With Wellington’s rental market as hot as ever, there is no doubt that investors will be jumping for joy. The rental market in Wellington has risen 6.8% in the past twelve months and indications are that the market shows no signs of slowing down. With the influx of students descending on us, and a larger portion of people renting for longer before buying their fi rst home, it is no surprise that demand is outweighing supply. Needless to say, landlords across the capital are moving with the market and adjusting rents as new tenancies commence, with the average price in Wellington now rapidly approaching $500 per week. Irrespective of whether you are investing for the first time or are a seasoned investor, the landscape is changing. The role of managing property is now becoming more and more regulated.
The well headlined requirement of landlords to install insulation by 1st July 2019 being but one example of this. However, not all legislation requires costly modifications for landlords. A ground-breaking case could be precedent setting and put more emphasis back to the responsibility of tenants. The long-awaited verdict of ‘damage by dog urinating’ appeal case has been revealed and landlords and property managers nationwide have recorded a win.
The case sprung to nationwide attention last year when a tenant of a Foxton property was ruled to be not liable for damages to the carpet caused by her pet dog that had ruined the carpets by urinating all over them. What made the decision less palatable was that the dog wasn’t supposed to be on the property as stated in the Tenancy Agreement. Adjudicator Clancy Lyon ruled that the damage was not intentional and therefore under rulings from the Osaki case meant that the tenant couldn’t be liable for the damage. This ruling was successfully appealed by the landlord and as this was a District Court decision sets a precedent for potential future cases. Tenants who create damage will now no longer be able to pass it off as ‘accidental’ without due proof and hope to get away with it. It goes without saying that landlords everywhere will now be keeping a keen eye on future cases, hoping for similar results.
Another well publicised area of interest for landlords recently has been the subject of rental increase. As mentioned above, the jump in rental prices currently stems from an imbalance between rental inventory and demand. Many landlords are now asking themselves about increasing their rent, and the potential repercussions that could stem from this. It is important to remember that as per the Residential Tenancy Act, Landlords are obligated to inform their tenants of a rental increase 60 days prior and only after 180 days of tenancy, or 180 days post any prior increase in rent.
The best time to increase your rent is in between tenancies. Below are a few tips on some basic improvements that can be made to the property to substantiate an increase in rent.
1) A fully fenced section with call for more rent. Young families or those with pets are security conscious and a fully fenced section will be of great interest to them.
2) Installing a heat pump. Tenants are ever more conscious of being able to maintain a comfortable temperature within their home. Properties with heat pumps generally call for more rent.
3) Car parking. A car park can add anywhere from $30-$50 per week to the rent, depending on the location of the property. Where possible, a car park inclusion is recommended as it increases the interest in the home.
If you are a landlord and would like advice rental prices, tenancy issues or property management, please give us an obligation free call on 04 979 6363 or enquire at [email protected]