Making the offer
Many landlords find the process of selecting a new tenant for their property to be a stressful experience. Having found that (hopefully) ideal tenant they then tend to relax and rush the next step in the process.
Offering a tenancy must be done in a careful and considered manmer
However, offering the tenancy to that new tenant must be done in a careful and considered manner to avoid what could develop into quite serious problems. We have heard sobering stories about the landlord who has run into difficulties, the Bond has not been paid or they have been held by the Tenancy Tribunal to have made commitments to the tenant without realising their implications.
Establish the amount of Bond and rent you require
Prior to advertising the tenancy you should have established the amount of Bond and the rent you require, and you must make that clear to all applicants for the tenancy. There is every reason to collect the maximum amount of Bond allowable, but note that it is currently illegal to collect more than four weeks rent as Bond even if it is called something else, e.g. a Pet Bond.
Good reference and credit checking vital steps
Good reference checking and credit checking are vital steps in your tenant selection process. Then, having selected your preferred applicant, you are in a position to make them a conditional offer of the tenancy.
Offer must be in writing
To protect yourself your offer must be in writing and must be subject to payment of the full Bond, payment of the initial rent, and the written Tenancy Agreement and other necessary paperwork being signed on or before a specified date. Remember there is an online NZPIF tenancy agreement available for members to use.
EXAMPLE OF AN OFFER
I am offering you a periodic tenancy of the property at nn xxxxx Street as from dd/mm/yy subject to the receipt of the Bond of $xxxx, first weeks rent of $xx (Total $yyyy) either in cash or in cleared funds directly to my bank account and completion of the attached Tenancy Agreement on or before the date of commencement of the tenancy.
Never accept any excuses for these conditions not being met in full, no matter how sad or plausible. If an applicant is unable to pay the entire Bond and initial rent then your offer lapses and you can safely move on to another applicant.
Knowledge is power
Like all tenancy matters, knowledge is power. Life is too short to make all the mistakes yourself. The Federation has created the RentSkills Education Program so that you can arm yourself with the knowledge to follow the correct steps, do things the right way, and create the paper trail that will protect you if and when things turn ugly.
This is free for all full NZPIF members and can be undertaken by Associate Members and non-members of $350. We recommend that you sign up and complete that program.