4 Steps to peace of mind over the Holidays for DIY landlords
It’s December, and the holidays are only a few weeks away. The kids are excited about Christmas, and parents are making plans with extended family and planning trips away over Christmas and New Years.
Offices are closing and some may have a skeleton staff on, as is the case with Property Management. As tenants will still give notice to vacate, or need assistance with maintenance and emergencies we are ether in the office or available by phone. The steps below are the basic steps we put into place to manage rental issues that come up over the holiday period.
Have a list of tradesmen who are available on call over the holidays. We have the following:
Ask them what their rates will be over this period and who their contact person will be. Often times rates over Christmas day and New Year’s day and other public holidays, the fees will be $200+ call out, plus time on site.
These tradesmen are necessary for burst hot-water cylinders,urgent electrical issues, security issues including broken windows, and security locks which need to be attended to immediately.
Most issues will be general or minor maintenance, and the tenant might be able to solve the issue with instructions over the phone. For e.g if the power cuts out, they could reset trip switches on the fuse box. If that’s looking good, they should call their supplier to find out if there are any works being done locally before you send in a electrician.
Water leaks can be a problem. Sometimes the main water meter will leak, and a phone call to Watercare will get their service technicians out to assess if it’s on the public side or private. If it’s private then book in a plumber. The tenants can still use water, and turn the mains off if they leave the property. A water rebate can be applied for after the repair has been completed.
If you are leaving New Zealand for more than 21 days in a row, and you manage your own rental, then you must appoint an agent before you leave.
The agent must be someone in New Zealand who can manage the property while you are away. It doesn’t have to be a property management company.
The landlord must give the tenant the agent’s name and contact details, and address for service.
If a landlord doesn’t appoint an agent or doesn’t give the tenant the agent’s details, this is an unlawful act. If this happens, the tenant can give the landlord a notice to remedy. This gives the landlord a deadline to appoint an agent or to provide the agent’s contact details.
Find out what your tenants are planning for the holiday season. A good way to find out is to make an appointment with them to drop off a bottle of wine for Christmas and have a friendly chat as to what their plans are and also let them know what you plan to do, and what measures you have in place if they needed anything urgent.
If you are going to be in an area with poor phone reception, make sure your voicemail and email auto reply is updated to include emergency contact information.
I hope that was helpful. Feel free to contact us for a free rental appraisal and free resources to help you along your journey as a landlord.