You may have heard the recent news about the government’s decision to undertake a review of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986. Housing Minister Phil Twyford has indicated that the ultimate goal of the review is to improve the life of renters while also protecting landlords’ interests. A significant first step in the review of the Act is a Bill that is currently before Parliament to ban the charging of letting fees which Minister Twyford has called “an unfair and unjustifiable tax on renters”.
The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) however believe that regulating the property management industry would be a much more effective way of introducing fairness to the industry. In fact, the Institute has been calling on the government to regulate the industry for the past several years. Currently, without any formal rules governing the industry, anyone can become a property manager and the REINZ feel that an absence of regulation has resulted in a lack of accountability for property managers — at least for those who are not also part of a licenced real estate agency and who don’t adhere to the REINZ Code of Agency Practice — resulting in a lack of protection for renters.
There have been stories in the media lately citing poor behaviour from property managers who constantly undermine the great work of those that adhere to strict standards of ethics and who provide ongoing support for their tenants. It is the conduct of rogue operators, and the negative publicity that they have brought to the industry, that has reignited the call for a compulsory regulatory regime by a who have banded together in an effort to protect the more than one third of Kiwis who are now renting in NZ.
It seems for now that the Government will not be taking any immediate action with the Minister indicating that the reform of the Residential Tenancies Act and the implementation of the Healthy Homes Guarantee will come before any consideration is given to regulation.
Part of the wider Ray White Group, McPherson Property Management is a licenced real estate agency with vast experience in property management. We adhere to the Real Estate Agents Act (REAA) Code of Conduct which ensures protection for both tenants and the landlords we deal with. Like the REINZ and others, we too feel that it is time to bring regulation into our industry. Regulation will serve to improve standards across the board and will give tenants (and landlords) the peace of mind to know that they are dealing with professionals who are accountable for their actions.