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Compliance and the importance of being warm and dry

By David Kneebone on 2020-11-16

Rentals Nov blogAt Lodge City Rentals we’re certainly keeping busy in the lead up to the end of 2020. The real estate and rental markets remain buoyant, with high numbers of enquiries coming through to our offices.

In particular, the demand for clean, warm, dry homes is very high. Properties that tick those boxes are receiving multiple applications, meaning there are plenty of quality tenants to choose from.

With this in mind, I’ll discuss in a bit more detail the Healthy Homes standards coming into force for new tenancies from July 2021. While they are regulations all properties must meet, working on them sooner rather than later will ensure your property is desirable for new tenants.

In the shorter term, the first stage of the Healthy Homes changes is just around the corner, with the deadline for compliance statements rapidly approaching. After 1 December 2020, all tenancy agreements must include detailed information about how a property meets the standards.

Last month, I discussed the upcoming law changes including those regarding the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2020. The bulk of the law changes come into effect on 11 February 2021, so with that date in mind our team attended a recent training session to get familiar with the 140 new amendments.

With so many amendments to get your head around, this training means the Lodge team are up-to-speed so you don’t need to spend your valuable time concerned about compliance. As always, do get in touch if you would like to know more.


Making your property clean, warm and dry

When it comes to property upgrades, we understand these can often be a significant cost to landlords. However, many of those covered under the Healthy Homes standards will ensure your property can continue to be a good investment for many years to come. And summer is a great time to start projects to ready your property for the next cold season.

Here are some basics question to help you assess your property:

  • Heating standard – does your property:
    • Have one or more fixed heaters that can directly heat the main living room? Are these an acceptable type and meet the minimum heating capacity required for the space?
  • Insulation standard – ceiling and underfloor insulation has been compulsory in all rental homes since 1 July 2019, so you should already have this covered.
  • Ventilation standard – does your property:
    • Have openable windows in all habitable rooms, that can be fixed in the open position? Does the kitchen and bathroom have an extractor fan?
  • Moisture and drainage standard – does your property:
    • Have efficient drainage for the removal of storm water, surface water and ground water? Does the drainage system include gutters, downpipes and drains for the removal of water from the roof?
  • Draught stopping standard – does your property:
    • Have any unreasonable gaps or holes in walls, ceilings, windows, skylights, floors and doors which cause noticeable draughts?

Our team are well-versed in the detail related to these standards, so give us a call if you have any concerns or need assistance in getting up to standard on any of these areas.


Investment Seminar – Thursday 3 December

Normally, businesses would be looking to wind down for the festive season around this time, but I’m sure you can agree this has been no ordinary year! With low interest rates looking like they could possibly even dip into the negatives, there has been a surge of interest in other forms of investment.

Residential property is one form attracting many investors; in the third quarter of this year, investors were responsible for 26% of residential property purchases (the highest market share since 2016).

Economists are divided on when the Reserve Bank might reinstate home lending restrictions, but with the current interest rates, for now it is certainly the time to learn more and buy. That’s why we are holding an investment information evening in conjunction with Forsyth Barr’s Andrew Flexman, on Thursday 3 December at 6pm in the Lodge auction rooms.

Subjects we will be covering include:

  • A balanced look at the investment opportunities available
  • Risk vs return
  • Why having a balanced and diversified portfolio is important, particularly in uncertain times
  • Leaving money in the bank is not a prudent long-term strategy
  • Shares vs property - both are important
  • A look at the current state of the NZ real estate market
  • How property investment can be a driver for your own wealth creation - by using other people’s money
  • Location Location Location - why Hamilton?
  • Leverage your current equity to buy property

This is a great opportunity to take stock of your investment portfolio and look at a range of options for 2021. If you’re keen to attend, put the date in your diary and we’ll be sending out a full invitation soon.

See you next month,

David Kneebone

Director, Lodge City Rentals

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