Don’t believe everything you read in the media. That’s the advice from David Kneebone, Lodge City Rentals General Manager after an article claimed renters with property managers are worse off. That’s certainly not the case at Lodge City Rentals and David explains why!
My wife often tells me that reading ‘property’ news in the mainstream media is bad for my health. But like a moth to a flame I just can’t resist clicking on it.
After recovering from my initial surprise, I had a think about what the results were saying and why they aren’t relatable to us. Unfortunately for Kiwi renters, not all property management companies are created equal, and it would be a shame for the high achievers, like Lodge City Rentals, to be tarnished with the same brush as those who are letting their tenants down. Allow me to repair any damage done to our property managers’ brand.
A survey of 1062 Consumer members found that only 35 per cent of those renting through property managers rated their managers' service highly. In comparison, 54 per cent of those renting directly from landlords rated their landlords' service highly.
Here’s the problem. Property managers come in all different shapes and sizes. This study would suggest some are taking on too many tenancies and, as a result, are not satisfying their tenants. By contrast, most owner-managers only own one or two rentals and can give quite a lot of personal care to their tenants.
It’s also implied in the study results that property managers add "more bureaucracy" to situations and often take more time to obtain a landlord's permission before spending money on repairs.
Here’s why it’s different at Lodge
At Lodge City Rentals we are very particular about how many tenants our property managers take on. We specialise in personal care and encourage tenants to pick up the phone anytime they have a concern – and we deal with the issues immediately. We combine the personal care of the owner-manager, with the security and service of 16 property managers, 6 support staff and a team of trusted contractors.
On the job straight away
The study also states: “Compared to private landlords, property managers were more likely to take longer to get repairs done.”
But not at Lodge City Rentals. Our property managers get onto the job straight away. In fact, we often get repairs sorted before tenants even know they need repairing.
I remember last year one of our property managers was driving past a property he was managing and saw the weeds along the fence were getting a bit long. It just so happened he had some weed spray in the back of the car (don’t ask me why) so the property manager pulled over, sprayed the weeds and carried on. That’s just one example of the Lodge City Rentals property management service – going above and beyond the call of duty.
Other claims we can debunk
“The study said renters with property managers were more likely to be fearful about making a complaint, worrying they'd be evicted or face a rent rise.”
Not at Lodge City Rentals. Our tenancy selection process is thorough to begin with, so we don’t need to face such issues.
“Across the board, regardless of their landlord, almost a third of renters said their property doesn't have adequate heating or insulation.”
Again, not the case at Lodge City Rentals. As a landlord, there are obligations you must ensure your property or properties meet before you can rent them out. The Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill specifies and enforces standards that ensure warm and insulated homes.
At Lodge City Rentals, we ensure all our landlords provide quality homes for tenants to rent. We do so because better homes attract better tenants, better tenants stay longer, and better homes attract greater rent. It’s also the right thing to do.
“Nearly one in four reported their landlord would turn up unannounced, which is against the law.”
We certainly don’t break the law. Our property managers will give at least 24 hours’ notice before turning up to your property.
Bottom line – don’t judge a profession by a headline, and don’t get into bed with the wrong management company. There are good property managers and bad property managers. Make sure you choose yours carefully.