RENTAL LAWS – ARE THEY FAIR?

You no doubt have heard about the rental survey that was undertaken by the government at the end of 2018. This survey was designed to gain feedback from owners and tenants about how they felt about the current tenancy laws, which are up for review in 2019. The review promoted lively conversation amongst owners, tenants, and property managers. It is common for both owners and tenants to feel the laws are in favour of the other party. The reality is that renting is a complicated transaction, and as Property Managers we must act on behalf of our owner clients while satisfying our duty of care to you, our tenants. Some interesting feedback has come from the survey, with very real concerns expressed by many tenants. Unfortunately, just like there are bad tenants, there are bad owners, and we sympathise with those tenants who feel unfairly treated. However, as a professional property management agency, our processes are designed to act lawfully and equitably for both sides. Therefore, I would like to reply to some of the concerns that have been voiced by people in the media, to alleviate the concerns of our tenants:

1. ‘Many tenants live in homes that are badly in need of repair’ We pride ourselves on providing properties that are well-maintained. A poorly maintained property is no good for owners (or us), as this keeps the rental price down and does not attract a good-quality tenant. We rely on you, our tenants, to report maintenance so that we can pass this onto the owners and quickly attend to them. Jan – Apr 2019 rental laws – are they fair?

2. ‘Many tenants fear that reporting Maintenance will result in a rent rise’ Many tenants don’t understand that it is a requirement of your lease agreement that you report maintenance. Failing to do this may result in the problem getting worse over time, costing the owner even more money. The rent can only be raised at the end of the lease if the repair has raised the value of the house – for example, if an air-con is installed. But normal maintenance is a part of owning a property and should not have any relevance to rental price.

3. ‘Many tenants fear eviction for no reason at the end of their lease’ What many people need to remember is that owning a rental property is a financial matter. In most cases, the owner relies on the rental income to pay their mortgage. Having a tenant leave at the end costs the owner a significant amount of money in leasing fees and vacancy.
Therefore, owners will do all they can to keep good tenants in place. It just makes good financial sense. Therefore, if you are paying your rent on time and keeping the property in a reasonable manner, you should have no fear of being asked to leave (unless the owner wants to renovate, sell or move in). And if you do need to move out, a good reference from us will mean that you will find your perfect new home without any stress. In conclusion, if you rent through a reputable agency who understands and follows the law, and you continue to do the right thing, you should have a smooth, enjoyable tenancy and a very happy owner who will never want to see you leave