A Decade Overdue: the need for regulation of property management in New Zealand

Anglican Advocacy in Christchurch released this damning report on the antics of the property management industry on 28th August. Tenants and property owners shared their stories of how property managers have broken the law or failed to provide even the most basic services to tenants and often to the property owners as well.

Read a summary of the report’s findings here

Examples of property managers’ failings include:

  • Negligence in duties to tenants and landlords
  • Losing or not filing bond monies
  • Deceit and manipulation
  • Discrimination
  • Withholding bond
  • Wrongly claiming arrears
  • Invading privacy
  • Using unenforceable clauses in agreements.

Jolyon White, Director of Anglican Advoacy told Anglican Taonga magazine that a “lack of regulation is causing harm to tenants and landlords alike, as well as to property managers who are striving to operate ethically and professionally.”

“There are really good property managers out there who help landlords and tenants alike with their obligations under the RTA (Residential Tenancies Act). They must be pulling their hair out in frustration that these horror stories are bringing their entire industry into disrepute.”

Property managers have a high level of responsibility. They keep keys and personal information, handle rent, and conduct inspections. Their companies handle billions of dollars worth of housing, and millions of dollars in rent.

Despite this, New Zealand law does not require them to have a license or any form of accreditation to operate, nor are they required to keep payments in a separate trust account or carry indemnity insurance. This is causing harm to tenants and landlords alike.

A decade ago the government did not take the opportunity to follow the advice of a Parliament Select Committee and most people in the sector to regulate the sector. Now is a golden opportunity to fix that omission along with other changes proposed to rental laws and regulations.

Read the full report A Decade Overdue on the Anglican Advocacy website.