3.2% on the same time last year, have jumped by 22% on August’s figures and are at their highest level since March, showing the winter lull is now
well and truly over. Sales consultants are reporting an increase in the number of appraisals being carried out. The average sales price in Auckland and Northland sits at $683,101, which is up 11% on the same time last year and a 4% increase on August’s average of $655,138. This shows prices are continuing to trend upwards.

Central Region

Sales remain at similar levels to the same time last year, and there has not been a large jump on August’s figures. However, the Central region remains the more buoyant of New Zealand’s provinces, with its close proximity to Auckland meaning it is attractive to investors, and even commuters choosing the area for affordability and lifestyle. The average price sits at $337,639, which is a 7% increase on the same time last year.


Sales are down on the same time last year, however there has been an improvement on August’s numbers. The average prices being achieved remain static, witting at $366,153. On the positive side, there has been an increase in new listings, which may indicate an optimism following the general election.


Sales are up by 3.3% on the same time last year, and have jumped by 21% on August’s figures, showing the slowdown that occurs during winter is over. The average sales price is up 16% on the same time last year and now sits at $496, 161. Auctions account for almost 40% of new listings, with the auction rooms tending to be full each week and a high level of success before or on auction day.

Stock levels are also up significantly, with newly constructed houses starting to come onto the market. Greater Christchurch’s residential consent activity and construction levels are both on par with Auckland’s.

South Island Provincial

The region hardest hit by LVR restrictions, South Island Provincial is struggling under the pressure that has been placed on first home buyers. There has been no post winter recovery, with sales at the same level as they were in August and down slightly on July and June. The average price sits at $298,702, which is down 2% on the same time last year.

Renovate or Relocate? Things To Consider Before You Decide.

Your house may be bursting at the seams, or it might be in urgent need of an upgrade. If you’re at the point where your home no longer meets your needs, you face one of life’s big decisions: to renovate or relocate?

Your current and future needs

Be clear about where you’re at now, and where you plan to be in five or ten years’ time. Map out the must-haves for your dream home versus the ‘nice-to-haves’. You might urgently need a second bathroom for your teenage children, but bi-fold
doors opening onto a raised terrace might be a lower priority.

The condition of your house

Without careful assessment of older homes, what starts as a simple renovation could end up being a very costly and time consuming project. If you’re considering a renovation, it’s important to look beyond the floor-plan and ask an expert to assess all the hidden elements like the wiring, and the condition of plaster and stumps. The experts at Harcourts Complete are available for a free appraisal.


Put simply, overcapitalising is where you spend more money on your home than you are likely to recoup if you had to sell it tomorrow. Say you bought your house for $300,000 and then spent $150,000 renovating it. If the median price for similar houses in your area is only $400,000 and you have to sell for whatever reason, you could be out of pocket $50,000. Overcapitalising isn’t so much of an issue if you plan to live in your renovated house long term.

Your neighbourhood

Consider whether your renovation will meet the needs of the typical buyer in your area. If your house is not close to any schools and you desire to create a family-friendly home; you need to consider if you will be able to find a buyer when you eventually want to move on. You should also compare the benefits of remaining where you are versus moving to a new street or suburb. Often the decision comes down to whether it’s easier to buy a new house that meets most of your needs – if not all of them – or to remodel your own home to your exact specifications.

Do your research and ask the experts

Remember, it’s important to speak to the experts, get detailed costing information (always get more than one quote for the job) and get referrals or references from trusted sources.

As An Investor, Should I Say Yes To Pets?

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) in conjunction with the Australian Companion Animal Council have put out their 2014 guides, one for landlords and one for renters, around allowing pets in investment properties.

They provide 10 reasons why they think animals should be allowed:

1. Pet owning tenants are generally willing to pay more rent.
2. Pet-friendly properties rent faster.
3. Responsible pet owners can make excellent tenants.
4. Tenants with pets want to hold longer leases.
5. Reduce your advertising spend.
6. No more problems with ‘hidden’ pets.
7. Most Australians feel their pet is part of the family and care for them as such.
8. Reduce animal euthanasia; animal welfare agencies indicate that as many as 30% of dogs and cats are surrendered by owners who are unable to locate adequate accommodation
9. “Considering pets” will not lock you into a pet-particular outcome.
10. Pet application and agreement forms are available to help landlords and managing agents implement a successful pet management policy and help tenants understand how to responsibly manage pets.