A Tauranga residential property manager is ushering in a new level of professionalism in the rental housing market by guaranteeing the rent for any tenants his company puts into a property.
Dan Keller, who enjoys a high profile in the industry after serving nine years as president of the Tauranga Property Investors Association to 2012, says his property management company, RentPro, has started offering a rent guarantee scheme to its clients.
“Landlords tell me their biggest single worry is that tenants fail to meet their rent commitments,” says Dan Keller. “A few weeks’ missed payments can have a serious impact on some landlords’ ability to meet their investment obligations.
“At RentPro we are property investors ourselves, sharing years of experience and expertise. We believe our selection and management procedures are so good we can guarantee the rent during the entire tenancy where we get to select the tenants – at no extra cost.”
He says RentPro’s new guarantee scheme removes a big worry for landlords, and also serves as an endorsement for those tenants who meet its selection criteria.
“As always with these sorts of things, terms and conditions apply to the rent guarantee, but it goes both ways. Landlords have to agree to maintain the rental property to an acceptable standard in order to qualify for the guarantee scheme, so tenants are assured of prompt action should the property require any attention.
“Also, some landlords factor in extra rental cost to cover the likelihood of a rent default, so with this threat mitigated there will be less pressure on rents.”
“This is a significant move in the residential property management sector,” says long-term Tauranga landlord Sam Opie, who is not a client of RentPro. “Property management is not a simple money earner. We are seeing more and more incompetent and inexperienced management companies entering the market and failing their clients.
“I personally had to take back management of a property after being seriously misled by a new property management company, losing several thousand dollars through rent arrears. It is great to see RentPro offering a guaranteed rent as part of its contract. It's a built-in insurance policy.
“It hurts all parties when cowboy property managers get it wrong. Here we have an established company raising the bar in terms of commitment and professionalism. I hope the rest of the industry has to follow suit, both here and across New Zealand.”
Overall, there are about 32,000 households paying rent in the Bay of Plenty to private landlords, trusts or businesses, according to the 2013 Census. Together, these landlords account for at least 83% of all rentals.
At an average value per property of $300,000, that equates to a total investment in the local rental market of more than $9.5 billion.
The RentPro Property Management team looks after residential properties in the Tauranga region, but its clients come from all over the Western Bay of Plenty, and beyond. Dan Keller, who featured recently on the TV2 Renters programme helping a landlord clean up after a bad tenant, is now Northern Rep for the New Zealand Property Investors Federation.
“No other local property management company offers to guarantee the rent on properties it manages,” adds Dan Keller. “I have heard of a couple of similar schemes elsewhere, but nothing as comprehensive.
“We can do this because we know this market and RentPro has rock-solid tenant selection and property management processes.”