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Avoiding Horror Tenants 

How to prevent becoming a media headline 1 References: ask for them, and verify them. It’s not uncommon for private landlords to ask for previous landlord references, only to discover down the track that it was a friend who was acting as the “landlord” on the phone. 2 ...

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Healthy Homes standards: Do you know what you need to do next? 

* The info below from Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment From 1 July 2019 1. Ceiling and underfloor insulation is required in all rental homes where it's reasonably practicable, ie feasible, to install. 2. Landlords must include a separately signed statement with each tenancy agreement that...

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Proposal from Greens doesn't deal with tenants responsibility 

The latest release from the Greens pushing for more changes to Tenancy Law doesn't adequately deal with the responsibility for tenants to utilise what has already been legislated for. All homes now must be insulated and the next major change is for extraction fans and fixed heating systems to be provided. However even if all of this...

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For Owners of Multi Income Rental Properties 

Property management is a relationship between owner, management company and tenant. Maintaining the balance of rental income, tenant needs, maintenance, improvements and regulatory requirements for owners of multi-income properties requires a structured system and attention to detail. In New Zealand the majority of rental property is...

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Why choose us? Ruby Housing Property Management in Christchurch 

In late 2014 I was offered a small rent book from some fellow members of the Canterbury Property Investor’s Association. They had approached me as they felt my boutique style agency would suit their owners, and in May 2015 these owners moved across to Ruby Housing. One couple own some blocks of rentals in Christchurch. Brad and Bridget...

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EQC Changes 

Contents cover removed from EQC claims, how will this affect your rental home and your tenants? READ MORE

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Pets and Intentional Damage 

A recent decision by the High Court makes it clear tenants do have responsibility for repeated damage by pets, even if landlords allow pets in the property. This is a huge win for landlords, for the courts to state tenants do have responsibility for their own actions or the actions of pets under their control. This will also...

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What questions can we ask prospective tenants? 

In May this year the Office of the Privacy Commission released guidelines stating what can and can’t be asked of tenants applying for a home. Many of the questions noted in “almost never justified”, include details about current accommodation, age, and employment history. An example of one...

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Ruby Housing Rental Inspections 

An interesting perspective in an article published recently in the NZ Herald, querying why insurers ask for three monthly inspections on rental properties. Initio Insurance have bucked the trend by offering cover for inspections every four months, as a special deal for members of the New Zealand Property Investor’s...

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How to make your house stand out for new tenants over the Winter Season 

In Christchurch the rental market slows dramatically over the period mid-Autumn to Spring. While not ideal to rent a property over this time, sometimes this is just how it works out. So if your investment needs to be rented now, what can help us attract great tenants for you? So what do tenants...

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I would have no hesitation in recommending Ruby Housing 

The first contact I had with Ruby Housing was when Kim Willems called me to ask if she could help get tenants for my rental property. I had the house listed on Trade Me, but was only getting time-wasters as I'd call them, no-one who was a suitable tenant. I'd had a lot of texts from other Property Management companies, I wasn't impressed with...

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It's the Law - Healthy Homes Standards 

As of July 1st 2019 the new Healthy Homes Standards for rental homes will become law. This doesn’t mean all the standards have to be met by this time, but does set another line in the sand for investors to be aware of fulfilling new requirements for heating, insulation, and moisture barriers and removal. The important...

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Reminder about Pets 

Some owners do allow pets in the home. Where this is the case, please remember that a request must be made to Ruby Housing before getting a new pet, and that both cats and dogs must be neutered unless special circumstances apply. Dogs must be registered and brought into our office (by appointment) to assess for socialisation. Please do...

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Keeping Your Home Warm and Dry 

Even though there are fewer sunny warm days, it’s still important to keep your home fresh and aired out, to prevent mould and mildew building up. There are a few easy ways to do this, please check out our list here: Open windows for a few minutes morning and evening on opposite sides of...

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How does Ruby Housing ensure your rental meets the current rental home and new Healthy Homes Standards? 

A key role of property managers is to ensure owners and their properties are protected from risk, whether from tenants, un-managed maintenance, or lack of compliance. - Advising of and ensuring compliance with changes in legislation. - Regular property inspections, checking how tenants are caring for the home and looking...

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What happens now for your insulation levels? 

If you have had work quoted but installation not yet done; we will organise new quotes to meet the latest levels and send to you for approval. While this may result in a slight increase, we believe this will be more economical for you than installing one lot of insulation now and topping up in a couple of years. If your property has already...

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Why we don't agree with the Latest Regulation Announcement affecting Property Investors 

With residential investors already having increased insulation in rental homes to meet the new requirements effective 1st July 2019, the latest announcement may seem like get another target against private landlords. In short, the latest announcement stipulates that the 2008 Building Code insulation standard...

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Capital Gains Tax 

There are changes ahead for New Zealand property investors and business owners, with the recommendations put forward by the Tax Working Group. While much of what is proposed can sound alarming, with sound legal and accounting advice Ruby Housing considers a cautious approach rather than a hasty decision will mitigate the risk of ownership of...

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What constitutes Fair Wear and Tear in Tenanted Properties? 

An ongoing issue for owners of investment property is dealing with maintenance; roofs leak, trees need pruning, heating systems need servicing and floor coverings need replacing. So what is the responsibility of owners and what should tenants cover? While there are guidelines within the Residential Tenancies Act as to what owners...

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26 Questions to ask before hiring a Property Management Company 

What do I need to do to get my rental property ready to rent and to attract the best tenants? How will you advertise and market my rental? How do you work out the market rent? What is your screening process for qualifying tenant applicants? Should I allow pets? Do you have an after-hours service...

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Letting Fees - owners now charged instead of tenants 

By now all landlords and property managers will be aware of the law change prohibiting letting fees charged to tenants. However, not many investors will realise many property management companies are now recouping that charge directly from owners. It may be an extra administration fee, or disguised some other way, but if you...

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No more letting fees, but “tenancy fees” or “admin fees” will come up 

A law banning letting fees will take effect on Monday 12 December, which forces most of the larger property companies to review their charges and decide on a new charge for landlords to cover their cost of finding a tenant. Harcouts will charge one week’s rent plus GST while Quinovic Group will charge a “tenancy fee”...

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16 tribunal hearings over 10 years 

Believe it or not, Tracy Peterson, who has gone by the names Tracy Neilson and Tracy Thompson, has been brought to the Tenancy Tribunal for 16 times since September 2008. Maurice King, the most recent landlord, took pity on Peterson with two children who said she has been looking for a place for ages and let her move into his Bishopdale,...

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‘Erase’ meth history from LIMs 

The history of low-level methamphetamine in contaminated properties will be wiped from their land information memorandum (LIM) reports based on a report delivered by Peter Gluckman, chief science adviser to the prime minister, stating the acceptable levels of methamphetamine contamination as 15 µg/100 cm2 – 10 times the current...

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Equality between tenants and landlords – RTA reforms 

The public consultation on the RTA (Residential Tenancies Act) reforms was closed on October 21, 2018. While the discussion is ongoing the Government is still to decide what proposals to turn into law depending on the feedback and insights the public has provided. One of the items in discussion is below: “Increasing...

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What can you do to make your property more attractive to quality tenants? 

If you have owned your properties for a while you may be looking for ways to add something extra. A single house on a larger section has many options to increase revenue, such as adding a minor dwelling or tiny house, adding a sleepout to enable a tenant to work from home, or converting a large laundry into an extra bedroom or bathroom. ...

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Anything Extra? 

While we know from feedback that owners are generally very happy with our service and the information we provide, we’d still like to know if there is anything extra we can do to make your rental ownership smoother, more enjoyable, and more profitable for you! Would you like Ruby Housing to organise renovations...

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Insulation Changes 

As you will know from 1st July 2019 all rental homes must have compliant ceiling and underfloor insulation. Where insulation is unable to be fitted due to lack of access, an exemption is available, however older existing insulation may need to be topped up or replaced to meet requirements. We are currently...

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Should Rent Increases be restricted to once a year? 

RTA changes for rent increases?

Should rent increases be restricted to once a year? While there will always be bad landlords as well as bad tenants, people on both sides of the tenancy transaction generally act responsibly; owners appreciate the rental income provided from tenants, and work hard to keep their rentals well maintained, to protect their investment and...

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It's My Home As Well As Yours 

Renters United says that rental homes are cold, damp and unsafe. But there is no denying that the rental properties are slowly getting better and better with the release of new regulations. For example, the Tenancy Services has made a clear statement that rental homes must meet the insulation standards by July 2019 to avoid $4,000 fines. ...

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8 Key Tips to Choosing an Outstanding Property Manager 

1. Call them - is the first response you get friendly, helpful and genuine, even before they know that you own rental property? “Some of the companies I called only gave me the time of day when they found out they could make money out of me”(comment from one of our owners). Is the first response you get...

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Holiday Checklist 

Book flights - check Plan itinerary - check Pack suitcase - check Appoint agent to manage rental property while overseas - oops! If you will be out of the country for more than 21 consecutive days, you must, by law, appoint an agent to look after your rental property....

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Holiday Accommodation, Fraud and Theft 

You may have seen the recent news report about a rash of burglaries at holiday homes in Christchurch booked through online sites with stolen credit cards, then cleared out once the “guests” gained access. This is a real worry for homeowners as insurers often won’t cover losses...

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Asbestos Testing Clarification 

The Independent Property Managers Association has just issued a clearer statement from Worksafe around asbestos in rental homes. You may recall property managers and landlords were advised the responsibility was on the owner to assess if there was any asbestos risk in a rental home. With the age of many rental properties, and repeated repairs...

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Turn-around in Meth Testing Recommendations 

A new report from Sir Peter Gluckman regarding meth testing recommendations has overturned much of the current accepted standard. While experts disagree, property investors, tenants and insurers will still need to decide what is an acceptable level (if any). At Ruby Housing we will continue to be guided by best industry practice, and...

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How Managing your own Rental Property can cost you money 

Common Investor Mistakes and How to Avoid Them When times are tough in the rental market it is easy to think you can save money by self-managing your rental property. It is easy to forget you still need to protect your investment by following good business practice and complying with all relevant...

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Should I hire a Property Manager? 

Is this you? - I don’t have time to check rents every day - I don’t like confronting my tenants about late rent/damages/unmown lawns/ breach of tenant responsibilities - I don’t feel comfortable asking prospective tenants for proof of income or photo id - I really...

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Why contents insurance is a must for tenants 

Insurance may be something you seldom think of as a tenant. After all, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to insure their property with rental and house insurance, right? That’s true, but you could find yourself on the wrong side of a nasty court battle if you don’t take precautions with a standard...

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Pets can make good tenants too 

We Kiwis have a long relationship with cute, furry pets. In fact, 67% of New Zealanders own pets – that’s two thirds of us. But statistics show that just 13% to 14% of landlords allow tenants in their rental properties to own pets. That would suggest that lots of tenants would like to own pets, but are restricted...

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Top summer maintenance tips 

There’s nothing like a bit of summer sun and a relaxing break away from work. But, once you’ve recovered from the Christmas over-eat and are lounging in your backyard, you’re sure to notice all those wee maintenance issues you haven’t paid any attention to throughout the year. Some of these...

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Healthy Homes on the way 

The New Zealand Government passed into law the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill (2) on 30 November. What does it mean for landlords? Well, it requires rental properties to be warm, dry and ventilated. The question is, to what standard and when? The law itself does not include any information about what the...

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What our tenants think of us 

Lots of property management companies shy away from placing tenant feedback on their website. We don’t. Why? Well, we take a different approach to property management at Ruby Housing, and it shows in our tenant retention records. We know anecdotally that our tenants stay because of our friendly approach, our quick...

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Christchurch rental market stabilised 

Trade Me data suggests that landlords have a reason to smile again after the city’s median weekly rent increased year-on-year for the first time since March 2015. It’s just a $5 boost, but it’s an indication that the market has stabilised after a few years of sky-rocketing prices and correction nose-dives. ...

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Simple spring cleaning for a healthier home 

Tips for keeping your rental home healthy after the winter season.

The great thing about renting is that you don’t have to deal with the tough maintenance tasks that a property owner does. That said, a good spring clean once the warmer weather hits is a fantastic way to stay on top of the basics. That way, it’s never going to build up to be a big job. Here are a few basics...

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Don’t sell your investment – get Ruby Housing to manage it instead 

Love property investment but not landlording? Ruby Housing can take the stress out of property management for you.

We talk with Christchurch landlords every day at Ruby Housing, and there’s no glossing over the fact that it’s a bit tough for property investors right now. At Ruby, we’re property investors too, so we know how you feel. We’re dealing with the fall-out of the Osaki case and changes to the RTA over...

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Accidental damage and your rental property 

Who pays for accidental damage to a rental property: landlord or tenant?

Who pays for accidental damage to a rental property: landlord or tenant? Well, it depends. It’ a bit of a grey area since the Osaki case. Landlords have had to pay for people drunkenly falling through skylights and dogs wrecking carpets (in a no-pets tenancy) since the fallout of Holler and Rouse v Osaki in 2016. ...

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What the new meth standards mean for landlords 

Ruby Housing is developing a meth contamination policy for landlords and tenants.

Meth contamination is a big concern for landlords. At Ruby Housing, we haven’t had to deal with any meth contamination to date. Our 7-step tenant screening process has protected our property owners well. However, we’re also very aware that meth contamination can occur at any time, to anyone. So we want to...

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Smoke alarm regulations 

It's now a legal requirement to have working smoke alarms in your rental property

Changes to the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) mean that landlords must have the right type of smoke alarms installed in the right places to meet new regulations that came into force on 1 July 2016. All new or replacement smoke alarms must be long-life photoelectric smoke alarms with a battery life of at least eight years that...

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The Perils of selecting your own tenants 

Tenancy Case Study #1 Can you imagine taking thousands of your hard-earned dollars and giving them to a stranger in the street? Or advertising a rental property with the title “free rent, no credit check, no reference checks, no inspections, no consequences”. Does that sound what a reasonable person would do? No, not to...

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Top 5 Tips to get the most out of your accommodation when you're travelling for business 

When you’re travelling from out of town, and need to be in one place for work, it can be hard to decide what you should look for to make your stay most comfortable. After more than 14 years offering accommodation to business and leisure travellers, we have received a lot of feedback about what matters most to business travellers....

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