5 Renovations To Maximise Your Rental Property Returns

12/04/2024

Renovating rental properties can be an excellent strategy for maximizing returns. Here are five renovations that can help boost rental income:

  1. Kitchen Upgrades: The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home. Upgrading appliances, countertops, cabinets, and fixtures can attract tenants willing to pay higher rent. Consider adding energy-efficient appliances to appeal to environmentally-conscious renters.
  2. Bathroom Remodeling: A modern and clean bathroom can significantly increase the desirability of a rental property. Upgrades such as installing a new shower/tub, updating the vanity, and adding contemporary fixtures can make a big impact. Also, consider improving ventilation to prevent mold and mildew issues.
  3. Flooring Replacement: Durable, low-maintenance flooring not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the property but also reduces ongoing maintenance costs. Consider options like hardwood, laminate, or vinyl plank flooring, which are both attractive and easy to clean.
  4. Energy Efficiency Improvements: Making your property more energy-efficient can attract tenants and lower utility costs, increasing your overall return on investment. Install energy-efficient windows, upgrade insulation, and consider adding programmable thermostats to help tenants manage their energy usage.
  5. Curb Appeal Enhancements: First impressions matter. Improving the curb appeal of your rental property can attract more potential tenants and allow you to command higher rent. Simple enhancements like landscaping, exterior painting, and updating the front door and porch area can make a big difference.

Before embarking on any renovation project, it’s essential to thoroughly research the local rental market to ensure that the improvements align with tenant preferences and justify the potential increase in rent. Additionally, consider the overall budget for renovations and weigh the costs against the expected increase in rental income to ensure a favorable return on investment.

Healthy Homes – changes to ventilation standards

13/09/2022

he ventilation standard now allows properties with certain continuous mechanical ventilation in kitchens and bathrooms to meet the ventilation standard.

If your home was built with a continuous mechanical ventilation system, to meet the standard it must:

  • be designed to vent extracted air continuously from residential property to the outdoors, and for a kitchen or bathroom, extracts the air directly from the room, and
  • have been installed in the property or a tenancy building that first received building consent on or after 1 November 2019 and was part of that original building consent, and continues to meet the requirements of the building consent.

Alternatively, if your home has been renovated and now includes a continuous mechanical ventilation system, to meet the standard, the system must:

  • be designed to provide ventilation for multiple rooms and to continuously vent extracted air to the outdoors, and
  • extract air directly out of the kitchen and bathroom, with an exhaust capacity of at least 12 ℓ/s in the kitchen and 10 ℓ/s in the bathroom. The actual flow rate may be varied (manually or automatically), in response to the demand for ventilation.

Recirculating systems (products like HRV and DVS systems), or fans that do not extract to the outdoors are not suitable to meet the ventilation standard.

Updates to Healthy Homes

16/08/2022

The Healthy Homes Standards have been updated with improvements to the heating, ventilation, and moisture ingress and drainage standards.

One improvement is a new formula for the heating standard, that applies for modern dwellings built after 2008 and certain apartments.

The formula change recognises that these types of properties are better at retaining heat.

The heating assessment tool has also been updated to calculate the required minimum heating capacity using both the new and original formula.

The Tenancy Services website has been updated to include these changes.

https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/healthy-homes/changes-to-the-healthy-homes-standards/

Damage caused by weather

19/07/2022

Wild weather can cause damage at your rental property. Find out what to do if your rental needs repairs after extreme weather or a natural disaster.

Landlords are responsible for maintaining the property in a reasonable condition. This includes fixing any damage caused by severe weather or a natural disaster.

Find out what to do if you are a tenant or a landlord here:

https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/about-tenancy-services/news/damage-because-of-weather-events/

Considered including Sections Maintained in your Tenancy Agreement?

10/05/2022

A question many owners find themselves struggling to answer….

If you’re a tenant, you’re responsible for keeping the property reasonably clean and tidy. This includes mowing the lawns and weeding the gardens. There are many tenants that do a great job of maintaining their sections. However most struggle to keep them at an acceptable standard.

Some things that may help you decide whether to include section maintenance are:

  • Tenants are more likely to accept rent increases, as there is a regular reminder that the landlord is taking care of the property.
  • Having your property maintained by a professional ensures a great first impression when we re-lease your property in the future
  • Tenants don’t need to worry about handling lawn care, and the landlord knows it is getting done right. 

Any arrangement regarding lawncare and gardening should be detailed in the tenancy agreement and discussed before the tenant’s term starts and be monitored over time. 

Privacy Act 2020

12/04/2022

The Privacy Act 2020 governs how agencies collect, store, use, disclose, and give access to personal information. As a landlord or property manager, you need to comply with the Privacy Act. Personal information covered by the Privacy Act is any information that tells you something about a specific individual.

Landlords can only collect personal information in ways that are lawful, fair, and not unreasonably intrusive The Privacy Act is organised around 13 information privacy principles.

Click the link to explore each of the privacy principles https://www.privacy.org.nz/privacy-act-2020/privacy-principles/

Wear and tear vs Intentional damage

18/01/2022

Fair wear and tear refers to the gradual deterioration of things that are used regularly in a property when people live in it.

A tenant is not responsible for normal fair wear and tear to the property or any chattels provided by the landlord when they use them normally. The tenant is responsible for any intentional or careless damage.

An example of this would be where a stove element wears out from normal cooking. This is fair wear and tear. However, if the stove was being used to heat the kitchen and stopped working properly, this would not be considered normal use.

Examples of what is usually considered fair wear and tear are:

  • flooring getting worn
  • taps and washers in the kitchen, bathroom or laundry wearing out or leaking

 Examples of what is not normally considered fair wear and tear are:

  • burn marks or drink stains on the carpet
  • drawing on wallpaper

You can find out more on damages and repairs at https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/maintenance-and-inspections/repairs-and-damages/

KiwiHarvest Christmas Food Drive

04/01/2022

In December the team at T And T Property Management jumped on board with Healthy Families Invercargill to support the KiwiHarvest Food Drive to help distribute food to vulnerable families in Southland over the Christmas period. 🥫🎄

KiwiHarvest collects good, nutritious food before it goes to waste and distributes to frontline agencies, helping to feed our most vulnerable. Locally the demand for KiwiHarvest’s donations has been very high. They are now 18 recipient organisations benefiting from KiwiHarvest’s food distribution on a weekly basis, with even more organisations receiving donations from time to time and others on the waiting list.

We had many many items donated by our tenants, suppliers and locals that had seen our posts online. We were so thrilled to be a part of the Food Drive and were very grateful to each and everyone of those that donated to such a great cause. Knowing that many of our vulnerable families would be fed over Christmas and received a Christmas they deserved filled our hearts.

You can check out the amazing work KiwiHarvest do by visiting their website.www.kiwiharvest.org.nz

Safety over the Holiday period

21/12/2021

Heading away for the Christmas break? While this can be a very exciting time we also need to think about the safety of your home and possessions while you are away.

Here are a few things to make sure you return home with all your belongings still in place.

  • Ensure that you have switched off the gas and have electric appliances unplugged with the switches turned off at the wall.
  • Burglars will often look for signs like boots and shoes left by the front door to see who lives in a house. Even when you are away, leave a few pairs of shoes by the door, including man sized boots
  • Check carefully that all your windows and doors are well secured before you leave your home
  • Tell a trusted neighbor that you’ll be away. See if they can check on your home and take your mail and packages inside your home, or even park a car in your driveway to make it look like someone is still home
  • Don’t leave valuable items in places, where they can be seen through a window. 

How much power do appliances use?

07/12/2021

There are many appliances that we use in our homes – also many that we use daily. The high end areas are usually in the kitchen, and laundry. Appliance such as ovens & stove, fridge, dishwasher etc.

You might be surprised to know how much each one of your electrical appliances costs to run. Being aware of which everyday household appliances have higher running costs is a good way to avoid higher energy bills. Check out the link below for a guide on house hold appliances and their power usage.

https://www.powershop.co.nz/assets/Resource-Hub/Saving-Electricity/Main-Hub/63c48ace03/Appliances-and-their-power-usage.pdf

If you’re shopping for a new whiteware appliance, TV, fridge or heat pump, you’ll see an Energy Rating label prominently displayed on the products.

The label shows a simple star rating – the more stars, the more energy-efficient the appliance. The label also features an annual energy consumption (kWh per year), calculated from average expected use.