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The Health & Safety Reform Bill is now law and having an impact on property management companies and real estate agencies that manage rental properties. That’s pretty easy to grasp, but there is another angle to this change.

Many rental property owners use a company structure to own their rentals. This is usually for protection and possibly for tax reasons. That’s fine, and nothing changes there. However, I’ve come across examples where a property owner has tried to give a tenant 42 days notice to end a tenancy as they want to move back in to the property, or sell it, without realising that as it’s owned by a Company, they can only give 90 days notice.

Trap for Young Players

The Health & Safety Reform Bill could have an impact on a company owned rental and its directors in many ways, and changes currently proposed mean that many private landlords might be unaware of what they have to do to prepare. There are many seminars and talks being promoted around Wellington (and I suggest around the country) which will help you to find out more about these changes, so it would be a good idea to look out for one you can attend.

Changes to the Residential Tenancies Act are also afoot. These changes will directly affect all landlords, and have a $ cost attached too. How this will be policed by MBIE remains to be seen, but in essence, the changes (according to Housing Minister Nick Smith) are:

  1. Retrofitting of ceiling and underfloor insulation in rentals over the next 4 years
  2. Smoke alarms required from 1st July 2016
  3. A new 10 day process for dealing with abandoned tenancies
  4. MBIE to have new powers to investigate and prosecute landlords for breaking tenancy laws

These changes have already impacted on the way we work with our Client Owners’ properties, and the way we complete property inspections. Many rental owners may be unaware of these changes, and so staying current is quite a challenge.

Change is a’comin’…. Are you ready?

managemyproperty is an independent Property Management company based in Wellington, New Zealand.

Richard Horne remains a tireless and energetic investor and commentator, running an experienced eye over the property market.

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