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Changing Housing Market Demands More Stringent Tenant Checks

Media Release     3 February 2014

Changing Housing Market Demands More Stringent Tenant Checks

Make sure you don’t end up having a horse showering in your rental.

That from Landlord Assist Managing Director Kareena Lundy who says "the horse case" is one of the strangest she’s seen over the years and  as the rental market booms, checking prospective tenants is more important than ever. 

The 2013 census shows a 14 per cent increase from 2006 in the number of properties occupied by those who pay rent and this trend is expected to continue given the recent changes to new home loan regulations.

Landlord Assist was developed in late 2013 to help private landlords with tenant selection by providing information that property managers and private investigators use but at a fraction of the cost. Working with a legal team, Kareena has compiled a very comprehensive application form and this combined with reports - including credit checks - and data matching, ensures that the analysis of the application provides a true and accurate image of the potential tenant.

“People are so transient now that often traditional sources of information are no longer able to be used so by using six different reports and areas of enquiry, a better and more accurate picture of the applicants previous rental and financial history is possible. Often landlords just don’t have the time to order reports from multiple sources and then interpret  the information. Landlord Assist analyses the information and condenses it into a report which enables the landlord to decide whether the applicant would be the best possible fit for the property,” she says.

There have been several high profile cases where tenants have caused significant damage to a property often exacerbated by rent arrears. The most recent involved a Christchurch man who let his house while he worked in Ashburton and was left with thousands of dollars’ worth of damage and rent arrears.

“It is so important to get the right checks completed as it’s not just about protecting your asset from damage but you may find it difficult to move someone on when they are defaulting in their agreement with you.”

And what about that horse? Ms. Lundy says some years ago, she took over a tenancy from another management company and shortly afterwards a neighbour reported to her that a “small horse” appeared to be living in the house with the tenant. That turned out to be partially correct in that the tenant kept the miniature horse outside but would bring it in and take it up stairs to wash and groom it.

“I haven’t come across a case like that one again but you just never know, which is why we are encouraging people to make sure they dot their ‘i’s and cross their ‘t’s to reduce the risk of renting to tenants who may not be the best for their property.”  


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