Welcome to the August 2020 edition of the Client e-Newsletter.
COVID-19 UPDATE from Auckland Property Management
As announced by the government we are now at Alert Level 3, which means that our offices in Auckland and on Waiheke Island are closed to the public until Level 3 restrictions have lifted. We have been here before so our team are fully equipped to work remotely. Should you need to contact your Residential, Commercial, or Body Corporate/Residents Society Managers please use the contacts details you have been using.
Visit the below links if you need to contact our team:
For information about COVID-19 Alert Levels visit: https://covid19.govt.nz/
Stay safe, be kind, follow the guidelines, practice physical distancing, and wash your hands!
From the team at Auckland Property Management
A Word from Howard – Taking Data Security Seriously
You may have read recently about a Wellington Property Management company who unfortunately had sensitive information leaked from their website. This information breach was all over the media and of course, taken very seriously. The breach made us take a step back to evaluate and audit our own procedures and data storage to see if we needed to make any changes or improvements.
As a property management company we deal with highly sensitive information every day, across many different software systems who have their own strong security procedures. Our systems are a key part of our day to day procedures to reduce the risks of property under management. We are aware that it is highly important to protect sensitive data which is why we enlisted the help of an independent specialist to audit and test our systems to see where we could beef up our security if we need to. I can confirm that we don’t store private data in our website and the initial results of this investigation work show that we do have a very robust system with only minor tweaks required.
The software programmes we currently use are the leaders in the industry and incorporate the best protection possible. I wanted to share with you that we, as a company, are leaving no stone unturned and taking all steps to ensure the security and privacy of details provided to us through our roles in residential, commercial, body corporate, and holiday property management.
As part of our systems review we are also seeing if there are areas we can increase our efficiency, activities like updating software programmes, updating our service offerings such as Owners Portals, working from home, using technology systems such as Zoom, all of which help to ensure we are providing the best service we can to you our clients.
As always, if you wish to discuss anything, whether it’s about our data protection or the management of your property, then please feel free to contact me anytime.
Stay safe and well.
Auckland Property Management
APM Calling Time on Cheque Payments & ASB Branches closing
In line with our bank’s own policy, from the 1st of April 2021 we will stop accepting cheques as a form of payment. If you are currently making payments to APM for rent/levies/invoices by cheque, you will need to organise another form of payment method in time for the 1st of April next year. Check out some of the other payment methods here.
As we bank with ASB, its also important to note that some ASB branches are closing therefore you may have to visit an alternative branch if you make payments directly to the bank. More information on ASB bank closures can be found on their website here: https://www.asb.co.nz/contact-us/branch-changes.html
Residential Property Management
Acceptance is key to success – We’ve got this!
The recent passing of the reforms of the RTA has brought with it considerable concern and dismay to property managers and landlords alike. Several of the reforms will no doubt make our roles as property managers and landlords even harder and impact the already delicate balance of realistic expectations for all parties involved. It is incredibly frustrating that the powers-that-be did not listen to the many, many landlord advocates including ourselves, who waged a long and hard campaign against some of the proposed reforms, personally this is the most disappointing aspect for me. As an industry, there is no doubt we don’t like or agree with some of these new reforms, so what do we do now? I have witnessed the negativity in many recent articles and yes it’s tempting to wallow around in the indignation at what feels unfair, ridiculous and wrong however, if you think about it, what’s really changed? Is this the first time we have had to deal with changes and new onerous obligations on landlords? Oh no, this is not our first rodeo at all.
General Manager – Property Management
Auckland Property Management
Importance of Insuring Rental Properties
Have you got adequate insurance for your rental property?
We recently came across a sad story where a fire caused 80% damage to a rental property (not one of ours) which the landlord thought was insured and then instead needed to pay for the cost of repairs.
It’s a good time to reflect on the kind of insurance you have. Is it specific for landlords? What kind of cover does it give you and your property? Talk to your Property Manager if you need some guidance on insurance policies.
Owners Portal Update
Did you know that you can access past statements, transaction history, and portfolio information online at anytime? We have an online Owner’s Portal available to all residential rental owners. The portal has recently been updated so logging in is now easier than ever – if you did not receive an email about setting up your new login details please email [email protected]
Click here to log into the Owner’s Portal.
Please note your User Name will now be your primary email address associated with your rental Owner account.
Making a Difference Fund
This year has been especially hard for some tenants and landlords who have unfortunately been through some troubling times. Auckland Property Management have a ‘Making a Difference Fund’ where we are able to provide some small relief in certain situations illustrated by a couple of scenarios recently:
Some tenants of ours who also own a complex provided accommodation for those without homes during the COVID-19 lockdown. They have been totally overwhelmed with stories of hardship and are helping people to re-establish themselves in the community.
Sending a bunch of flowers as a small gesture to say thank you to our tenants was a no-brainer and they were thrilled!
We had a lovely family of seven from Overseas tenanting a property while they were here for one year to teach. Unfortunately due to COVID-19 funds from their scholarship were stopped by their government and they had to sell their belongings to leave the country.
Property Manager Bev found them with only a few blankets on the floor to sleep on! An amazing couple who attended a viewing allowed them to use their spare bed, blankets, and pillows in order to keep warm before they left. Bev brought them NZ souvenirs to take back with them and we organised a gift card to help with food, they were so grateful.
Elite Partner with Tenancy.co.nz
We are proud to announce that Auckland Property Management is now an Elite Partner of Tenancy.co.nz. This means that we have seamless access to background and credit reporting, compliant online tenancy applications and agreements, and also access to tools and training for our Property Managers.
Body Corporate Management
Body Corporate Market Snapshot
Although we are now back in lockdown, we have seen a noticeable upswing in the number of apartments and townhouses being listed for sale during June and July when compared to the same period in 2019. The subsequent number of sales has doubled so the apartment market seemed to have been gathering momentum before Auckland entered Alert Level 3 last week.
Consequentially, there has been a noticeable pattern emerge in that many of the new owners are investors who are self-managing their tenanted units, rather than through an independent property manager. We would encourage those new owners to visit the Tenancy Services website so they are fully informed and compliant with legislation such as Healthy Homes, the recently updated Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2020 and are abiding by the Residential Tenancies Act 1986. If you are an owner of a tenanted property and need help to manage your property, feel free to contact our residential division.
We are also noticing a trend towards owners switching to long term rentals and some clients changing their Operational Rules accordingly at recent AGM’s. Owners should check with their Body Corporate Manager about the Operational Rules and how this impacts on their ability to offer Airbnb options in individual buildings.
General Manager – Body Corporate
Auckland Property Management
Who Loves Waiheke Island?
Many of you may not be aware that Auckland Property Management has a holiday accommodation division based on Waiheke Island Waiheke Escapes. Many 100’s of people have enjoyed staying on Waiheke Island and without exaggeration enjoying the sun, surf, vineyards and restaurants from one of our holiday homes.
One area where COVID-19 has affected Auckland Property Management has been the need for us to relay bad news to our Landlords that their holiday guests will not be able to come. Yes holidays cancelled and refunds/vouchers all round.
COVID-19 stopped people making that special well planned adventure to Waiheke!
The good news is that with domestic holidays in New Zealand now being the only way to experience that much needed get-away, the enquiries for houses in the Waiheke Escapes portfolio have been in strong demand. Who wouldn’t like an ‘overseas’ trip to Waiheke!
The demand is such that we are urgently looking for more homes to offer potential holiday makers. So no matter how big or how small, we may well have a holiday maker looking for that opportunity. If you have a home on Waiheke or know of someone who does then please contact either of our Managers below to learn how we can manage those processes for you:
Welcome to new properties!
We welcome the below new properties to Waiheke Escapes.
Don’t forget that if you are in a position to travel domestically then Waiheke Escapes is currently running a stay for 3, pay for 2 promotion until October 22 2020 on participating properties so make the most of reduced rates!
Congratulations to Stacey Hale who in the last few months has celebrated 15 years with the company! Stacey was rewarded with flights and accommodation for a getaway in New Zealand as a thank you for her commitment over the years. Thanks again Stacey!
We are lucky enough to welcome multiple new faces to our team here at Auckland Property Management, meet…
7 Questions With…Jenny Mettam
Jenny Mettam, Body Corporate Manager
Q. How long have you been in the Body Corporate Management industry?
Just over two years.
Q. What occurs in a typical day as a Body Corporate Manager?
A typical day includes emails, phone calls, typing, bills, conversations, debating, site visits, contractors, rodents, leaks, learning, advice, accounts, minutes, agendas, budgets, meetings, driving and more.
Q. What piece of advice would you give to an Owner living in a Body Corporate?
I would advise owners to make the effort and get on with your fellow owners & neighbours.
Q. What is your favourite meal to cook/eat?
Hmmm, I love anything that is cooked for me. I’m not fussy!
Q. What is one goal you hope to achieve in your lifetime?
I’d like to run the Great Wall of China Marathon – it’s on my bucket list and was planning on attending in 2021 but the COVID-19 pandemic will delay that.
Q. What makes you feel proud?
My kids make me proud, my glasses are not rose coloured so obviously not all the time but on a whole I am super proud of the young adults they have become and what they have achieved in their life. I’m also proud of myself for stepping way out of my comfort zone for some life choices I have made over the years and surviving. Lastly, I’m proud to be part APM and feel lucky be surrounded by such a lovely team.
Q. What was the last thing you binge watched?
Tiger King – watched it all in a day during lock down, I’m normally not much of a TV person.