frequently asked questions

Do we have to declare any income on a property rented out?

Do we require special insurance if we rent our property out?

What is The Residential Tenancies Act?

Do you run a Letting Agency?

How do you find tenants?

What do you do to ensure I get the best tenant?

How long does it take to find a tenant?

What type of tenancy do you put in place?

What is the difference between a fixed term & periodic tenancy?

Do you get a bond on my property?

Can I have specific clauses put into the tenancy agreement?

Do you do an inspection prior to doing the tenancy agreement?

How often do you inspect the property?

Who should maintain the gardens?

Do you charge extra for organising maintenance?

How do we pay for repairs/maintenance?

Should we leave our furniture & rent the property out furnished?

What if I decide to sell the house?

Who collects the rent and when does it come to me?

How do you account for my money and is it safe?

What is your availability at weekends and after hours?

Do you employ people to look after our property?

Can you guarantee that our house will not be damaged?


Do we have to declare any income on a property rented out?

Yes, rents received are income and need to be declared. Obviously you can claim for such things as maintenance costs, management fees, interest on mortgages and depreciation. We are not tax experts and recommend that clients get independent financial advice. Information is also available on the Inland Revenue Department website (www.ird.govt.nz). There is a booklet available “Rental Income” advising property owners on the tax implications of receiving income from a property.

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Do we require special insurance if we rent our property out?

You need to advise your insurance company that the property is to be rented. We recommend that clients also take out what is normally called the “Landlords extension”. This is similar to a contents policy which covers the landlords fixtures and fittings.

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What is The Residential Tenancies Act?

This act covers the NZ Law relating to renting your property out. It covers the obligations of both landlords and tenants. Every landlord and tenant must operate under the rules of The Act. For more information go to www.minhousing.govt.nz.

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Do you run a Letting Agency?

No, we don’t operate a Letting Agency – we only look for tenants for properties we manage. This process is explained as follows… We focus solely on Property Management – the tenanting and overseeing of other people’s homes or investment properties in the owner’s absence. If you want somebody to just find a tenant for you we are sorry we don’t handle one-off letting.

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How do you find tenants?

We place advertisements in the local papers, on the internet and contact relocation companies where appropriate. Advertising is at the expense of the property owner. You are only charged the cost of the advertisement (no loading fee is put on it) and Harvic’s name is not mentioned. So you are not paying for the advertising of our company name. Telephone calls come directly to Colin or Jude and potential tenants are personally shown through the property. No keys are given direct to potential tenants to view the property and the property is not left open and unattended for potential tenants.

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What do you do to ensure I get the best tenant?

Nobody can guarantee you the perfect tenants, however experience has shown that following good procedures does minimize the risks. All prospective tenants are required to fill out an application form. This form gives information about the tenants and they are required to supply details of personal referees and their current or previous landlord. It also authorizes us to do credit checks. All prospective tenants are reference checked and because we personally show them your property we are also in the position to form a personal opinion of them. This is the main reason we do not ‘subcontract’ this work out or employ people solely to view properties and find tenants. We do decline tenants who have applied for properties when the reference checking does not satisfy our requirements.

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How long does it take to find a tenant?

This depends on the market and the time of the year. The rental market is very competitive especially with the number of new apartments available and continuing to be built. The number of available properties has increased and the presentation of properties has vastly improved.

It is important to:

  • Present your property in excellent condition.
  • Price the property at the correct level (sometimes it is better to take $10 less a week and have little down time than ask top price but have the property empty for several weeks). If you are purchasing a rental property and the selling agent advises you that the property will rent for “XYZ” dollars ask them how many investment properties they own or how many properties have they personally let out in the 4 week period prior to marketing the property.
  • Remember rents have not increased significantly over the years. The value of the property increasing does not automatically indicate that the rental price increases. We would allow 3 – 4 weeks to find a tenant. It could happen sooner or it could take a little longer.

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What type of tenancy do you put in place?

We normally start a tenancy with a 6 months fixed term contract. At the end of this term the contract will either end or will change to a periodic tenancy. During the early part of the year if we are renting student accommodation we will aim for 12 month contracts to try to eliminate the emptying of the property late in the year.

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What is the difference between a fixed term & periodic tenancy?

The normal type of tenancy in New Zealand is referred to as a periodic tenancy. In general terms a periodic tenancy requires that a tenant must give 21 days notice prior to vacating a property. If the owner of the property wishes to shift back into the property they must give the tenants 42 days notice and if the property is sold the tenants must also be given 42 days notice to vacate, once the property owner has an unconditional purchase agreement. Should the owner of the property wish the tenants to vacate for any other reason 90 days notice must be given.

A fixed term tenancy is exactly that. The tenancy would commence on a fixed date and terminate on a fixed date. Notice to either party can not be given. So as the owner of the property you can not give the tenant notice because you wish to shift back into the property or because you have sold it with vacant possession.

It is important that you keep us informed of your long term plans so that we can ensure that if you are returning to your home or wanting to sell it that the right sort of tenancy agreement is in place.

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Do you get a bond on my property?

Tenants living in properties we manage must pay a bond equivalent to three weeks rent. This bond is held with Ministry of Housing as per the Tenancy Act.

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Can I have specific clauses put into the tenancy agreement?

All tenancies are subject to the Residential Tenancies Act and all clauses must comply with the act. Any clauses outside the act are unenforceable even if signed by the tenant. If you wish to have specific clauses please discuss them with us.

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Do you do an inspection prior to doing the tenancy agreement?

The tenancy agreement is done at the property with the tenant. We request that the property is completely empty at this point and the agreement completed is carbonised. A joint inspection of the property forms part of the tenancy agreement and allows for any defects to be noted.

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How often do you inspect the property?

Properties are inspected 3 times a year. This is over and above the initial inspection done with the tenant before the tenancy commences or the final inspection done when a tenant moves out of the property. Tenants must be given written notice of the inspection (a minimum of 48 hours) and inspections can be done only between certain hours.

Should problems be experienced at an inspection follow up inspections as required will be carried out.

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Who should maintain the gardens?

If you have extensive gardens and wish particular care taken of plants it is recommended that you organise for a gardener to maintain the gardens on a regular basis. Sometimes owners also pay for lawns to be done as well.

If the gardens are only small and the lawns easy to maintain it can be the tenant’s responsibility. If you have a lawnmower that you can leave behind at the property this often helps.

If you have a multi flat property (two or more flats in the same building) we will organise regular lawn mowing services for you. It is difficult to ensure lawns are done if you leave the responsibility to 2 or more sets of tenants in the same building. Your property will then start to look overgrown and untidy.

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Do you charge extra for organising maintenance?

There is no extra charge for organising everyday maintenance (e.g. plumbers, electricians, small maintenance jobs etc). However if you require a refurbishment job or a major project to take place we do have an hourly charge for overseeing this. This charge covers our time, petrol costs when visiting the property, telephone calls etc in ensuring the job is completed to specifications.

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How do we pay for repairs/maintenance?

Trades People employed for such work forward their accounts to Harvic Residential Property Management Ltd. We pay them on your behalf out of rents collected and the charges show on your monthly statement. We also request that each owner leave a $400 maintenance bond with us so we have funds to cover large maintenance expenses. This is in case the property is empty and no rental money is coming in or the work completed is of a major expense (done with the owner’s permission obtained first).

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Should we leave our furniture and rent the property out furnished?

Some properties are rented out furnished however these tend to only gain short-term tenancies. You will find you have additional wear and tear on your furniture and you will be trying to rent your property to a more limited market (most potential tenants have their own furniture). However, it is a good idea to make whiteware an optional item that you could leave in the property for a tenant. You do need to be aware however that you as the owner of the property would be responsible for the maintenance on these items.

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What if I decide to sell the house?

You can place your property on the market whilst tenanted. However, there are processes under the Tenancy Act that must be followed and we can advise and follow these through for you. If you have a tenant in your property, who are on a fixed term tenancy you must sell that tenancy with the property. It is important that you have a real estate agent that is a good communicator (we can recommend agents who we know are good at working with tenants) and can organise with your tenants set times for showing the property to potential purchasers. It is important that all parties work together in this process causing as little disruption for all parties concerned. Often the owner of the property will reduce the rent for the tenant whilst the property is being marketed.

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Who collects the rent and when does it come to me?

Tenants are required to pay their rent by automatic payment in advance. The payment comes through to our client account and rents are checked daily (we have a computerised system, which tells us whose rent is due on a specific day). At the beginning of each month we compile a full statement for property owners of the rents collected less all payments made on behalf of. The balance of the money is transferred to the owners nominated bank account within 8 working days from the beginning of that month (this allows the bank time to ensure all of the rent money in our client account has been cleared). As our system is automated you may find payment goes in earlier, but please allow 8 working days just in case of those unforeseen circumstances which can come up from time to time.

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How do you account for my money and is it safe?

All rents and any other moneys received on behalf of an owner are paid into our client account. This account is specifically for owners and does not form part of the operational bank accounts of our company. All payments made on behalf of the owner are also made from this account. Each owner’s transactions are individually identified within this account and the account is balanced on a daily basis.

Owners are supplied with a monthly statement, which identifies all transactions during the month.

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What is your availability at weekends and after hours?

We effectively operate 7 days a week. Our office is open between 8.30am and 5pm Monday to Friday. Should a tenant have an emergency after hours or at the weekend they have access to a cell phone number in order to contact us. Jude or Colin answers this phone and action, if of an urgent nature, takes place immediately.

The office is not open during the weekends, as these are the main days for showing prospective tenants through properties. Responses to advertising go to a separate number (not our office number) so these calls are received when the office is closed.

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Do you employ people to look after our property?

No. Jude and Colin do the majority of the “infield” work, (checking properties, organizing maintenance and working with tenants). Kerry assists with this work and Colin Deane assists in the office with checking rents, paying accounts and doing monthly statements. We do not allocate properties between us, which means that the whole team usually knows what is happening in respect of each property. This means that when you contact us you are not faced with the frustration that your property manager is unavailable or that they have left and someone new has taken over.

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Can you guarantee that our house will not be damaged?

Nobody could give a guarantee of this nature. We are not at the property 24 hours a day 7 days a week, however we do our best to ensure your property is looked after. We do regular inspections and if there is a problem bring it to the tenant’s attention and then follow up to see if it is rectified. If at the end of the tenancy something is not right we endeavour to come to an agreement with the tenant. If this is not possible we will put your case to The Tenancy Tribunal for them to make an independent decision on the matter.

Owners do need to be aware, however that there will be wear and tear on the property and at times accidents do happen.