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Tell me about those bogans that trashed your house please - Tactical Ninja

Aug. 20th, 2013

09:38 am - Tell me about those bogans that trashed your house please

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So we signed the lease for the new place last night. I liked it more on second viewing, and considering I liked it on first viewing, this is a good sign. And because we don't muck about, we have already sorted movers and changing the power over and are onto the internet stuff and scored some boxes to start packing.

I am something of a speed packing expert, and could probably pack up our house in 2 days if necessary. We have 2 weeks, which is an excessive amount of time and thus a complete luxury so we can pack at our leisure. The movers are coming on the afternoon of 31 August.


Meanwhile, we are going to use a tenancy management service for the apartment. Yesterday two people put renting horror stories in my post, and yes, I have one of my own, which involved renting to a work colleague who then used the fact that we worked together to try and get away with not paying the rent. In the end she did a runner owing over $3000 and had the audacity to give my name as a reference. That was a mistake on her part. Heh.

But yeah, I've no interest in being a direct landlord and am willing to pay to have someone else deal with that stuff.

In Wellington, Quinovic is the main tenancy management company, but when I checked their charges I was quite surprised by how much they sting you for. I've only ever heard of them from the opposite side of the deal, and apparently as a tenant they also sting you for things like letting fees and are not that good to deal with. At least, I have known people who were looking at renting who have seen it was managed by Quinovic and it has put them off applying. The other thing is that if you look at their website they are very focused on 'maximising your investment' - which for me is offputting.

Background: NZ doesn't have capital gains tax. This means that property investment has been a popular way for people to gain wealth. For folks like us, who just want to go from having nothing to having something, it's nice. But you also have the rich wanker end of the market, folks who buy property then put up blocks of apartments that are 3 bedrooms in 45m2 and rent them out to students and immigrants (read: the desperate) for $150 a room a week. I kid you not - I'm not sure if it's true but I've heard that Wellington City Council had to bring in limits on how small an apartment could legally be for the number of bedrooms it has, just to stop this practice.

And from what I understand, those are the people who use Quinovic to manage their properties. So what you have is a company that's interested in squeezing money out of a property and so focuses on the lower end of the market, milking people who just want somewhere cheap to live for all they are worth, and taking a cut from landlords who are raking in the bucks by cramming loads of folks in a small space and thus can afford their exorbitant fees. And consequently their tenant pool tends towards students and younger folk, who don't have a lot of options and also tend to have a reputation for (generalising here) not being the most stable or careful of tenants.

So we're not going with them. Problem is, it's hard to get recommendations for tenancy managers online - I couldn't find anywhere that was comprehensive - and we don't know a lot of property investors or landlords to find out by word of mouth. So it's a bit of a gamble. We're interviewing a guy on Thursday whose company focuses on the middle to higher end of the market. Our place is probably on the low end of that but we're not looking for unrealisitically high rent, and the location makes it desirable. Meanwhile, I'm hoping that his tenant pool is a reflection of the small and personal nature of the firm. We shall see.


But because we're new at this, advice and recommendations are most welcome.

And if you want to freak us out with tenant horror stories, here is the place to do it. I'll take it as a form of word to the wise and traps for young players advice, so that when we interview the guy we'll know what sort of questions to ask and what criteria to set regarding tenants.

I am having happy wee dreams of herb gardens. I didn't realise how much I missed having a proper garden till the prospect of having one again was dangled in front of me.

Comments:

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From:dianavilliers
Date:August 19th, 2013 10:13 pm (UTC)
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From the tenant side of things, I mostly didn't have a problem with Quinovic. They were responsive when it came to maintainence and had contractors on some sort of retainer so when we had plumbing problems at 6pm on a Saturday, it was sorted promptly and withiout fuss. Inspections were regular and reasonably non-intrusive, although they seemed to have a policy of finding something to complain about - dust on the light switches - really? Diddums. We did go through a sequence Quinovic employees acting as out point of contact, who were all reasonable and responsive apart from the last one, who dithered around losing e-mails and failing to file the paperwork releasing our bond until I started asking for her manager and mentioning the tenancy tribunal when I contacted them. I'm willing to believe that she was an isolated incident of hopless employee though.

Currently, I'm renting through Nightingales, who seem to be a two or three person operation. They're friendly enough, but I haven't had the opportunity to test them on the 6pm plumber thing yet. When I had a cursory look at Tenancy Tribunal rulings concerning them a while back they did seem to have a tendency to try and hang on to the bond for "carpet cleaning" and losing if it's disputed.


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From:tatjna
Date:August 19th, 2013 10:24 pm (UTC)
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That was a useful site, thank you. I just went through the rulings back to 2010 and found two relating to the company we're interviewing, both found in favour of the company (rent arrears claims). Seems like a good start for vetting. Thank you again.
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:August 19th, 2013 10:21 pm (UTC)
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I think my decision was purely "Quinovic want how much compared to everyone else? And 10% of all maintenance costs? Let's see who else is out there".
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From:tatjna
Date:August 19th, 2013 10:25 pm (UTC)
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Yes, there was that. And then the monthly admin fee, and the up front costs to let, and the oncharging of credit checks, and it seems most companies don't have these fees. hm...
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From:t_c_da
Date:August 19th, 2013 11:05 pm (UTC)
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We used the managing arm of The Professionals here in Upper Hutt, and they were 8% of the rent plus 10% of any maintenance charges IIRC, but the bit that annoyed me was they held the rent until the end of the month of the last day of the rent period covered* so they collected more bank interest and we got less of it. Other branches of The Professionals probably have their own property managers with their own peculiarities. Also our experience was about 8 years ago.

*If the rent was for say July 26 to August 1, we got the cash at the end of August even though the tenant paid it on July 26. I saw this as penny pinching, and given their inability to ping the tenant for the dog (because the manager didn't like dealing with dogs, or, apparently, confrontation) this was just a wee bit too much for me.
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From:russiandolls
Date:August 19th, 2013 10:58 pm (UTC)
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I rather liked Just Property Management when I dealt with them (as a tenant).
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From:tatjna
Date:August 19th, 2013 11:09 pm (UTC)
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Good to know, thanks. They are on the list of potentials. ;-)
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From:danjite
Date:August 20th, 2013 06:34 am (UTC)
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CARE managed the place we rented in Thorndon and were professional.

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From:jaelle_n_gilla
Date:August 20th, 2013 06:58 am (UTC)
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I know a few people here who own one apartment or house and lease it, and live in another and pay rent. It seems to work fine for them, and they all have an agency doing all the leasing stuff. Over here, agencies are usually booked for a whole block. Maybe you could ask around if other homes near you are using an agency and if tenants and owners are ok with them? Dunno, maybe NZ is different.

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From:tatjna
Date:August 20th, 2013 09:46 pm (UTC)
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Here, individual landlords choose their own managers. So if the landlord owns the whole building, then all the apartments will be under the same manager. Our building has apartments in individual title, so they'll all be different.
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From:pickleboot
Date:August 20th, 2013 09:34 am (UTC)
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i will email keir's cousin and ask who they are using. i know that they are very happy with the company handling their rental property.

i have horror stories about landlords- mostly about one in the last place before we bought our house and he would walk in on me when i was showering, waking up zane, and later, both kids.
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From:tatjna
Date:August 20th, 2013 09:47 pm (UTC)
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Oh ugh. I had a landlord that was creepy like that. It was one of those private arrangements and he just made my skin crawl every time he came round.
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From:brynhilda
Date:August 20th, 2013 06:29 pm (UTC)
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Overhere we have the term 'Mietnomaden' (something like 'renting nomads') for people who rent a place, wreck it,leave their trash everywhere and then disappear without paying the rent after 3 months or so...that leaves room for lots of renting horror stories on tv:).
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From:tatjna
Date:August 20th, 2013 09:49 pm (UTC)
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Heh, that's a good term. Bogan is more of a style of dress and attitude (think V8 cars, metal music, black clothing, often hippie styles for the women). And to be completely honest, bogans are more likely to piss off the neighbours than to wreck your house.
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