Welcome to the June 2020 edition of the Client Newsletter.
A Word from Howard – After COVID-19
As we are back to Alert Level 1 all New Zealanders can be very pleased with our position in respect to the control of the COVID-19 virus and the speed we stopped its spread. No new cases for the last 20 days and zero active cases – a huge journey but very successful!!
What we all need to do now is as quickly as possible help get our economy up and running again at a significant level.
I believe this will be harder and take much longer than the time taken to lock New Zealand down and that sectors sensitive to health concerns such as tourism, entertainment, hospitality and education will find it more difficult to get back to where we were in January and February of this year.
The depth of the “hole” in the economy once the wage subsidy ends is unknown but its arrival is now predicted to heavily impact some sectors of our economy later this year. New Zealand is full of resilient, hardworking, innovative people ready to kick-start the economy again and I believe we will see new businesses, new jobs, and new ways of supporting our economy as we enter a ‘new’ normal.
The good news for Auckland Property Management’s clients is that housing New Zealand’s population will always be a priority and is already receiving quick and positive responses. I am of the opinion that housing, particularly here in Auckland, will still be in short supply and that COVID-19 not only highlighted the need for more housing, but also well maintained housing which you our clients provide us with.
Our commercial property clients may have observed that some commentators have noted that commercial property is a “bit of a train wreck” (John Key article on Herald Premium).
I do not accept this notion. Sure, many rental adjustments have had to be made that have impacted on both landlords and tenants and further adjustments in rental levels and rental terms will continue to be made to see some buildings maintain their occupancy levels, but I don’t believe we will see large numbers of permanently empty buildings.
These last 20 weeks have not been plain sailing for anybody. I know all the team here at Auckland Property Management have appreciated the help, support and encouragement that we have received from our clients and suppliers. Our Auckland Property Managers will continue to stay in touch with you as we work through the issues and prepare ourselves for the “new” normal.
Auckland Property Management is now ready for the next 20 weeks and beyond.
From all of us at Auckland Property Management we wish you, your family, and your businesses well as we move to the next level.
Thank you for your continued support.
Auckland Property Management
Residential Property Management
The Complex Effect on Landlords
So exactly how is COVID-19 really effecting Landlords? I was interested in results from a recent investor survey by NZPIF which stated that 53% of those surveyed had no change to their income during lockdown, however that leaves 47% who did! Those on the outside of the property investment industry may well think that income change would be solely due to loss of rent however it can be much more complex than that. Landlords are everyday people who like many others are facing financial difficulties of their own in many forms because of COVID-19. Many landlords have complex portfolios and were affected by multiple different losses of income including share portfolios, commercial rental income, residential rental income, plus they have personal mortgages, job losses or wage reductions just like others effected.
At Auckland Property Management, residential losses were varied as:
- 90% of tenants remained in place during lockdown and continued to pay their rent as normal.
* 10% of tenants asked for a rent reduction which were individually assessed and consulted with landlords.
- 5% of properties were stuck vacant during lockdown.
- 4% of tenants were granted a reduced rent or a deferred by their landlord with a small proportion of those deciding to move out of the property.
- 2% of tenants stopped paying rent altogether for a short period of time.
General Manager – Property Management
Auckland Property Management
Healthy Homes Statement of Compliance Deadline Extended
The deadline for landlords to include detailed information in their tenancy agreements about how their property meets/does not meet the Healthy Homes Standards, has now been extended from 1 July 2020 to 1 December 2020. The extended deadline however will not affect any of the dates by which rental properties have to comply with the Healthy Homes Standards. The delayed deadline only refers to the requirement for a detailed statement of current compliance. The remaining deadlines are not being changed.
Refer A Friend Promotion
If you are a current client and refer a friend to us and they become a client of Auckland Property Management, you get a $250 Westfield Voucher in appreciation of your recommendation.
So if you have a friend, relative, business associate, anyone really looking for help with their rental or investment property refer them to us today and enjoy the rewards. *Some conditions apply
Body Corporate Management
Reflections of Body Corporate Living
As we settle back in to Alert level 1 and bask in the warm feeling of having virtually eliminated the Coronavirus from the community, we should also take a moment to realise that we all have had to confront new constraints, new perspectives and new realities over the past few months.
The world will not be the same after this but this has given us the opportunity to imagine how we may want to do things better. We have had the opportunity to reflect on our community living arrangements and their common spaces and our property investments more broadly.
What was it like living through COVID-19 for you in your Apartment, your Unit or your Townhouse? If you are tenanting your property, are you up to date with all you need to know regarding the Healthy Home changes or the information that you should be providing to your Property Manager?
Has your Body Corporate, Cross Lease or Residents Society got a firm handle and set of procedures in place in dealing with Airbnb requests from owners in terms of what’s allowed in your building/complex and how you propose to manage this through your current Rules?
General Manager – Body Corporate
Auckland Property Management
Temporary Amendment to the Unit Titles Act 2010
Due to COVID-19, the Government sought a temporary amendment to the Unit Titles Act 2010 (UTA) to allow body corporate members to attend meetings via audio or audio-visual link.
As of Friday the 15th May, a Bill to introduce an amendment to the UTA remote meetings was given royal assent and is now law as an Act of Parliament.
It’s important to note the amendment will end 12 weeks from the expiry of the Epidemic Preparedness (COVID-19) Notice 2020, at which point section 88 must be read as if it was back in its original form.
Commercial Property Management
Property Law Act Temporary Amendment
Further support has been announced for businesses that continue to be affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, as the broader economy becomes one of the most open in the world following the success of New Zealand’s public health efforts.
The Government has agreed to temporarily amend the Property Law Act, inserting a clause in commercial leases requiring a fair reduction in rent where a business has suffered a loss of revenue because of COVID-19.
If you are in a position to be able to travel then add Waiheke Island to your destination wish list!
Waiheke Escapes has a winter promotion running from now until 22 October 2020 so when you stay for three nights at one of our participating properties you only pay for two.
7 Questions With…Toni Heath
Toni Heath, Business Development Manager
Q. How long have you been in the property management industry?
15 years in South Africa and 6 years in new Zealand – from commercial leasing to urban development and residential property management.
Q. What is your favourite thing about being a business development manager?
Helping landlords to maximise their rent income and finding the best tenants for their property … and meeting people from all walks of life!
Q. What is a simple thing property owners can do to help their property stand out in the rental market?
Presentation! Do the small things to showcase your property in its best possible light such as buying new curtains or planting pretty flowers in garden beds.
Q. What is the process of a rental appraisal and who would you recommend get one?
For a rental appraisal we conduct a rent market comparison on similar properties across a number of platforms, as well as consider factors such as location, features and benefits, property condition and current vacancy rates.
We recommend most investors get a rent appraisal whether for bank purposes, to assess current market demands or to consider yield when purchasing a new investment property
Q. If you can travel anywhere in NZ, where is a place you would like to go and why?
Stewart Island at the time of year when the southern lights (Aurora Australis) are visible.
Q. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever heard?
Always communicate honestly and with transparency.
Q. What is your favourite restaurant/place to eat in Auckland and why?
Carmen Jones in K Road because their brunch menu is delicious (my favourite is the hummus for Syria), not to mention the chilli hot chocolate!