Working for you: Rentworks

Whether a rental property owner or someone seeking to rent, it pays to have a trusted property manager looking after your interests.

Steve Hawker and Brent Manderson not only solely manage one of Christchurch’s largest independent property portfolios, they also keep well-informed of government regulations and rental market trends. Rentworks Property Management delivers a premium service, backed by a consistently transparent and open communication system with clientele.

For instance, the April announcement from Housing Minister, Chris Bishop, that the coalition government will not pursue the former administration’s plans to regulate residential property managers came as a surprise to Steve and Brent.

Brent Manderson and Steve Hawker

“The initiative to introduce basic training requirements wasn’t about burdening property managers with additional tasks, but about creating consistency within the industry. It was also about establishing a solid foundation of best practices for newcomers entering the field.”

Another legislative update is the government’s introduction of Pet Bonds (not in effect until the end of 2025). Set at a maximum of two weeks rent, the pet bond can be charged in addition to the existing bond. Steve and Brent say that while any additional protection is a positive step for landlords, under existing regulation standard bonds (capped at four weeks) already provide coverage for pet damage. “It remains to be seen if an extra two weeks bond will really make that much difference.”

Looking at the current market, Steve and Brent have noticed that there is an increase in the time it takes to rent properties heading into winter. “However, there are always people looking to move from their current homes, as well as new arrivals to Christchurch looking for rentals. It just takes a bit longer. This is the main reason we prefer 12 months fixed term tenancies,
Jan/Feb to Jan/Feb.”

Another trend sees more investors moving into the market, while those investors who were planning to exit the market are now sitting tight. Two reasons for this would be the return of interest deductibility for landlords, and the current buyer’s real estate market. Steve and Brent cite the high number of properties available for sale currently, with a 23% rise nationally in listings over the last nine months.

Anecdotally, attendance is weakening again at auctions and open homes. Unemployment is rising and job growth is slowing, so potential buyers are starting to worry about their incomes. “All this tends to soften prices, so in our view, it is a great time to buy a new investment property, but a terrible time to sell one,” they say.

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