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What can I do if the rent isn’t covering the property costs anymore 

I've tried to be a good landlord, but the rent isn’t covering the property costs anymore. What can I do? Do I have to sell my investment? When you’ve put a lot of time, care and money into your rental investment, it can be disheartening to have financial pressure impacting on your long term...

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How do I reduce vacancies between tenants? 

The best way to reduce vacancy periods is to select quality tenants, who stay many years, pay rent on time, and look after the property well. At some point though, most tenants will need to move, for work, family commitments, or to buy their own home. Here are some tips on...

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This is my first rental investment, what expenses do I need to plan for? 

It can be an exciting and scary time when your first rental investment is about to settle. There is a bucket load of money to be handed across to the seller; legal, mortgage and insurance documents to read, understand and sign, and then comes the prospect of the home sitting empty before the ideal tenant comes along....

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Why would a landlord consider renting to tenants with pets? 

We’ve all seen the stories of pet owners struggling to find a new rental home, and becoming quite desperate after months of searching. Maybe you’re going through a similar stress right now. Before you consider rehousing your beloved pet, have a look at some strategies we’ve found that could...

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Tenants: How to make a great impression at property viewings 

When rental properties are in short supply, owners and property managers can be very choosy in deciding on their next tenants. The assessment process starts even before the first viewing. Keep in mind these basics, so you don’t get a “hard pass” before even applying...

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Tenants: How to make your Application stand out? 

Since the start of 2023 the rental market has been very active in Christchurch, particularly for tidy, warm and contemporary homes. Whenever we advertise a new property, we receive a flood of applications. Whether you’re moving from a current rental, or you haven’t rented for a while, how do you make your application move to the top...

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3 common fines landlords get caught out by! 

Interfering with Tenants Quiet Enjoyment Fine: up to $3000 When do you have to be especially careful that you are not interfering with the tenants' quiet enjoyment? When scheduling repeated or ongoing exterior maintenance work, seasonal garden maintenance, gutter cleaning, or waterblasting. While these activities...

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Property Inspections #3 How often should I do a rental inspection? 

Inspections of rental properties are allowed no more once every 4 weeks It’s important to know what your insurance company requires. The policy may stipulate how often inspections must be completed, or may state something that a claim may be declined if regular inspections are not carried out....

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Property Inspections #2 What can I take photos of? 

Is taking photos during an inspection a breach of privacy? Watch this video to find out more about taking photos during inspections.

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Property Inspections #1 How to prevent water damage in your rental home 

Between the repeated heavy rainfalls over July, and now hard frosts in some areas, houses can quickly succumb to water damage if not inspected regularly. So, what should you look for to avoid minor issues becoming major problems? Prevention is the first step. We’ve listed below a few of the areas...

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Do you want Rental Risk or Rental Reward? 

Buying a rental home is a major step. Before you make an offer on your next rental purchase, check out these tips to turn investing risk into investing reward: Do you have a team of trusted advisors to answer your investing questions? At the least have a mortgage broker, independent property manager, property...

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Should I buy a new build or existing investment property? 

One of the questions most often asked by property investors, is should I buy a new build rental investment, or an existing home? There are pros and cons of each, and the right answer for you will depend on your current investment portfolio, the ability of your rental income to cover costs, and whether you want...

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Rental income not keeping up with your costs? 

Whether you’ve owned your rental home for one year or more than a decade, it is easy to underestimate the costs of holding investment property. Mortgage, rates, insurance and maintenance have all increased, and it can be difficult to know what to do without falling further behind. There are two parts...

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Smoke alarms - what to do before you rent out your property? 

Whether you have owned your investment for many years, or it is a new purchase, it’s crucial to know what you need to do before you place new tenants in the property. Legislation has changed over the past few years, and it is your responsibility to know what to do to protect your tenants, your investment property,...

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How much rent should I charge for my investment property? 

It can be difficult for owners to know how much rent to charge for a rental, especially if you have only one or two properties, and it has been a while since you last advertised the home. There are some common factors to look at when setting the rent, and it is good to be aware of not setting the rent too high...

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Proposed changes to the Healthy Homes Standards 

These amendments should bring some relief to property investors, and reduce the cost of compliance for owners of properties which are already well insulated, heated, and ventilated. Part of the amendment to the Healthy Homes Standard states: “Proposed changes include an increase to the electric heater ‘top...

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Covid RAT pick up sites 

Updated on 9 March 2022 A sixth community Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) pick up point opens tomorrow at 11am at the Christchurch Arena. Entry for RATs pick up is only from the Whiteleigh Avenue entrance to the Arena. From Tuesday the new Christchurch Arena site will be open 7 days a week from 9am – 3pm until...

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Covid Status of Ruby Housing Tradies 

Updated on 03/11/2021 On 1st November we sent a quick email to all the tradespeople we use, asking them to let us know of their vaccination status. We are delighted with the quick response, and especially the number of companies where all staff are fully vaccinated, with only a few waiting on a second dose! It’s great to...

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Huge apology for delivery-failed / bounced-back / ejected emails 

Some tenants and owners are having issues sending emails to us. We've been working on it, and hopefully it will be sorted soon. Please do not hesitate to contact us by phone and social media if you can't email us or you haven't heard back from us by email. Give us a call on 03 379 5033 during office hours Monday to Friday 9am...

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Viewings under alert level 2 

Updated on 22/11/2021 We are now in level 2 of lockdown. New rules under level 2 are much stricter than previous level 2. There are still limits on the number of people who can attend . Maximum 7 people will be permitted to view. You can submit your tenancy application prior to the viewing if you wish, here...

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Viewings under level 3 lockdown 

Updated on 31/08/2021 Only one person will be permitted to view, no open homes. A tenancy application must be received at least 24 hours prior to the viewing, please use this link to apply. Applicants must wear a MASK at all times, and must not touch doors, handles or any part of the property. The leasing agent...

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Viewings 

Viewings are arranged under conditions, please do not go to the property prior to viewings. On arrival at the viewing wait outside until Ruby Housing staff have opened the house, moved outside and given consent to you to look through the home Use NZ COVID Tracer app Social distancing of 2 metres must be adhered...

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Which of these tenants would you choose? 

A. Single young woman, well-spoken, studying, presents well. Previous criminal history of aggravated robbery with a sentence of over two years. ...

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Simple spring cleaning for a healthier home 

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 that make for a...

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Why Not To Use A Property Manager! 

1. Property management fees cost too much, I need enough money in my hand to cover all my costs! In most cases we are able to improve the return on your investment, by matching rents to comparable properties, creating an extensive and focused marketing campaign to attract better quality tenants, and lower vacancy rates. With our dedicated...

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How to tackle Moisture? 

Open windows for a few minutes morning and evening on opposite sides of the house, to let the air change and moisture escape. Keep the curtains and doors throughout the house open during the day. Airing the home out after you’ve turned off the heating can reduce condensation. Use...

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What causes excess moisture in rental homes? 

TENANTS - How to find the cause 1. Is furniture in bedrooms or living rooms pushed against the outside walls? YES NO Please move furniture away from exterior walls and windows. ...

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Where is moisture coming from? 

Winter is here! Your home could be experiencing condensation, which is probably the most common moisture-related issue in winter time. Moisture build-up in the home isn’t just caused by rainy days and leaky roofs. Our day-to-day living contributes too. Washing, cooking and even breathing all add moisture to the air. Here...

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Private Landlords: before you accept a new tenant check out these red flags 

8 Warning Signs when assessing Tenant Applications 1. Needing to move in a hurry. There can be valid reasons why a tenant may have to move quickly, but this is a red flag to be aware of. Are they facing eviction, unable to pay their current rent, or has there been a breakdown in the flatmate relationship? ...

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Level 2 - what now for the Rental Market? 

Our Ruby Housing office is open again for business and operating with contact tracing and careful control of requested viewings at rental properties. We are delighted that over 98% of our Ruby Housing tenants continued to pay their rent on time over the Covid 19 lockdown! The very few tenants who were waiting on financial help...

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How to attract and keep quality tenants during the Covid 19 downturn 

Between tenancies: Bring forward planned maintenance such as repainting the bathroom or living areas Update landscaping with easy care shrubs and plenty of mulch Add extra heating or ventilation systems, such as a heatpump or air exchange/ HRV type system near bedrooms Replace the kitchen benchtop with...

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Level 3: Private viewings may be arranged under conditions 

We're now in the level 3 of lockdown. Private viewings may be arranged under the following conditions: Prospective tenants have completed an application form (tick that you have viewed the property to enable the application to proceed) Pre-approval has been confirmed by Ruby Housing and the visit is to enable...

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Fun things to do if you can’t get out 

These will help the days to pass more quickly and keep you physically and mentally active. Virtual tour of famous museums Host an online dinner party, dance party or hang-out with friends Create an online concert with fellow musicians Learn a new craft Share some fitness workouts with friends ...

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Covid 19 information: Travellers self-isolating in short stay homes; what you need to know 

Updated on 26 March 2020 If you have recently arrived in New Zealand, or have otherwise been advised you need to self-isolate, the Ministry of Health website and Covid 19 are the first places to check for accurate and up-to-date information. As we are now in a period of four weeks lockdown, Level 4, and under State of Emergency...

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Covid 19 Virus and how Ruby Housing will manage 

At present we are hearing of restrictions overseas throughout many areas, with travel, business, schools, sports and other gatherings all impacted. While New Zealand hasn’t had that level of restriction imposed yet, from what we’re seeing around the world there may be a very quick decision to close...

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Cannabis Reform Bill and Implications for Tenancies 

The Cannabis Referendum to be held with the General Election on 17th October this year. This is an important issue both medically and ethically, however we haven’t seen much reported about the implications for landlords. This may be something you already have views on, and are sure of how you will vote. Currently most of...

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21 Things Tenants Look For in Rental Properties 

Recently we have 6 properties rented and 3 of them were rented in less than one week! We had a further look at these homes to see what most attracts tenants. Please check out the list here: Welcoming and safe neighbourhood Local amenities such as shops and parks Good schools close by Handy to...

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How will the proposed RTA changes to tenancy leases and rent increases affect your tenancies? 

There are more RTA changes being proposed by the Associate Minister of Housing Kris Faafoi. The three changes we think would cause the greatest impact on landlords are: Fixed term agreements becoming periodic leases at the expiry date unless agreed by tenant and landlord to re-sign or vacate; The end of...

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Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2019: how does this affect you? 

This latest amendment follows on from the Osaki practice note of 2016. That particular ruling had a major impact on being able to claim for damages caused by tenants accidental actions. So what will the 2019 Amendment mean for you?: If tenants damage a rental property as a result of careless behaviour, they will be liable...

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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. ...

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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 HEALTHY HOMES STANDARDS FACTSHEET 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...

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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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