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

11 April 2018

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.

A survey by Consumer NZ made some interesting discoveries on problems in the rental market.

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

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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% of 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 a bad reference and rent increases as forms of the 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.

Regrettably, the survey uncovered that 1 in 10 tenants are 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 Tenancies Act compliance by both property managers and landlords, more transparency in fees and better communication between tenants and property owners. No surprise products like are gaining popularity as an alternative to traditional property management, addressing issues of inefficiently, high costs and unawareness of the law. The government is wasting no time overhauling legislation addressing problems 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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