In my role as Business Development Manager, I talk to a lot of prospective landlords – many of whom are first time investors.  Conveying the importance of ongoing repairs and maintenance is part of those conversations.

Our role as a professional property manager is to protect your asset, minimize your risk and maximise the return on your investment.

Here at The Rent Shop Nelson, we work closely with an approved group of contractors to ensure that when we need to arrange work on your property, it is done in a timely manner, by a knowledgeable professional, at a reasonable cost.

I often get asked by landlords whether they can arrange their own contractors to complete works and I always strongly recommend against this for the following reasons:

Trusted Professionals

The Rent Shop Nelson has a list of approved contractors who can be trusted to address maintenance issues quickly and effectively.  We have built established relationships with professionals because we can vouch for the quality of their work and their knowledge and expertise in their field.

Sadly, there are also less reputable tradespeople and providers, who will seek to exploit customers by offering ‘cheap solutions’ and these people often have no qualification or training to do the job properly.   Beware the dreaded cowboys…

Paul Brockie – owner of Absolute Energy and an executive committee member of the Insulation Association of NZ – recently highlighted an example where his firm was contacted to install ‘polythene only’ to a local rental property. A strange request in the first place, it turned out that Installers – who had been trained by a national insulation company – had put in underfloor insulation (very poorly) but didn’t know how to install polythene correctly.   Paul’s team had to go in and install the polythene but also re-install the underfloor insulation as the initial installation was so poor.

Paul has also been made aware of a network of rogue installers around the country in New Zealand, who are stealing product then installing at ridiculously low prices.  Whilst this seems to be restricted to the main metros at present it does reinforce the importance of being 100% sure you are using trained, qualified professionals on managed rental properties.

Cost

As a result of the close working relationship we have with our contractors they offer us discounted rates on their hourly charge out fees and products, keeping our landlords costs down and increasing the return on their investment.

As above, also be wary that if two quotes are wildly different for the same work, check that you are comparing like with like, and that the company can provide evidence of their training and qualification.

Accountability

We constantly review the performance of our contractors and keep them accountable for the work they complete for us giving our client’s peace of mind.

Insurance

As a landlord, ensuring that your risk is adequately insured is extremely important.  As a minimum, all rented properties should have some form of Landlord Insurance in place.  Standard home buildings insurance will not cover you for damage caused by tenants, loss of rent and contamination, etc. and you could be placing yourself at serious financial risk without the correct cover.

Using professional, qualified contractors who follow current building code regulations, follow best health and safety practice and can certificate their work, means that your investment property will be maintained to a higher standard and reduce the risk of claims being rejected by your insurer.

As an approved property manager by Real Landlord Insurance New Zealand, we can offer our clients access to their landlord specific insurance cover and if you would like to know more about their policy options, please visit www.reallandlord.co.nz   As part of our Rent Safe property management service, we can offer both a rent guarantee and landlord insurance at a very competitive price.

 

To summarize, as with anything that turns to custard, the benefit of hindsight is a wonderful thing.  Understand your risk and do your due diligence.  At The Rent Shop Nelson, we deal with reputable, qualified professionals, and hold them accountable for the work they complete – both from a quality and cost perspective.  We have you and your property’s best interests at heart and are committed to helping you maximise the return on your investment.

Author

Julian Kett

Business Development Manager – Nelson