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Private landlords provide better service, better value for money and better quality housing compared to property managers, Consumer NZ says.

Photo: North Head from Mount Victoria by russellstreet

In the current property market where 32% of households rent, and an estimated 40% of rentals managed by property management companies, it is important for property owners to receive feedback from the end-users, tenants, to understand their experience living in rental accommodation.

Most recent survey by Consumer NZ made some interesting discoveries on problems in rental market.

54% of tenants reported to be satisfied with service provided by private landlords, compared to only 35% who were happy with their property managers. See some other results from this survey below*.

Consumer NZ Private Landlords compared to Property Managers

The survey also found that private landlords are much more responsive to tenants maintenance requests, and are much more likely to get the repairs done quickly. Dealing with property managers, 42% renters experienced delays in their request for repairs.

According to the survey tenants found dealing with landlords easier. Tenants speak up about problems they have with their property more and worry less of their requests being rejected or getting bad reference and rent increases as forms of comeback.

Still it appears one third of tenants who dealt with private landlords were not sure who to turn to when they felt they were treated unfairly. Yet it is still a better statistic compared to 2/3 of tenants who didn’t know where to find help when dealing with property management companies.

Unfortunately, according to the survey issues with insulation, inadequate heating and mould are still the main problems with rental accommodation. The survey found that tenants who dealt with property management companies were more likely to report their home lacked adequate heating and had persistent mould. Hopefully minimum insulation requirements that officially come into effect on 1st July 2019, will solve some of these issues. The changes should give tenants adequately safe, warm and dry accommodation they’re paying for.

Regrettably, the survey uncovered that 1 in 10 tenants being charged extra fees, some of them hidden and charged unfairly. 1 in 4 tenants also reported landlords turning up unannounced, which is a breach of tenancy legislation.

This calls for better Residential Tenancy Act compliance by both property managers and landlords, more transparency in fees and better communication between tenants and property owners. No surprise products like myRent.co.nz are gaining popularity as an alternative to a traditional property management, addressing issues of inefficiently, high costs and unawareness of the law. The new government is wasting no time overhauling legislation with the letting fees ban being their latest challenge. But the change is required and the problems are needed to be addressed to improve both tenants and property owners experience in today’s rental market.

Based on Consumer NZ data from their nationwide survey of 1062 consumers who rent their home. The survey was carried out by Consumer NZ online between December 2017 and February 2018. Satisfaction scores show the percentage of respondents who provided a rating of 8, 9 or 10 on a scale from 0 (very dissatisfied) to 10 (very satisfied)

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