Lowdown on landlords: What you should know
Just got to take one look at New Zealand's property market can tell you why investors are scrambling for a piece of it, especially residential property investment in Auckland. Home values are climbing, demand is soaring and there aren't too many vacant rentals, either. But as a property investor, you're probably going to wear another hat – landlord. Here are three things to know about this role.
1. Follow the rules
You've probably got an idea of all the rules around tax deductions by now, but these aren't the only rules to get your head around. There's a fair few things to keep up with as landlord, too. Tenancy Services New Zealand is a good place to start if you're new to the role. This agency sets out guidelines for renters, but can give you a good idea of what's required of you, as well. For instance, you'll
need to give notice before entering the home, whether it's for repairs or a routine inspection.
And even more importantly, the property needs to be up to scratch with the The Residential Tenancies Act 1986, as well as health and safety regulations.
2. Healthy home, happy tenants
Winter's the time of year when the wind starts howling and it never seems to stop raining, but while you're rugged up tight, it's also important that your tenants are, too! Filling vacancies is one thing, but keeping a secure tenancy is another – and it could be all up to the way you look after your investment property.
Think about things like insulation and heat pumps, and don't forget about ventilation, either. The changes don't have to be major, but they can make a big difference to how comfortable the home feels, whatever the time of year.
Not only that, but it's amazing how quickly mould and damp can spread when given half a chance! Given the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority reckons there around 600,000 homes in New Zealand that don't have proper underfloor or ceiling insulation, it's a good reminder to have a check over your home and stop these problems before they begin.
3. Help is here
Seems like a lot to take in, right? But never fear. The secret to a successful investment portfolio is a lot simpler than you might realise: Ask for help.
While your Authorised Financial Adviser sets you up with property advice, an accountant can sort you out with tax, a property manger can help with the day-to-day jobs – and then there's your solicitor for all the legal hoopla. In the words of Gerry and the Pacemakers: You'll never walk alone!
Here's to your financial independence!
Authorised Financial Adviser / Investment Property Expert
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