Welcome to the June 2021 edition of the APM Client e-Newsletter
A Word from Howard – Keeping up with Changes to Industry Regulations
How do property owners keep up to date with all the industry changes? With legislation updates across multiple property types such as Residential, Commercial, and Body Corporate, it’s no wonder investors often turn to professionals to relieve them of the worries and risks that come with the management of property investments.
Residential rental property has seen a raft of legislative changes in recent years such as Healthy Homes (with a major deadline coming up next month), Insurance Statement compliance, bright line test being changed to 10 years, asbestos management, tax changes, and of course the pandemic came with its own legislative updates.
Commercial property has had its own changes since the pandemic. Global workplace practices have changed dramatically and companies across the world have been looking to reduce their office footprint which in turn has decreased the demand for office spaces. Some commercial businesses have not survived and tenants have exited leases or negotiated rent reductions. These trends have shaken up the industry here in New Zealand but other areas of commercial property seem to have weathered the pandemic storm a bit better.
Bodies Corporate may soon have changes in legislation with the amendments to the Unit Titles (Strengthening Body Corporate Governance and Other Matters) Amendment Bill currently at Select Committee stage. The proposed amendments will create a big change for Body Corporate Managers, Committee Members and Owners in the way Body Corporates are run. Our Body Corporate General Manager Steven Garland is touching on this topic here.
I have spent many years in the real estate and property management industry so I know change is always upon us and often is needed. I especially appreciated the work our team did when overnight in 2020 there were legislation changes that our managers in all divisions had to adapt to….and adapt we did! Attending training sessions, equipping themselves with documentation, receiving industry updates, getting insights from industry bodies, are just some of the things we do so that we can be ahead of the game and be across legislative changes that affect real estate. With good systems and processes in place the team at Auckland Property Management can guide you through any changes coming up later in 2021 and 2022. We have had an unwavering focus on reducing our risk for 30 years and you can be confident that we will continue to act in your best interests as further changes arise.
Until next time.
Auckland Property Management
An Update with Bill
Stay Calm and Carry On
A recent overseas visitor to our office (yes – we still get one or two of those) commented about how calm our office seemed compared to other offices in our industry that he has visited in both Australia and New Zealand. Howard and I are proud of the level of experience in our team which is reflected in that state of calm in the office. Dramas happen every day but almost nothing phases our people – they have seen and heard it all before and know how to handle almost every crisis. If they don’t, then one of their colleagues does. They work well together and have got each other’s backs.
I’m pleased to report that our Residential, Commercial, Body Corporate and Waiheke Escapes Holiday Rentals portfolios are all in growth mode. Our Residential portfolio did take a bit of a hit last year as Kiwi ex-pats returned from overseas and re-occupied their homes and some owners chose to sell due to pandemic related financial pressures. We have however regained all of the lost ground and now have as many residential properties under management as we did a year ago. As I write this we are concluding deals which will add a further 180 residential properties to that line up plus 8 new body corporates, 4 new commercial properties and 2 additional holiday rentals.
Despite what you may hear, the investment property market remains alive and well. According to a recent talk by Tony Alexander, house prices have increased on average 7.8% per year since 1992. With that sort of investment performance, the extension to the bright-line rule for new purchases is hardly a concern. Why would you want to sell? Tax deductibility of interest is also a bit on a non-issue while interest rates remain so low but, if you’re really worried about that, you can always diversify into commercial property. If anything else worries you, just talk to us – our unwavering focus on reducing your risk goes back 30 years. We’re calm and collected.
Chief Operating Officer
Auckland Property Management
Residential Property Management
Upcoming Legislation Deadlines
We’re nearly there, 1 July 2021, the next big deadline date in the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act legislation. It’s been a busy seven months for the property management team with the passing of the 1 December 2020 compliance statement deadline, and other Residential Tenancies Act changes that came into effect from 11 February 2021 (you can view more on this here). As a reminder on the legislation, from 1 July this year, any new or renewed tenancy must comply with all healthy homes standards within 90 days.
The next deadline in legislation is Phase Three in the Residential Tenancies Act Amendments. Phase Three legislation changes are currently dependent on regulations being developed around family violence and tenancies. Once regulations have been developed tenants experiencing family violence will be able to terminate a tenancy without financial penalty, and, a landlord will be able to issue a 14 day notice to terminate the tenancy if the tenant has assaulted the landlord, the owner, a member of their family, or the landlord’s property manager. Hopefully both of these situations won’t appear on our horizon. More information on the changes can be found here: https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/law-changes/
Thank you all so much for working with us to ensure your properties meet compliance and changes in legislation go smoothly, we appreciate it hasn’t always been an easy road for any of us, however we believe legislation changes should now settle and we can get on with managing your property.
General Manager – Property Management
Auckland Property Management
Recent Webinars and Recordings
Preparing properties for Winter
With the winter season now in full swing it’s important to remember that properties may need extra care in preparation for the possibility of worse weather and colder conditions.
- Gutters, spouting and down pipes should be cleared to allow good water flow.
- Roof checking – check for overhanging trees and any damage causing leaks.
- Do heating/ventilation systems need an annual maintenance check?
- If your property has a fireplace it may need to have the chimney swept or the fireplace itself checked in line with insurance requirements.
Your property manager will advise you of any winter maintenance requirements as they arise at your rental investment property.
Watercare service charge increasing
Please be aware that from 1 July 2021, Watercare water and wastewater charges in Auckland will increase by 7%, for most households this increase equates to about an extra $1.50 per week.
For more information on the increase, visit the Watercare website here.
Body Corporate Management
Key Changes in the Unit Titles Amendment Bill
Thank you to the Chairs and Committee Members who attended the Body Corporate function recently at our offices in Epsom. For those unable to attend I have reproduced the background to some of the proposed changes to the Unit Titles Act that were outlined by our two legal experts – Clinton Baker from Price Baker Berridge and Liza Fry-Irvine from Liza Fry-Irvine Law. It’s always good to get some vision on any likely changes and we will continue to keep you updated as things develop, however it is not anticipated that the new legislation will be enacted until 2023 at the earliest.
Introduction/Background – The journey to the Unit Titles Amendment Bill
- 2015 – Past Minister Nikki Kaye lobbied for law reform under the National lead government and the UTA Working Group was formed.
- 2016 – Ministry of Building and Housing issued discussion document and took submissions.
- 2017 – Change in government to Labour lead – no further action taken.
- While in opposition Nikki Kaye continued to lobby and the current Bill was drafted and entered in the Members Bill ballot – it was pulled from the ballot in mid-2020.
- March 2021 – The Bill passed its first reading in Parliament.
- April 2021 – Submissions called for from the Select Committee.
- Next steps – Select Committee reviews submissions – makes recommendations to Parliament. The Bill is then likely to be amended and presented to Parliament for 2nd and 3rd reading – if it passes it becomes law with a deferred commencement date.
General Manager – Body Corporate
Auckland Property Management
Commercial Property Management
Commercial Property Maintenance
Maintaining your building is a non-negotiable necessity when investing in commercial property. In addition to requirements set out in your lease, local and regional council regulations govern the maintenance needs of commercial buildings, and as a property investor, you want to make sure that your commercial property is up to standard to attract and keep great commercial tenants.
Appreciating the direct relationship between maintaining your building and enhancing its market value is something that property managers understand well. We implement building maintenance procedures aimed at ensuring your risks in commercial property investment are reduced or removed. When we manage commercial property our owners receive:
- A property specific maintenance schedule
- A property specific hazard identification list
- Six monthly property inspection and a report following inspection
- Maintenance budget and cash flow planning
Having been in the property management business for 30 years, we also have a large network of trade professionals who carry public liability insurance, are Worksafe accredited or can provide site specific health and safety plans.
If you have concerns about your commercial property maintenance or would like to discuss your commercial property, then feel free to contact our Commercial team today for a FREE Commercial Property Management consultation.
Upcoming Commercial Webinar
We will be hosting our next webinar on Commercial property, if you have any questions about commercial property that you would like answered in a webinar, please feel free to send your questions to [email protected].
Take advantage of our Winter special and book your Waiheke escape!
If you book to stay with Waiheke Escapes Holiday Accommodation for three nights between now and 21 October 2021, you will only pay for two! The perfect deal to use especially with the school holidays coming up next month.
Offer is only applicable for participating properties so check them out on our website and book direct online at www.waihekeescapes.co.nz
See you at the beach!
Celebrating Staff Anniversary
Congratulations to Tim Harrington, one of our Residential property managers who recently celebrated his 5 year working anniversary with us.
Thanks Tim for all that you do!
Welcome to the team Suzanne
We have a new residential accounts administrator in our team, meet Suzanne Kumar. Suzanne joins Auckland Property Management after several years in property management accounts and financial roles. She is a great addition to our residential team.
7 Questions With…James Bangerter
Q 1. How long have you been working in the property management industry?
I’ve been in the industry for 16 years starting as a maintenance coordinator before moving on to a PM role and then a General Manager for two Residential Property Management companies, but I always wanted to become a Commercial Property Manager.
Q2. What do you love about working with commercial property and why?
I love dealing with the diversity of clients and their businesses. I get to see how different each industry is and how each one is affected by various things, I learn something new every day.
Q 3. What would be your piece of advice to someone looking to invest in commercial property?
Find a good property that tenants are going to love then make sure you have a robust and fair lease that both the landlord and tenant understand right from the start. This saves a lot of arguments later on and keeps your tenant there long term. Also have the property professionally managed, it pays.
Q 4. What was your first job?
I can’t really remember back that far. I do remember working for a spray painter for a day which was enough for me. My first long term job was owning a commercial carpet cleaning business, I only did that for about 18 years though.
Q 5. What is a favourite song of yours?
In my younger days it was always Jokerman by Bob Dylan but now I don’t really have any one favourite. I’m a big Rolling Stones fan but recently I’ve taken to Let it Be by the Beatles. It’s got a great message
Q 6. What is something you love doing outside of work?
In the winter, nothing. In the summer I love coaching cricket which I’ve been doing since my eldest boy was five. He’s 14 this year.
Q 7. Where is your favourite place to go to in New Zealand and why?
Anywhere on the Coromandel in summer and good old Rotorua from autumn to spring, there’s always something to new to do there.