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REINZ Urges Government To Pass RPM Bill For #betterpropertymanagement

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) is launching their #betterpropertymanagment campaign today, calling on the government to pass the Residential Property Managers (RPM) Bill.

This Bill will see the residential property management industry regulated ensuring protection, compliance, and better industry standards for the millions of New Zealanders who live in rental properties.

Chief Executive of REINZ, Jen Baird says the relaunch of their campaign is to stress to our Government that without the RPM Bill, New Zealand risks inadequate protection, non-compliant spaces, increased dispute costs, and negative impacts on the well-being of renters.

“Property managers play a crucial role in managing and maintaining rental properties, handling significant wealth and retirement savings. The total value of the residential rental property market in New Zealand is estimated to be at least $15 billion in rental turnover per year or 4.3% of GDP. Despite this, the industry operates without regulation, leading to issues such as bond fraud and varying service quality,” says Baird.

“With nearly one in three households renting and half of those managed by property managers, the need for regulatory intervention is clear.”

“We want our members and our communities to get behind us and share their stories as to why this is important using #betterpropertymanagment because that’s what this sector needs,” adds Baird.

Since launching ‘A call for change’ in 2019 REINZ has advocated for its members (who all have trust accounts and meet REINZ-imposed compliance processes) and given the government a roadmap for regulation.

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“We need the government to act now. Some have argued that increased regulation will mean higher fees, but this is unlikely for reputable managers. Those who choose professional management understand the benefits of expertise, 24/7 availability, and competitive fees,” comments Baird.

“If a landlord has a good property manager, the value of properties increases, compliance increases, and the overall health and wellbeing of tenants is improved. The cost is minimal compared to the substantial value of the properties,” she adds.

REINZ delivered a verbal submission for the regulation of the residential property management to the Social Services and Community Committee on 19 February emphasising the need for balanced and effective regulations to safeguard both landlords and tenants.

The Submission outlined that legislation should address:

  • private landlords are increasingly using property managers to handle their investments due to the complexity and lack of training and standards in the Residential Tenancies Act
  • the lack of formal checks on client funds as bond fraud is common,
  • the single formal avenue for landlords to raise concerns about property managers.
  • the is variance in the quality of services offered

Baird says the submission was timely for several reasons and says that without some form of regulatory intervention, it is unlikely that many of these issues will be self-correcting.

“REINZ submission is amidst growing concerns over the need for better standards and accountability within the sector. Nearly one in three households rent in New Zealand, with half of those properties managed by a professional property manager,” comments Baird.

“Over 1.4 million people lived in rental housing at the time of the 2018 Census. According to the Census, over 7,800 property managers worked in New Zealand in 2018, removing commercial property managers, there are still over 5000 residential property managers. That is a considerable number to operate with no regulation.”

“We know that a high standard of property management has an incredibly positive impact on the lives of all New Zealanders,” added Baird.

REINZ is urging all those who want property managers to adhere to specific standards, have them held accountable for their actions, making a professional and responsible industry to get behind the campaign, share their stories and use the hashtag #betterpropertymanagement to let the government know why this legislation must pass.

The RPM Bill is moving to its second reading after the 29 May debate in the House.

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