Propertyscouts Auckland

Frequently Asked Questions

This section answers commonly asked questions about our service.

How do you find your properties?

It is a mixture of local knowledge coupled with working through local estate agents and private sellers. This can quite often turn up property that has not yet reached the open market.

Why should I use your services when I could find properties myself?

If you value your time, you get your weekends back to do the things you love, rather than going to open homes or spending hours on the Internet.

We provide a totally independent and unbiased service, which our clients value greatly. Clients moving within New Zealand or entering New Zealand from another country often do not have the time to spend searching & viewing properties endlessly. We are able to quickly assess many different types of property and provide invaluable knowledge, which can take years to acquire.

What are the advantages of using a property search service?

Saving time and money while minimising hassle. The distances involved in relocation and property searches mean that employing a professional to do the work for you is an obvious solution to your property needs. Our ability to track down properties to suit your requirements and present a report with pictures and detailed information on purchase price, likely selling price and local amenities for each property means we take the hassle out of finding the property that is right for you. We know your time is precious and we do everything we can to ensure that you can make the right choice about your purchase, quickly and efficiently.

Another advantage to using PropertyScouts is we stick to your property specifications, only showing you properties that match your needs and requirements. So often we see buyers purchase solely on emotion only to regret the decision later as the property isn’t practical for their lifestyle.

Aren’t you competing with Real Estate Agents?

Many people forget Real Estate agents work for and are paid by the seller – not the buyer. Therefore there is never a conflict of interest, as they only sell and we only buy!
In fact Real Estate Agents see us as a regular source of quality buyers. This gives you a considerable advantage over other buyers in the market.

What do we need to do before engaging Property Scouts?

It is important that you are 100% ready to move before starting to look for a property. That makes you a committed buyer or renter that is ready to take action when we find your dream property.

If you have a property to sell, get it on the market or even wait until you have a firm offer. Additionally, you may need to instruct a solicitor, arrange a mortgage and have a concise idea on the location and type of property you are looking for. We can provide any assistance or advice, if needed.

What happens if I pay the initial engagement fee and then I decide not to move?

This happens on rare occasions and can be through a sudden and unexpected change in circumstances. In these situations we advise our clients they will lose their engagement fee.

Got a question? Send us an email and we will endeavour to answer it for you.

Q.  How much notice does a landlord have to give a tenant of a routine inspection? 

A:  48 hours’ notice is required before a routine inspection and 24 hours’ notice for access to carry out any repairs or maintenance.  We often have problems with real estate agents thinking the same applies to them for viewings at a tenanted property.  That’s not the case.  For viewings with the likes of real estate agents or for viewings for potential tenants the ‘sitting’ tenant must agree to the viewing.  They are not able to unreasonably withhold their consent but what is and isn’t ‘reasonable’ can often be problematic and needs to be worked through carefully.

Q:  Do tenancy agreements have to be in writing? 

A:  The simple answer to this question is NO, they don’t have to be in writing.  Section 13c of the Residential Tenancies Act states that tenancy agreements are not unenforceable on the grounds that they are not in writing. In the case of verbal agreements the problem arises with what exactly the parties have agreed to regarding the tenancy.  At Propertyscouts we have a very comprehensive tenancy agreement and would never enter into a tenancy based on a verbal agreement with a tenant.  Our tenancy agreement has come about because of a lot of legal ‘leg-work’ and yes, dare we say it – the odd hard lesson!  All of our tenancy agreements are in writing and are signed by the tenant/s after they have undergone a comprehensive tenancy induction.

Q:  At the end of a tenancy can I have the property professionally cleaned and pass the cost onto my tenants if they haven’t left the property clean enough? 

A:  Section 40 (1) (e) (iii) of the RTA states that on the termination of a tenancy the tenant shall leave the premises in a reasonably clean and reasonably (our emphasis) tidy condition.  Landlords often struggle with what is reasonable and invariably have a higher standard of what constitutes ‘reasonable’ than the outgoing tenant.  Strange that.  The best way to approach this from a landlord’s point of view (or in our case from a Property Managers view) is to take a common-sense approach and consider what an unrelated 3rd party would consider.  If you still feel that the property needs additional cleaning to bring it up to a reasonable standard, then the services of a cleaner can be engaged.  But be warned!  If it ends up at the Tenancy Tribunal you may not get all of the cleaning costs back, or any at all if the adjudicator feels that the property was left reasonably clean at the end of the tenancy. 

Q:  As a landlord what are my obligations to fix or repair my property during the term of a tenancy? 

A:  Landlords have an obligation under the Residential Tenancies Act to provide and maintain premises in a reasonable state of cleanliness and provide and maintain the premises in a reasonable state of repair having regard to the age and character of the premises. 

Landlords who don’t meet these standards may be committing an unlawful act and tenants may sue (for exemplary damages) the landlord for breaching these standards or not meeting them.

Repairs and maintenance need to be addressed in a timely manner to prevent tenants taking Tribunal action.  Where a tenant can show that repairs have not been carried out in a timely manner or they’ve dragged on too long then our experience is that generally, they will be supported by the Tribunal.

Q:  Does a fixed term tenancy agreement automatically extend? 

A:  No, it doesn’t.  Where a landlord wishes to end a fixed term tenancy at the conclusion of the tenancy he/she must write to the tenant between 21 and 90 days from the tenancy ending advising the tenant that the tenancy will end on the due date.  If the landlord fails to do that then the tenancy automatically reverts to a periodic tenancy and the landlord would need to give the tenant 90 days notice for them to vacate.

Q.  As a landlord I know that my rental property must be insulated by 1 July 2019.  What parts of my property have to be insulated by this date? 

A:  All ceiling and underfloor areas that can be accessed must be insulated by 1 July 2018.  Insulating exterior walls is not necessary.  The insulation must meet approved “R’ levels (different for certain parts of the country).  The penalty for non-compliance after 1 July 2019 are up to $4000 in exemplary damages. 

Q: Lawns and gardens. Who is responsbile, the tenant or the landlord?

A:Tenants are responsible for keeping lawns and gardens reasonably tidy, unless the landlord has agreed to do this.  If the tenant wishes to prune or cut back any trees or shrubs they should first get the landlords permission and the tenant will then be responsible for removing the cuttings.  Landlords are responsible for pruning and maintaining trees, shrubs and hedges and they must remove any cuttings.  Landlords must also ensure that any trees, shrubs and hedges on the property are safe – for example they have not been damaged by storms or aren’t growing too close to power lines.

Q:   Do tenants have to notify landlords of maintenance they become aware of at their rental property? 

A: The answer to this question is yes.  Where it can be shown that the tenants delayed or didn’t advise the landlord of an issue which resulted in additional damage to the property the tenants may be liable for the additional damage. 

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