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Quality Rentals Are Vital in Today’s Market

By Donna Jones

For over a century, the New Zealand government has been concerned with the availability of quality housing in our country. In an effort to insure that quality housing is available to all people living in New Zealand, the government has conducted surveys about the state of residential properties since 1935. Over the years, the results of these surveys have been instrumental in changing policies to ensure satisfactory property conditions for homeowners and tenants alike.

The availability of quality housing is proven to have a positive affect on the overall health of those living in New Zealand. Healthier housing results in healthier people, which helps our economy in the long run. Thus, it makes sense that our government is interested in actively monitoring housing quality. In modern years, this has been done through the “Housing Condition Survey” conducted by the Building Research Association of New Zealand (Branz).

The results of the most latest survey, which was conducted in 2015, have recently been made available. Unfortunately, but perhaps not surprisingly, the results show that rented properties have a much high incidence of ill-maintained features than homes that are occupied by the owners. The survey found that:

  • 32% of rental properties are poorly maintained, while only 14% of owner occupied homes have poorly maintained features.
  • In comparison to owner-occupied properties, rental homes are twice as likely to smell musty, 3x more likely to be damp, and more likely to show visible signs of mould growth.

The recent changes in the laws around insulation demonstrate that the government was aware of these discrepancies well before the most recent survey results were made public. We hope that these new requirements will quickly help improve the rental stock available in our market today.

What the results mean for landlords

In today’s market, renters have understandably high expectations. They are aware of the problems associated with poorly maintained, damp and improperly insulated homes. There is a increase in available rental properties on the Christchurch market currently, so tenants have a greater selection available to them right now. If you’re a Christchurch landlord, you should expect that prospective tenants will have higher expectations about the properties they are viewing.

You’ll attract better tenants and keep them for longer by ensuring that your property is well insulated and dry. If this doesn’t describe your property, now is the time to act. At this point, it’s not just about attracting better tenants – it’s also the law. With the enactment of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2016, landlords are now required to provide a statement about insulation on their property and have insulation installed on any rental property by 2019. We encourage you to act now rather than wait for 2019 to roll around.

There are other ways you can stand out from the crowd. Ensuring that heating methods are not only adequate but also powerful and energy efficient will go a long way. Keep an eye on damp levels in the home during property inspections and act immediately if the house is feeling damp. Keep your walls freshly painted and eliminate old carpeting – these will help keep the house in better condition and prevent occurrences of mould growth.

How we can help

We pride ourselves on managing the finest rental properties available in Christchurch. If you’re concerned about the quality of your home and want to find ways to actively improve its value and appeal, we encourage you to contact us today. A member of our experienced team can meet with you onsite to provide recommendations on how to improve your property so you can appeal to the demands of Christchurch renters and stay ahead in a competitive market.

Photos

Damp on my walls by Emma Campbell, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Living Room 1 by Junction Image, CC BY-NC 2.0

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