As you are aware, the laws and regulations on residential tenancies and investment properties in New Zealand have changed significantly and are going to continue to change even more in the next 1 to 24 months.
We are here to get our owners ready for these changes and protect you during the turbulent period of these changes. We 100% stand by our standards and best practices to maximise your return and reduce risks. Uno Property is the market leader in Auckland when it comes to protecting and defending our landlords in a timely and stress-free manner.
We now would like to give you an update on the areas of risk, compliance and health and safety issues since we introduced the fee and how we have protected our owners’ assets and interests.
In the last 12 months alone, we have encountered several incidents in our portfolio that had various challenges in the matters of Methamphetamine and Asbestos. In addition, we are putting hundreds of hours and financial resources in ensuring all our properties meet the new standard of insulation by 1st July 2019.
Below is a list of legislation update that CURRENTLY requires action and compliance from landlords:
- Smoke Alarm
- Healthy Homes Bill No.2
Here are just a few real case studies to highlight the issues that have occurred and how we have helped the owners:
Case 1: Property in West Auckland
In May 2017, it was alerted to Uno that there could be potential meth use in the property. We organised a test and it was positive. The reading ranged from 0.04mg/100cm2 to 28.24mg/100cm2 through the house. The requirement at the time was for any reading to be below 1.5mg/100cm2.
As the owners were overseas we dealt with the insurance company, the council, the decontamination company and the testers to get the property habitable again. The whole cleaning process started in June 2017 and finally finished in January 2018. The reinstatement started in April 2018 and finished in June 2018. It was next to impossible to get anyone to look at the job until March 2018. Total cost for the remediation was $72,507.25 including loss of rent.
Through this process we were dealing with the claim with both the house insurance company and their landlord insurance provider. After much discussion, we managed to get the maximum pay out from both companies which came to a total of $70,225.00
It is almost all done. We went through this most stressful process with them from start to finish while they were overseas. Together we made good practical decisions to resolve the situation. In the end, we leveraged our connections and experience to minimise their loss.
Next step… pursue the ex-tenants for their loss.
Case 2: Property in Central Auckland
On a routine job our contractor discovered what could be frayed asbestos in the property. We went out to the property to have a look and the source was in a very bad condition. We decided to take a sample to be tested that day. The results came back the next day confirming the presence of asbestos.
It looks like many years ago, prior to the current owners purchasing the property, asbestos removal was carried out but not all was removed. There was still unnoticed source of asbestos left from the job that is now in bad condition.
We immediately informed the tenants and as we didn’t know the extent of the contamination, it was decided to err on the side of caution and to have them vacate the property. Unfortunately, they were not able to take anything with them as it could all be contaminated by asbestos. It was a good thing that we did as the whole property was found to be contaminated with asbestos after testing.
We consulted many different contractors with regards on decontamination. We made sure we got 2nd, 3rd and 4th opinions. Costs ranged from a quote of $10,000 to pay as you go. We picked a contractor to start the work. Halfway through the work the contractor found more loose asbestos in the property as well as asbestos in the vinyl that wasn’t in good condition.
In this situation, we didn’t have to deal with the insurance company as it was not covered in their policy. The insurance company said it was an existing situation. We made some calls to contacts we knew and unfortunately, they all said the same thing.
The work is currently on going. The industry has been around for a long time and it is just as expensive, if not more and dangerous as Methamphetamine decontamination.
Here is a list of what we cover for this annual fee and how we protect our owners’ assets and interests:
- Where appropriate and as requested, facilitate tests for Methamphetamine in between tenancies and deal with any contamination issues that arise including insurance and Tenancy Tribunal claims.
- With permission of the owner, we can also facilitate random Methamphetamine checks during the tenancy when the tenancy is longer than 12 months; Click here for more information on Gluckman report that has been released recently that recommends a safety level of 15mg/100cm2 and its potential impact.
- With the 1st July 2019 deadline for insulation approaching (as mentioned above) and the anticipation of the Healthy Homes Guarantee standards being set in the very near future – simply “requiring all rentals to be warm and dry”. Our job is to help get you ready for impending changes that is coming shortly. Click here for more reading on “Healthy Homes Bill No.2”
- We are now very actively working on getting all rental properties to meet the insulation standard by the end of June 2019. Click here for more details on insulation.
- Uno Property, as agent for our landlords, must identify asbestos and document plans for managing its risks in an asbestos management plan, if there is a risk of exposure to respirable asbestos fibres from work being carried out on the property. Click here for more detailed explanation on Asbestos.
- Extensive training, administration, and additional processes and workload Uno Property Management is now and continued to be required to undertake on your behalf;
- Obtain higher level of professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance to cover greater risks associated with the management of overall increased risk and potential litigation;
- Dealing with companies for ensuring that your property is compliant with changes around smoke alarms and insulation of your property under the terms set out in the Residential Tenancies Act. Click here.
- Negotiate the best deal / group discount (we have done extensive market research on insulation and welcome any questions around insulation prices.) for insulation of your property and manage the entire process from start to finish;
Additional processes and workload has been undertaken to ensure the risks are managed and legal obligations met under new legislations. In addition to the previous Health and Safety concerns on Insulation, Smoke Alarms and Methamphetamine, Asbestos management is now of great concern to the NZ Government. Please click here for detailed processes that we undertake to manage the risks and compliance of your property.
As your professional Property Manager, we are not prepared to compromise our level of service by ignoring these new regulations and requirements. Hence our commitment to you in relation to these essential aspects of Risk and Compliance and we will protect your properties to the best of our abilities.