UNO Property Management Risk and Compliance Update
The implementation of the UNO Risk and Compliance fee means that UNO would be able to better equipped to deal with the rising problem of Methamphetamine in rental houses around New Zealand.
As professional property managers we are all well aware of the damage this drug can do but we also know what best practice steps we can put in place to help try and prevent the issue happening in the first place e.g. thorough tenant checks, tenancy agreements allowing for meth testing during the tenancy, and of course baseline testing before and after any tenancy itself.
Methamphetamine use is on the rise with more than 1% of the general population now classing themselves as a ‘regular’ user and all the while prices continue to drop and the ease in which our communities can access this drug increases at an alarming rate.
More Kiwis than ever before are now renting and an ever-increasing number of them are also using a drug that not only damages their own health but the health of the rental properties they are living in and that we manage.
The Property Managers of UNO attended a seminar held by REINZ at the end of June whereby they were informed that there was a change in the standard of Methamphetamine testing in New Zealand. The most significant change is the new standard being lifted to 1.5g/100cm2 limit, as compared to 0.5g/100cm2 under the old guidelines.
The new standard is a huge step forward in helping home owners and tenants deal with the risks of methamphetamine contamination. It will give people greater confidence and certainty, will result in hundreds fewer properties having to be vacated and save millions in unnecessary decontamination work.
Insulation assessments for all UNO managed properties are still ongoing. All owners will receive a copy of the Insulation Assessment Report provided by PinkFit Auckland along with their monthly statement.
Properties that do not meet the standard of insulation will have been issued a quotation from Placemakers to fit and install insulation that will bring the property up to standard. UNO Property Managers will be forwarding the quotes as they receive them, and discuss with you the best plan of action going forward.
Smoke Alarm Testing Services (SATS) have been to most of the properties managed by UNO, and have installed smoke alarms where there were none installed, and tested and replaced for all faulty smoke alarms in the properties.
A Statement of Compliance is issued by SATS once work has been completed, and it will be sent to you along with the monthly statement. We expect most of our owners to receive the Statement of Compliance along with their July 2017 statements.
Mistakes Property Investors Make in Choosing a Cheap Property Management Business
In property management, we see many property investors making the mistake that all PM businesses are the same, and all offer the same service so the best way to differentiate between them is to get cheaper fees.
However, we have found a common pattern among PM businesses is the cheaper they get, the lower their service levels get.
How is this so? Here is a simple step by step analysis of how cheap fees lead to poor service levels.
1. Cheap fees are the starting line – unfortunately the perception is that businesses all do ‘the same thing’, we collect rent, get repairs done and find a tenant. With this perception, we then might be attracted to a cheap business, or one that substantially discounts their fee to impress you to win your business.
2. The property manager must manage more properties – because the business has a much lower revenue base now because of their cheaper fees, the property manager is now well overloaded with too many properties to justify the same salary as the other ‘more expensive’ business down the road.
3. Burnout and resignation – the overload of properties under management causes the property manager to become disillusioned, not coping and causing ‘burnout’, struggling to meet investor expectations of service levels, with the result being resignation.
4. Good property managers now avoid the cheap PM businesses – once word of mouth spreads amongst property managers that to work at this business you must manage so many more properties, and so the good property managers steer clear of this business. Therefore, the only people the business owner can employ is either inexperienced or poor performing property managers who can’t get a job in good PM businesses.
5. Poor service levels – due to this factor of now lower expertise levels, the result is poor service all around and disillusioned property investors who thought they had a ‘bargain’!
Can I Make Improvements During a Tenancy
If you have a maintenance and improvements plan for your property, there may be some things you can do whilst you have a tenant in place.
It’s simply a matter of asking and then agreeing on the terms so far as access, time frames etc. as well a compensation allowance if required. Doing improvements can be a major benefit to you as you are completing the works while still receiving rent. One or 2 weeks rent could go a long way towards the cost of the improvements and improvements are important to maintain your quality of tenancy.