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REINZ reiterates its call to regulate property management

Maggots, mould & no curtains: REINZ reiterates its call for the Government to regulate the property management industry

In the last week there has been at least three incidents raised in the media about inadequate behaviour from property managers around the country, which has caused the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) to reiterate its call for the Government to regulate the property management industry.

One incident in Auckland saw tenants find maggots under their carpet; another in Christchurch saw a mother fight to get curtains in her rental home for half a year, despite the fact she had a chronically ill daughter and a son with asthma; and the third incident saw a group of nine students in Dunedin take legal action over toxic mould.

Bindi Nowell, Chief Executive at REINZ says: “Since 2009, property managers have not been regulated which is why it is of great concern when we hear of incidents highlighted in the media about property managers not living up to consumers’ expectations. With no regulations in place it means that anyone can become a property manager and that there is no consistency across the industry – unless the property manager is also a licensed real estate agent.

“Frighteningly the lack of regulations also means there are no protections in place such as holding money in a trust account, having the appropriate insurance in place to operate in the industry, having a dispute resolution process in place or regulatory compliance being adhered to,” points out Norwell.

“While there are many fantastic property managers out there who have high ethical standards and adhere to the REINZ Code of Agency Practice, this is constantly being undermined by others who do not have the same standards of ethics as has been highlighted in the media over the last few days. This means that renters – who include some of our more vulnerable members of society – can potentially be taken advantage of, when in fact, we should be looking after renters and supporting them,” continues Norwell.

“Whilst the Government is currently reviewing proposals to ban letting fees for tenants, if it really wants to help renters, it should regulate the property management industry as part of its wider review of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act - essentially putting the ambulance at the top of the cliff,” she continues.

“Our advice to landlords when talking to potential property managers is to ask if they have a trust account in place, have indemnity insurance, a disputes resolution process and if they are a REINZ member,” concludes Norwell.

ENDS

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