Real estate training organisation REAL ITO is consulting with the property management industry on qualifications for letting agents and property managers.
Chief executive Lesley Southwick said better education standards in property management can help reduce the number of complaints received in the housing sector and that level 3 and 4 papers are scheduled to be introduced to tertiary institutions towards the end of winter.
"When the new education standards were introduced by the Government almost two years ago for real estate, the focus was to improve standards and protect the public in the process of buying and selling property only. Residential property management was left out of the Act."
Until now, education of property management staff had been largely overlooked in terms of a national qualification, she said.
In the past 18 months, approximately 80 complaints have been received by the Real Estate Agents Authority which Southwick said are related to property management rather than sales issues, representing around 10% of total complaints received.
"Real estate agent offices handle a large percentage of the housing rental market business. We estimate this market to have an annual turnover of around $7 billion. This is a very large industry where anybody can claim to be a property manager and start a business."
"There are fundamentals such as the Tenancy Act and Privacy Act, as well as the skills to learn in managing tenant and landlord relationships."
Southwick said that many real estate companies do a good job of training their staff in-house, and that the proposed qualification would support that training and provide independent assessment of competency on knowledge and skills.