Welcome to the October 2020 edition of the Client e-Newsletter.
A Word From Howard – Labour’s Housing Plan
With the election results showing Labour is the Government for the next three years, it’s important to know what they are proposing to do to keep the housing sector moving. As the management company for a wide range of property (residential, body corporate, commercial and Waiheke holiday homes) we are particularly interested in how Labour plan to tackle housing and create positive impacts on the industry, as we know this will impact not just us, but you as our clients as well as tenants we manage.
Earlier this month, Labour announced their plan to maintain and support new construction during COVID-19 and economic uncertainty. This plan aims to build on the work they have done during the last three years and includes:
- A five-point plan to maintain construction during COVID-19 which includes a Residential Development Response Fund, delivering over 18,000 public houses, support for first home buyers, progressing the Construction Sector Accord, and removing barriers to building homes.
- A Government-led progressive homeownership scheme.
- Partnering with Māori through MAIHI to support the implementation of the Homelessness Action Plan, and Iwi Māori pathway for progressive home ownership.
- Supporting energy efficiency, including through a new mandatory energy efficiency certificate to support homeowners to reduce costs.
- Regulating property managers to protect landlords and tenants.
- Update several pieces of legislation including the Unit Titles Act 2010, the Residential Tenancies Act, and the Resource Management Act 1991.
All in all this is a very ambitious and challenging plan. You can read more about Labour’s plan here.
There are a few points from Labour’s plan that I would like to particularly highlight:
Labour intend to introduce property management industry standards, a Code of Conduct and a licensing regime. Unfortunately the industry was deregulated in 2008. At the time I was a member of three organisations that put forward submissions to retain a regulated industry. Regulation of the property management industry is something that Auckland Property Management supports and looks forward to being implemented. We joined the ‘A Call for Change’ campaign last year by REINZ who called on the Government to formally review the industry and we are pleased to see this is being addressed.
I am also pleased to see that the Government is proposing to remove barriers to residential construction and investing in infrastructure and replacement of the Resource Management Act 1991 is on the agenda. This will have a positive impact on the housing sector as it’s no secret we have a housing crisis, particularly here in Auckland. According to their plan, only recently has the number of new dwelling consents exceeded the levels reached back in 2005. We still need more housing and their plan aims to encourage more to be built. If you know anyone with a property to rent, or you have one yourself not managed by us, please let us know!
There are a few other areas in the plan that our General Managers Celia Burbery (Residential Property Management) and Steven Garland (Body Corporate) will be discussing further so do make sure you read their thoughts below on their respective sectors.
Taking into account all that has been absorbed and occurred with COVID-19 and 2020 in general, I’m sure that any changes coming our way in the next three years will be taken in our stride! The last twelve months has shown that the team can handle anything here at Auckland Property Management. We will be working hard to minimise any negative impacts on you our clients.
In this month’s newsletter we have included many links to important and informative articles and ideas. Plenty of reading for all, enjoy.
Auckland Property Management
Residential Property Management
Next to Orange and Opposite of Violet – RED!
We now know who will be shaping our next three years so let’s talk about what Labour have projected and how they may impact our industry relating specifically to Licensing and Compliance.
Consumer NZ have advised “that despite the fact property managers have the keys to a person’s house, collect thousands in rent each week and access to personal financial information about tenants, there are no professional standards they have to meet.” This is true and I do agree with having standards for all property managers including government and local body providers. I am confident that we already meet these requirements in our existing best practice. We have been acknowledged amongst our peers for having high standards of integrity, skills and professionalism so we have that one nailed – we already have an audited trust account. We’re happy to be licensed and will assume there will be credits for some of our property managers here who have already been filling this role to a high level of competency for 10, 15, 20 and 25 years – You can see that APM is a great place to work and you are in the hands of experienced professionals.
General Manager – Property Management
Auckland Property Management
The Importance of Annual Gas Servicing
If you have a rental property that has gas appliances (such as hot water heaters, heating systems, cooking appliances) then they should be serviced annually as part of your general maintenance, especially if those gas appliances are used daily.
Often insurance policies and manufacturers’ warranties require annual gas servicing so it’s important to keep on top of it for the safety of those in the property.
Key points to get your gas appliances serviced:
- To ensure they are safe to use and there is no gas leaks or carbon monoxide build up.
- To ensure the appliances are working efficiently.
- To align with insurance company policies.
- To ensure the appliance or product is under warranty and is in line with the manufacturers guarantees. If there are any issues, a manufacturer will ask when it was last serviced.
Talk to your Property Manager about the servicing of your gas appliances and be sure to make it part of your maintenance plan.
Don’t miss out on your $5,000 deductions – This is important!
Due to COVID-19 the low-value asset write off threshold was increased from $500 to $5,000 until 21 March 2021. With the Healthy Homes deadline around the corner this means that big costs that would have depreciated over the years can now be claimed as long as they are under $5,000.
Property Accountant Anthony Appleton-Tattersall discusses the deductions and what it means for residential investors in more detail here.
RTA Amendment Act – Property Fixture changes
The RTA has been amended to include the ability for tenants to request the installation of fixtures such as TV brackets, baby gates, heating racks and picture hooks.
View the video from Tenancy.co.nz as they outline minor changes tenants can make to a rental property.
Residential Tenancies Act Reforms
The Residential Tenancies Act is going through some changes and as a residential rental property owner or tenant, you need to be aware of what these changes are. Most of the changes will come into effect in February 2021
Body Corporate Management
Housing Policy under Labour
The Labour Government have signalled a number of Housing initiatives in this term of Government, including reviewing and amending the Unit Titles Act 2010. So as they relate to Bodies Corporate, let’s take a quick look at the proposals.
The Unit Titles review will focus on identifying more cost effective ways of managing Unit Title complexes, enabling management systems that are proportional to the size of the complex, ensuring the planning and funding of maintenance projects is transparent and proportionate and improving the disclosure regime to prospective buyers.
For an insight in what this may actually end up looking like, it may be helpful to take a look at the ‘Unit Titles (Strengthening Body Corporate Governance and Other matters) Amendment Bill’ for some background click here to read the bill. APM fully support the review and improving the UTA. We look forward to contributing to the process via our representation on the Executive Committee of the New Zealand branch of Strata Community Association (SCA) who have previously been strong advocates to both the National and Labour led Governments.
General Manager – Body Corporate
Auckland Property Management
Unit Titles Act Amendment for Virtual Meeting Attendance Extended
The Prime Minister has renewed the Epidemic Preparedness (Covid-19) Notice 2020 meaning the amendment to the Unit Title Act 2010 that allows virtual/remote meeting attendance (under section 88 of the UTA), has also been extended.
Legislation for remote meetings ends 12 weeks from the new expiry date (23 December 2020) of the Notice (as per section 88(5) UTA), this means at this stage, virtual meetings can be held until 16 March 2021 – although the Notice can be revoked earlier than that so ensure you keep up to date with any changes by talking to your Body Corporate Manager.
Read the latest update here: https://www.gazette.govt.nz/notice/id/2020-go2681
You can read the updates to the Unit Titles Act here: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2010/0022/latest/DLM1160665.html
Commercial Property Management
Commercial Management Weathers the Storm
The last six to eight months has seen a huge impact on the commercial property industry with most tenants and landlords being effected in some way by the COVID-19 situation. From APM’s perspective we are glad to see that the majority of our clients have been able to weather the storm and so far survived the period. We know it has not been easy for most but thankfully we have managed to broker negotiations between tenants and landlords so rent relief can be granted where needed which has helped tremendously in getting businesses through this difficult time. This negotiating between parties and an overall increase in assisting our tenants and landlords with advice and budgeting has increased the Commercial Division’s workload, and I am very proud with how we have adapted as much as our clients have through this time.
Team Leader – Commercial Property Management
Auckland Property Management
Waiheke Escapes Referral Special
Waiheke Escapes is offering a $250 voucher for new holiday house referrals. If you know anyone who is thinking of renting their property for holiday accommodation or you’d like to explore renting your own property, contact us now. We’d love to hear from you!
Welcome to our amazing new properties
We welcome the below new properties to Waiheke Escapes.
Congratulations to Melissa Wharerau for celebrating her 10 year work anniversary with Auckland Property Management. Melissa started with us in 2010 as a Property Manager and last year joined our Body Corporate Division as a Body Corporate Manager.
Congratulations also to Kristin Xu, our Business Manager, who recently celebrated her 5 year working anniversary with Auckland Property Management.
Well done Melissa and Kristin, thanks for your dedication over the years!
Win a copy of the children’s book ‘Andy the Anxious Ant’
Our lovely receptionist Stephanie is also a published author having recently written and illustrated her children’s book ‘Andy the Anxious Ant’.
‘Andy the Anxious Ant’ discusses anxiety and how to overcome it day to day. It’s both written and illustrated by the talented Stephanie and tells the tale of a small ant who tries to overcome anxiety on a school trip, there are also some cool ant facts and a little maze as well!
This year has been hard on many people, and children especially may have a heightened anxiety/ awareness and a fun little book they can relate to may help.
We have two copies of ‘Andy The Anxious Ant’ to give away, if you would like to go in the draw, comment on our Facebook Post, Like our Facebook Post, and Like our Facebook page, and we could be sending you a little treat!
Terms and Conditions:
You need to be a current Auckland Property Management Tenant or Owner (Body Corporate, Residential, Commercial, Waiheke Escapes) to be eligible to win a copy of the book.
Competition closes 5pm, Thursday 5 November and the winner will be notified on Friday 6 November via Facebook Messenger/Email.
If you would like to purchase a copy of the book you can do so online here: https://daxokidsbooks.bigcartel.com/product/andytheanxiousant
If you live outside of New Zealand and would like to purchase the book, you can do so online here: https://www.daxocorp.com/andytheanxiousant
7 Questions With…Jack Malpass
Q. How long have you been with Auckland Property Management?
I have worked at Auckland Property Management for 18 months.
Q. What occurs in a typical day as a Commercial Property Manager?
Responding to tenant and owner concerns, budget management, lease preparations/negotiations, filing photos/information and building/maintaining client relationships.
Q. What is a frequently asked question you get asked by either a Commercial Tenant or Commercial Owner?
I often get asked by tenants what an invoice is for. I have found that invoices are not often read correctly and it’s a simple fix by letting them know and clarifying particular costs.
Q. What is your favourite game or sport to watch or play and why?
Football (soccer) – I have had a fascination with the sport since I was a child, it’s easy to pick up and play at any time, I like the competitive nature of the sport, and it’s good way to meet people and the health benefits are great.
Q. Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without and why?
If I have the necessities, I can go a day without anything!
Q. What do you like to do in the weekend to relax/refresh?
Sports, sleep, watch movies, cook and escape to any beach with 6ft waves.
Q. What’s your most prized possession and why?
All of my pets back home (2 dogs and 1 cat). Whatever day at work I’ve had, my best friends always welcome me home happy, cheerful and stress-free.