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Tips for first-time landlords

22 November 2017

Photo: Stacked Up by Andym5855

Every property investor with years of experience was once a first-time landlord. Starting your property management journey can be very exciting but also daunting. What should you concentrate on? What mistakes should you try to avoid?

Here are 5 tips to help you set yourself up as an expert landlord from day one.

1. Make rent the priority

Owning an investment property is like owning a business: your rent is your revenue. Most tenants do the right thing and pay their rent on time. But you need to be ready and willing to pursue late payments if one of your tenants falls short. Cultivating a respectful professional relationship with your tenants often goes a long way to ensure rent is paid on time.

2. Put everything in writing

It’s wise to ensure that everything has a paper trail, whether it be digitally or in hard copy (ideally both!). To protect both yourself and your tenant and to ensure you have a mutual understanding regarding your agreement and mutual expectations, make sure you sign a tenancy agreement. myRent can help you create a tenancy agreement online, customise it, add special clauses, e-sign it from any device and exchange it in minutes with your tenants. A free tenancy agreement can also be downloaded from Tenancy Services. It’s wise to keep all the important documents in one place. If you're using your own agreement, digitise it and upload it to myRent, so both you and your tenant can always find it.

3. Know the law

Tenancy Law can be overwhelming. However, it’s important to familiarise yourself with it to protect both you and your tenants. Tenancy Service website is full of useful information. myRent is built around the Residential Tenancies Act. Whether you’re lodging a rental bond or organising a property inspection, we will provide helpful hints and explanations to ensure you understand and comply with the law.

4. An Investment property is not your home

It seems obvious, but a lot of first-time landlords struggle to think commercially and not get too emotional about their properties. Don’t get carried away with grand design ideas or renovations that might not be suitable for your target market. Make sure your place is safe and secure, bathrooms and kitchens are clean and neat, and the property appears well maintained. Remember that buying an investment property was a business decision, so be business-like about it.

5. Don’t neglect repairs and maintenance

Unfortunately, people are much harder on a property they don’t own. So, the upkeep of your property is vital. It’s wise to use good, reliable appliances, low maintenance plants in the garden and to touch up paint in between tenancies to make sure your property is well presented and easy to maintain. If issues arise (and they will), it’s good to have a couple of tradesmen on-hand who can address problems quickly and affordably.

The list of potential mistakes and tips to overcome them is long, but don't get overwhelmed! Owning an investment property and rent it out can be a very rewarding experience both financially and personally. Technology is here to help owners to minimise overheads, improve efficiency, save time and increase communication between landlords and tenants. It helps you work smarter, not harder. And remember there are over 350,000 landlords in New Zealand and if they can do it, so can you!

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.

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