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Avoid These Common Landlord Mistakes

11 June 2019

Photo by Lubo Minar on Unsplash

Becoming a landlord is a daunting task. Where to start, how to make sure you don't miss anything, what can be done to make sure you don't lose money (and sleep) down the track?

Mistakes are common and can easily be made by both experienced landlords and newbies. Here is a list of what to avoid from the start:

Not writing things down.

In landlording game, you can't rely on promises. It is essential to always be in the alert moe and document everything. Make sure your paperwork is current and up to standard. Note down all the interactions with your tenants to always be prepared if something does go wrong. Nothing stacks up better in court than written evidence. So don't keep things in your head, create a system that works for you.

Stretching yourself too thin.

Landlordling is not a hobby, it's a business. So it's so important to stay efficient and be organised.

  • Batch your work where you can. Dedicate specific days and hours to look after your properties.
  • Align inspections and run them at the same time where you can. This is especially relevant if rentals are in another city. It will help you save money and time
  • Have a list of reliable tradies you can turn to on short notice
  • Align rent due dates to the same day of the week. So you can check rent payments and follow up arrears efficiently. Avoid rent falling due on weekends or Fridays. Due to banking processing times, you will lose up to 3 days before noticing the tenants are in arrears.

Need assistance with Property Inspections? myRent is here to help! Book a one-off professional inspection service (no strings attached!) or outsource all your property inspections.

Not reviewing rent

Don't feel guilty. Far too many landlords hesitate to raise the rent. There are many reasons to do it. As long as the tenant feels looked after, not neglected, and the increase is merely to keep up with market rents in your area, there is no reason not to consider doing so.

3 golden rules of rent increases - don't lose money, know the market, rely on the system to send the right notice in the correct format.

Not keeping up-to-date with current local and tenancy law changes.

As a landlord, it is your responsibility to make sure your property meets the required standards. Know the local laws and current tenancy laws. Make sure everything is done by the book and neither you or your tenants are breaking the terms of your tenancy agreement. Don't open yourself up to potential legal issues and compensation claims.

Not dealing with problems proactively.

Easier said than done but try not to get emotionally involved in your rental properties. Always stay professional and in control. Troublesome properties and difficult tenants will take 80% of your time but probably make 20% of your portfolio. Don't delay sending 14-day notices when they're due, involve Tenancy Services in mediation or deciding to end the lease where possible. Postponed problems can be very costly.

Keeping to yourself

Networking with like-minded investors and industry professionals is so important. It will teach you so much, lead you to new deals and help you save money. If you haven't already done this, start attending local investor meetups or join a Property Investors' Association near you

If you are unsure about how to start your property management journey or worried that you don't have enough knowledge or have necessary systems to do the job well, consider, a platform trusted by thousands of NZ self-managing landlords.

The information contained in this article is exclusively for promotional purposes. It does not in any way constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as the basis for any legal action or contractual dealings. The information is not and does not attempt to be, a comprehensive account of the relevant law in New Zealand. If you require legal advice, you should seek independent legal counsel. does not accept any liability that may arise from the use of this information.

See also -
Advice to new landlords
Top 6 mistakes landlords make at tax time

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