Everything You Need To Know About Tenancy Law In New Zealand

The rental market across the world has started to increase on a huge scale. Some countries in Europe are more oriented at renting their properties rather than buying them. Obviously, on the opposite hand, there are countries around the world where the majority want to own their own property. Here in New Zealand, we have a strong and good reputation in our rental market. Our rental properties are some of the finest in the world. However, before you embark on renting a property, it is well worth doing a little bit of research to find out what you are getting in to.

Rental Property Managers

For maximum safety, finding a property manager or property management experts is highly recommended as they will be able to go through each step of the process and make you aware of the latest legislation which has to be adhered to. A point to note, there are some upcoming changes which will take effect from July 2019, for confirmation of these and to keep up to date, visit this link: https://www.lawsociety.org.nz/news-and-communications/latest-news/news/proposed-changes-to-residential-tenancy-laws-announced Later in the article, we will take a look at some of the possible changes that may take place.

The Rental

Once you have decided renting is the path for you, there are a great number of personal factors that you have to consider before you take the plunge and visit potential properties.

  • The Location

Although this may seem self-explanatory, the location of your property should be one of the most important aspects that you look at. Consider areas such as:

– distance to and from work

– local amenities

– parking facilities availability if required

– local area and whether it suits your needs i.e. if you are a young professional you may not want to move into an area that is established and the majority of the residents are in their senior years.

– how the location may affect your insurance premiums.  

  • Schools

If you are a family you may need to consider the local schools. If your children are already in a school, factor in traveling to and from school and if you will need any transport links.

  • Expense

Consider the amount that it will cost you to rent the property and what other costs you may incur as part of this move. There are many fees and deposits that you may require so when doing your budget, be sure to factor these elements in so that you are well prepared of what’s ahead.

  • Viewings

When you go to look at a property, try and take a good look at exactly what you are seeing. It is very easy to get carried away with what you see, but make sure it still fits your needs and you can live with how the property will be, as you will not be able to make changes to a rental property. Another point to note is to try and view the property at varying points of the day. This will give you an idea of what the area is like to live in day to day, as well as at night.

The property that you will be moving into will have been appraised by the landlord or the property manager. This will outline areas of the property that are to be kept the same once you leave. See it as a damage report. It also may contain an inventory of the products in the property which you will need to look after.

Investment

Above we have mentioned some of the aspects that you may need to consider when renting a property. At this point it is worth mentioning details to consider for those that may want to own a property to rent out. You can obtain lots of information from an investment property management company. They can talk you through your options and help you to get the maximum out of your investment. They will know first-hand how much a property could yield each month and if it is even worth investing in in the first place as not all properties will be popular in the rental market. They will advise you on looking at the demographic of the property that you are looking at. An example of this is if you are wanting to rent to professionals that are hungry for a city life, there is no point in marketing a property that’s in the country to this type of renter as it will not meet their needs. Again, as with tenants, it is vital that you get your knowledge up to date with regards to the legislations and laws of becoming a landlord. Be sure to keep up to date with any future legislation changes too.

Legislation

As mentioned at the start, there are some posed pending changes to tenancy law. We will now summarise these in a basic manner:

  1. There is a need to increase the quality of boarding houses. This means the landlords of these properties will now held more responsible than before.
  2. An improvement in the law to balance responsibility between the landlord and the tenant and to ensure that the home the renter is in feels like theirs.
  3. Tenants will now have better stability and improved security in their homes whilst at the same time, the landlord’s interests will be also protected.
  4. The new legislation will also take into account any rental trends that may affect the market. This way both landlords and tenants can benefit from any trending differences.

The above has outlined some basic aspects that you should consider, both from a tenant point of view and from a landlord point of view too. Don’t limit the amount of research that you do as having the best and most up to date information will make your rental property stress free.

Getting A Loan To Build Is Easier Than Ever With These Tips

So you’ve picked the perfect land to build your dream house on and it was no easy feat. You marked out every newspaper ad that said “land for sale”, you checked out several properties, you consulted with many experts, friends, family, and maybe even property lawyers. You’ve finally taken the leap towards your dream project, but now comes the hard part, the finances. This article will help you make this process a step simpler.

We will be talking about financing the entire project – the construction loan. In this case, we will talk about construction loans for residential projects, but if you are into buying commercial properties, there are construction loans available for commercial construction as well.

Construction loans are specific. They have higher interest rates, are short-term and used to cover the construction or rehabilitation cost —their evaluation will thus be based on the estimated value of the construction once completed.

Classic loans are supported by a mortgage company which pays out the total amount once the house is built. But construction loans, on the other hand, get paid out as the house gets built, as the builders will charge the bank whenever phases of the buildings get finished. Eventually, the total cost gets transferred to you once the building is finished, for some conveyance charges.

In the loan market, we call these installments “draws”. They are paid each time the buyer needs it to achieve a part of the construction. But before each draw, the bank makes sure the builder is not late and will estimate the cost of the phase of the construction.

You can basically pick between three kinds of construction loans:

The most common are the construction-to-permanent loans. They allow you to pay bank interests when the project is completed. They work if you have a clear construction schedule, as the builders are paid by the bank whenever they complete a milestone. Eventually, the payments are piled up to make up the mortgage.

Some others are the construction-only loans. If you are confident that you’ll get enough cash to pay the building once it’s finished, then you should consider this one. For instance, if you know that the sale of your home plus some savings will be sufficient to cover your new house, you should be able to pay off the building from the bank once it’s completed, without paying huge interest rates.

But if you do up the house, you’ll definitely need a renovation construction loan. There are usually government programs that can help you with that. The planned cost of the renovations you plan on doing are included in the loan with the purchase price.

But there are some dark sides in taking up a construction loan…  

Since they are so flexible, you need to be a high-profile borrower. You need to show that you can support flexible lines of credits and often, provide a large down payment.

Also, they sometimes have high-interest rates. These loans usually have changing interest rates according to the prime rate, or the rate usually given by the banks to their customers.

Furthermore, they can be a bit risky. When you are up for a construction-only loan, at the end you will have to draw a very large sum of money to pay in full. So you might actually have to take another loan or call on other sources of money if your initial financing plan fails.

But you might be wondering… what is the point of a construction loan, really?

There are actually many benefits to choose that rather than a credit or a privatised loan.

Firstly, you just have to pay low interests during the construction phase. The bank will only ask you to begin to reimburse the principal once the project is completed.

Secondly, they are very flexible. If you feel like you can’t afford the veranda you’ve planned in your project, you can just stop the construction down. On the contrary, if that swimming pool was not too costly, you can add a jacuzzi in your project. You’ll be able to adapt your project to the costs of construction, and vice versa. If it happens that the houses were not properly prepared for construction, that kind of loan can help you pay the meth decontamination or asbestos removal, for example.

Thirdly, you pay only after a thorough check up on how the work is moving forward and after verifying the quality of the construction. That way you make sure you’ll get your house on time and as per the plans.

So if you’re up for a construction loan, early on you should try to find a mortgage company that will match your needs and with enough experience to give you the type of loan that you’re looking for. Make sure you work with someone or some organisation that has expertise in this field to help you achieve your project in the best financial conditions.

For the last tip, make sure you work with a good builder, or you might end up paying out an unexpected loan eventually. That shouldn’t happen with someone with experience, and knows the cost of construction, and is clear with the deadlines. So do your research, or ask around for references.

Now that you know the essentials to finance your new home, the next step is to prepare for construction. Getting the land inspected is vital, as well as finding a trusted contractor who will solve most of your woes. Finding a trusted raw material supplier is also the key to saving up. Another way to go is by using pre-used materials such as pre-used wooden flooring, and soon enough you will be getting your furniture removers hired and your packing boxes ready for moving. Make sure to have fun while you’re building the home of your dreams!

6 Things To Be Aware Of When House Hunting This Holiday Season

The holidays are indeed a busy time with family gatherings, work functions, and parties with friends, not to mention gift shopping. When you have small children, the holidays can be even busier. However even with all the activities and time commitments the holidays can also be an ideal time to go house hunting. Here are six things to consider when shopping for a home over the holidays.

There is Less Competition

All of the items that make the holidays and the end of the year a busy time for home buying also keep many sellers from listing their homes for sale during that time. This means that you are likely to have fewer homes to choose from and less areas and sections for sale. However, you will also benefit from fewer prospective homebuyers competing against you. This typically keeps your prices lower and gives you additional time to make a decision.

Sellers are More Likely to be Motivated to Sell

In all likelihood, a seller does not enjoy moving during the holidays than a buyer. Due to all of the issues we have already discussed, a seller with a house on the market during the holiday is likely to be highly motivated. Often, homes for sale during December are due to a necessary relocation for work or a home that needs to be sold before the end of the calendar year. When this is coupled with the lack of potential buyers, the odds of your being able to make a great deal are better.

Many potential buyers are reluctant to set up appointments, especially scheduling a second look, because they do not want to intrude on the seller’s holiday plans. Remember that the seller has the house on the market during the holidays for a reason. There is no need to feel the need to apologise for wanting to inspect the house in the same manner you would during any other time of the year.

Prices are Likely to Be Lower

House prices have been increasing steadily and somewhat rapidly over the past few years. This is due in part to the overall shortage of homes on the market. However, house prices have typically been lower in December than at any other time of the year. While there is no guarantee that this trend will continue this year, checking your local real estate market during December is a good idea. This can be especially true if you are in the market for investment properties which can give you some leeway since you will most likely not be planning to move into the home right away if at all.

You May Well Get Better and Faster Service

The fact that you are looking to buy a home during the holiday can lead to faster closings and better service. Real estate companies, real estate agents and brokers are less busy and therefore have more time to help with the sale. Additionally, they are typically glad to include the commission and fees in their current year’s income. Lenders are also keen to add to the new mortgage to their current year’s books. Here again, the lower loan volume can mean your loan is handled quicker.

Those who handle other aspects in the home buying process, from movers to those who handle pre-purchase home inspections, have less work on the books and can typically accommodate appointments faster. Since you are booking during an off-peak time period you may also save money on the services.

However, be aware that all of those involved with the purchase of your home are likely to have the same holiday commitments as everyone else. More niche services, like a meth residue drug test, for example, may be harder to book during this time. It is important to be flexible with dates for closings, inspections, and moves.

You Will Save Money on items for your New Home

Whenever you move it is necessary to buy new items for your new home. Regardless of whether the items you need are small or large, in most cases you will see significant savings by taking advantage of seasonal and end of the year sales. However, it is important to stay within your budget for reasons which will be pointed out in the next section.

Plan Now for Making a Holiday Purchase

A little planning now can make it easier to take advantage of the benefits of buying during the holidays; it will also free up some time during the busiest part of the holiday season.

Balance your budget: Know exactly home much you can comfortably afford. Starting the New Year house-poor is not the recipe for a happy new year.

Check your credit: Lenders don’t like surprises. Make sure you are aware of any negative items on your credit report and if you cannot have them removed; make sure you have a thorough explanation for the lender.

Get pre-approved: A pre-approved mortgage is the best way to take advantage of the benefits of buying a home during the holidays. The seller and the real estate agent don’t have worry about a problem with your offer or a delay in closing. Having a preapproved mortgage in hand is also very handy in negotiating a sales price.

Avoid charging holiday items: A sudden increase in the amount you owe can affect your ability to close on your home. Pay for holiday gifts and expenses with cash whenever possible.

If your plans for the first part of the New Year include buying a new home or purchasing investment property, making the purchase now may well be a smart decision. The chances are you can buy the house of your dreams at a significant saving; which makes adding to your holiday schedule well worthwhile.

What Does A Curb On Foreigners Buying New Zealand Homes Mean For You?

This year, New Zealand took a giant leap into unknown territory. The decision to ban foreign buyers from purchasing houses in New Zealand came as a result of steadily increasing home prices in NZ. Have a chat with any local Kiwi, and the topic of home prices will likely come up in conversation. The conversation is happening all over New Zealand, as young, first time home owners struggle to find and secure new houses to buy, or families looking to upgrade can’t find anything within their price range.

So, why did this happen?

There are quite a few different answers to the cause of the housing shortage in NZ, depending on who you ask. Many people believe that increased foreign investment caused available houses to shrink, and therefore prices to skyrocket. This cause is also one of the primary reasons for the new ban, as the thought is that more homes will be available to Kiwi buyers, and will eventually even out with the Kiwi market rather than the international one.

Other thoughts are poor planning and growth forecasting. Auckland, specifically, has grown faster and more intensely than city planners were prepared for, creating a severe housing crisis in a very short time. Even commercial property real estate was hit as many city planners failed to see Auckland becoming a hub for global companies.

What does it mean for you as a…

  • Foreigner

As the name suggests, the ban on foreign buyers in New Zealand pretty much means you won’t be able to purchase a home anymore. There are some caveats, however. If you already have property in NZ, you won’t be losing it or losing your ability to sell it in the future.

Also, if you already have residency status in New Zealand, you are not banned from purchasing. This means if you’ve gone through the process or are going through it to become a NZ resident, you’ll still have buying rights. If you’re from Australia or Singapore, you’ll keep your rights to purchase in New Zealand as well. You will still need to gain permission via a screening from the Overseas Investment Office before the purchase.  

Another caveat is that you are still able to purchase specific types of apartments, like large apartment blocks and hotels. This means that investment property and management is still a great option for foreign buyers. The building must be at least 20 dwellings, and will need to be screened by the government. If you’re thinking of purchasing property like this, make sure to get property investment advice first to ensure the property qualifies.

  • Kiwi

There are plenty of economists out there who disagree with this ban. Some reasonings is that the data shows that only 3% of purchasers don’t hold NZ residency, which makes it seem as though there isn’t a problem at all with foreign buyers. This would mean that the ban will not actually help Kiwis purchase affordable housing, as there was very little being purchased by foreigners in the first place. Regardless of the positives and negatives of the ban, the idea is that property will be easier to purchase for Kiwis in the future.

While it’s much too early to tell if the ban will be successful, what we do know is that the housing market was starting to slip prior to the ban. This is technically a good thing for the buyers who want to quickly purchase on the slip prices, and for first time home buyers. First time home buyers can also cash in on the Kiwisaver first-home withdrawal, which can help with a downpayment in this market. For current property owners, however, a slip could mean a drastic loss in equity, and less movement in the market as owners will stay put.

On the positive side, the ban may help first time home buyers the most, as they previously were having difficulty even entering the market. Competition for open home and auction sales was creating a market where new home buyers were purchasing without ever even seeing the home or being able to get a building inspection before buying a house. Again, this ban will hopefully create some breathing room for those who are attending home auctions every Sunday without any luck.

Buying property as a Kiwi, post the ban, will still require some steep competition as there was an increase in foreigner buying prior to the ban being official. Panic buying, on both sides, was prevalent for several months, but will soon calm down as the ban settles in. Even those residing in New Zealand, but without permanent residency, were snapping up homes as quickly as possible to make sure they didn’t lose out later on, or lose their chance at buying at all.

What does the future look like?

At this point, and without being an expert, we can only guess what the future will hold for New Zealand property prices. What we do know is that any big change will take some time, and a Kiwi buyer may need to be patient for a few more years while the market changes. There are plans in place to start building significantly more homes than have previously been built, which will help flood the market with more available properties.

When you’re out on the market looking to purchase a home, you will now only be outbid by other Kiwis, which for some New Zealand residents is a beautiful thing. Regardless of your thoughts, be smart when investing or buying a home, use a property lawyer or a housing solicitor for the process, and stay up to date with the latest homes for sale to ensure the best sale for you.

How To Add Curb Appeal To Your Home On A Budget

Whether you are looking to sell your home or just simply want to give your house a lift, there are many small things that you can do to your home that won’t break the bank but will give it that much needed curb appeal.

Cleaning

If you want to make your house look beautiful, an inexpensive way to begin would be to use a pressure washer and do some cleaning! Start with window cleaning, the driveway, gutter cleaning and finally consider house washing to remove any mildew, mould, dirt and anything else that may have built up on your property.

The Front Door

Before you go ahead and paint your door you need to consider which colour to paint it. Here are a few suggestions of the colours that you could consider and what they say about you:

  • Yellow: you will be seen as a welcoming and happy host.
  • Black: a colour that’s selected by those who are regarded as mysterious.
  • Pink: if you’re mischievous or outgoing then this is the colour for you.
  • Grey: this colour oozes sincerity.
  • Lilac: this is a colour chosen by those are creative.
  • Cream: a colour which is linked to a home that is peaceful.
  • Navy Blue: a colour that’s supposed to be picked by intelligent people.

If you are thinking of something bright then consider painting your front door red, after all a brightly painted front door will draw attention to your home and help it to look inviting and modern. Additionally, you would be seen as a passionate person.

Plants

A simple but very effective way of enhancing the entrance to your home would be to add some plants. Ideally you need plants that are not needy but add curb appeal. Consider:

  • Evergreens as these will stay green all year round.
  • Climbers but refrain from climbers that can affects your windows and guttering such as ivy or climbing hydrangeas. Instead opt for roses, clematis and wisteria. Add a trellis to a wall and grow these plants up it. This way the plants and the trellis can still be removed for cleaning purposes.
  • Pots are great for front gardens and are a great way of adding colour to your garden all year round. For instance:

Summer – Alliums

Spring – Tulips

Autumn – Agapanthus

Winter – Violas

Place any pots at either side of your front door to provide a symmetrical look to the front of your home.

Lighting

If you want to make your home feel welcoming then consider adding a wall lantern. To add lighting on a budget you could purchase some stake lights that are solar powdered and these can be added to flower beds or to plant pots and they will provide a nice soft light in the evening time.

Lighting can not only look effective at night, it also adds decoration to your property in general. Additionally, it can also offer an extra layer of security to your property as it’s not just security alarms that do this. Effective lighting can also deter unwanted visitors from your property.

Hardware

To further enhance the front door of your property you could consider replacing the hardware if you are on a budget and cannot afford to splash out on a new door. Begin by updating the letterbox, numbers and the door knocker. You will need to decide on what material you prefer as you can chose between, wrought iron which is the traditional option, chrome which is more contemporary or finally choose classic brass hardware. Head to an antique shop if you would like to find something unusual, or if you can afford to stretch your budget look to find hardware that could be custom made to suit our own taste.

The Windows

Replacing the windows is not an option when you’re on a budget but what you can do is consider investing is some shutters. A cheaper alternative could be to get some window film which is a good alternative to using frosted glass. This way you will gain some privacy without affecting any sunlight into your property.

Another idea would be to add some window planters to your windows. This option is a simple yet very effective way of accentuating a rather boring exterior area. It would be a good idea to select colourful plants or even herbs for your window planters to make them even more interesting.

Garage Doors

A large and boring aspect to your house is your garage door and it’s one element that can really affect the way that your property looks. There are a few ways that you can give your garage door a makeover and this does not mean you need to spend lots of money. For example, paint your garage with a nice new bright lick of paint or hang plants or vines across the top of your garage door and see how easily you can lift this uninteresting area and ultimately add curb appeal to your home.

The Lawn

If your green lawn is looking a bit brown, something needs to be done! There’s nothing more appealing that a luscious green lawn, however a new lawn can be costly. Therefore, the best option would be to look at using some lawn paint, as this will help to turn that rather ugly brown lawn into a fresh green lawn in a very short space of time.

Fencing

If you have any wooden fences you will be aware that they take money and time to look after. Instead of replacing a fence you need to fix and repair any damaged or broken parts. Finally remember that adding a lick of paint to a fence, particularly coloured paint, can bring an old fence back to life.

By following this advice and perhaps even looking around your local area for houses for sale you will soon see that there are many ways that you can add curb appeal to your property, even when you are on a budget.

Renter’s Guide To A Mini Home Makeover According To The Rules

First off, whom are you dealing with for apartment or house? Is it the landlord, landlady directly? Or is a residential property and has care-takers or rental managers? It is always good to know your audience. With landlords you can develop a personal rapport, and can get a better leverage than that with the care-takers as they are only mediators, they report to a final authority.

Whom you are dealing with will decide how much alterations you can get away with. Most landlords/landladies may allow minor alterations. They may even let you paint or drill some holes to hang your art or photographs if you have a long-term contract. But in a residential complex or student residences, this will be a strict no-no. You got to play with what you have and make the space yours without disturbing the basic setup. Fret not, where there is a will, there is a way. There are ways to work around these rules and make the most of any situation. Here are some simple solutions to get you started on your mini makeover journey.

Target the Walls

Well, you see in paint chips and the color wheel, unfortunately, you are stuck with white or beige walls in your apartment. Fret not, there are still ways to incorporate a burst of color in your rental property. You can do so by painting the bookshelves, other wall cabinets or a hutch, the rule is – the taller, the better. There are three ways you can go about it – directly colour the furniture, make use of cardboard panels or insert the panels in the back of the slots. The advantage of using cardboard panels is that it can be changed whenever you want. This way you can remover and add new ones as per the colour scheme you may be going for at that time.

Target the wall to wall carpeting in the Bedroom

This one can be a difficult one to deal with, the only option to undo the carpeting is to seek permission from your landlord/landlady or property manager to redo the whole thing. Now there is a simple solution, suggested by Kyle Schuneman, LA Times column writer, and author. He suggests layering the existing carpet with an area rug on top. Yes, there is some tripping risk involved, you can counter this by getting a rug that doesn’t have a too thick a pile, cause a chunky rug on a carpet will just look super odd. The alternative is to get a reversible cotton rug or an indoor, outdoor one since both the ends will have low piles. Now it is worth your while to figure carpet stain removal or you can simply hide it under cow skin, as it’s thin and it goes really well with most styles of decor.

Target the Bathroom Tiles

Well, now if pastel greens and pinks are not to your taste, you can go in for temporary, moisture repellent decals that can stand the water and hide the unattractive tile underneath. An upside? They come in over sixty different shades and styles, so you can create your own masterpiece. Go in for something vintage or stick to an all minimalistic appeal, and get the bathroom you have always dreamt of. Here are some bathroom decor ideas to go with it.

Target the Echoes

While your apartment may have gorgeous hardwood floors and high rise ceilings, but living with the echoes is more like living amid the Grand Canyon. If the rug hasn’t made a dent, try adding some functional artworks, such as fabric layered padded panels, once hung they will absorb most of the sound and the reverb and help with the echoes. It’s easy to make them. Pick a fabric, cut it to fit the 30 by 46 inches foam board, leave some extra 2 inches around the edges. Now cut some batting to fit the board leaving around one inch around the edges. Now place the batting over the board (board side up) and wrap your fabric over it, tackle one side at a time, duct tape all the excess material to the back, and simply hang these on the wall. Echo problem solved.

Target No-Nails/Drills Policy

There is a simple fix solution to this one. If you are determined to create a photo gallery in your living area, but your rental is strictly drill-free, go for some Japanese masking tape. A quick and easy solution. It can be moved around without its glue weakening. It leaves absolutely no marks whatsoever and does not cause peeling of the paint like some other alternatives.

Fix the Lighting

There are many ways to create more space and liven up the area, fixing lighting fixtures is one of them. Now obviously you are afraid of messing the electrical wiring, a simple fix is to steer clear of all the inwall lights and instead get fixtures such as lamps, lightboards, some fairy lights, or even light stands and attachable lamps that can be fixed on to high rise stands or furniture. Another way to play with the natural light is to add a curtain of different thinness to add an instant depth to the apartment.

Now, these are few of the tips to do up your apartment without pissing off your landlord/landlady or the caretaker. Also, another element is to get furniture that can be taken apart as easily as it can be assembled. It comes in handy in the move. The trick is also to buy lightweight furniture and art pieces which you can fit into small boxes for easy transfer. Pay special attention to the decor. This is where you will set your place apart. Use easy DIY decor ideas to add a touch of your personality to the apartment. Easy wall-hanging, photo gallery with fairy lights, mason jar lamps, fur rucks over the chairs, wire- containers using boxes are a few of the quick fixes that can really lift the space.

This aside, if you are a landlord and want to be more friendly to the renters, it can be worth a while to invest in rental property management companies. What these agencies do is make the whole process of dealing with the tenants a tad bit easy. Property management is a breeze with these agencies taking over the monthly/ weekly dealings with the renters. It can also take care of the decor queries without you having to get involved every time. As far as the renters go, it becomes easy for them as well, as they have a mediator for smaller queries and they can disturb the landlord only for the big ones.

5 Tip For Downsizing

In the real estate industry, the bigger the better. That does not always stand true. Sometimes moving to a smaller space can be just as rewarding. However, you need to be prepared and prepped up to ensure this transition is smooth with minor hiccups. Irrespective of the circumstances, when you decide to downsize to a smaller space, it is inevitable that you would have to say goodbye to some of your things – favourite pieces, memorabilia, even furniture, and clothing. Well, it’s natural to be stressed and worried about the process. But there is a lot you can do to minimise the stress. We’ve listed down 5 tips that could guide you in the process of downsizing and making your life clutter-free.

DECLUTTER

You’ve put your current property for sale and are now moving to a downsized space, it’s but obvious that space won’t be able to contain all your belongings. It’s good to get a realistic estimate of the space and the things it can contain seamlessly without looking cluttered. The key is to take only the essentials. Don’t toss any of your stuff, instead, you can hire a junk removal company, they will help recycle the junk. You can also donate it, or sell some of it or simply reuse some of your stuff by making some DIY alterations to it. If there are some items you absolutely adore and would hate to throw away, pass it on to your family or give it to charity. This will ensure that someone needy or within the kin will give it the care needed and cherish it.

GET HELP

Sorting out through your personal belongings is never easy. Make three piles – Keep, toss and maybe. Get a friend or someone objective to help you with the process. Don’t ever do this alone, you can also get your kids or family members to help. You can help each other, you can be objective about their belonging and they about yours. This will ensure the process is a lot smoother. Another tip is if there are some treasures that you absolutely must take along, but lack space to display them. You can rotate them monthly, this way you get a chance to display all the items at the same time giving a fresh look to the room. You can also invest in storage units if you have some essentials that you would like to keep around for future use. Here are 41 ways to sort your belongings.

PLAN AHEAD

Now that you have sorted all your stuff, don’t wait until the moving day to figure where each item goes. Take the dimensions of the space you have and your furniture and start preparing the layout in advance. Take only quality furniture you can multipurpose, as this can save a lot of space. The extra chair or study table will be of no use in your smaller space, it’s best to carry functional elements only. This will ensure only the best things make it to your new home, it can be a life-changing process both lifestyle-wise and psychologically.

PAPERWORK

It’s easy to accumulate a lot of paperwork when staying in a place for a long time. And it is essential to have them all in order so that you don’t misplace something important. Designate a small file cabinet or portable storage units to keep them safe and sound. Remember to declutter here as well, most of the times we have documents we don’t really need. Keep only the essential – important house documents, insurance papers, warranty documents, bank files and records, medical files and records. All these should be easy to access. Labeling the box clearly as ‘crucial’ or ‘very important’ can avoid it from getting lost in the clutter.

STORAGE & ORGANISATION

The best option is to get clear boxes, as you can quickly see what’s inside them. Boxes that stack over each other help save space and use it efficiently. Make sure you don’t stack a lot of them together as it might get difficult to get to the bottom ones. Also get easy-to-open lids for kids and senior citizens. A lot of time, items go missing in a move or are lost in the sea of boxes as they are not labeled well. A good practice when you start packing is to colour code the boxes so that the movers know where to put them, always it’s easier for you to unpack them later. Also marking things as important and fragile will make sure the movers are extra careful. Another useful tip is to get tall freestanding shelves to store all the boxes in and keep them organised. You can also use open bins for items that are frequently used and does not need dust –protection. This will make access to them easier.

SAFETY

Make sure when you move; all the hallways and pathways are free from boxes so that you don’t trip over it. Ensure that the items you would be accessing every day are stored at the bottom of the shelves and the ones not used that often can be stacked on top. A step stool is better than a ladder, make sure it has wider steps and comfortable handrails. Also, make sure all chords are tied up individually and kept safe. It’s not fun to sort out a tangled mess of wires at the end of the day.

We hope these suggestions come in handy when downsizing. Downsizing can be a great move to unclutter your life. Added bonus? You are also helping the environment by doing so!

Tenants fined $1200 after advertising room on Airbnb

“The tenants do not dispute that they had signed up with Airbnb on March 22, 2018 to host guests in a room at the property. The tenants’ understanding was that because they were not making the whole of the premises available to guests, they were not sub-leasing and were therefore not in breach of their obligations to the landlord,” the decision said.

Rental Warrant Of Fitness: What Is It And Is It Working?

When we consider buying or renting a house, we always need to consider the legal implications that it may come with. In New Zealand the warrant of fitness is legislation put in place to ensure that landlord, sellers and buyers all adhere to the standards and regulations. It is often asked whether the warrant of fitness serves its purpose, so below we shall look at some of the areas in which the warrant of fitness covers and if it is effective in today’s climate.

What is the Warrant of Fitness

The warrant of fitness for rentals gives the landlord the best chance at promoting property that they own. They will be able to give the potential tenant information on how dry and warm the property is and highlight it by showing it meets all the relevant standards that are required. There are about 63 questions covering 29 areas of criteria.

What usually happens with the warrant of fitness is that an inspector comes out to visit the property and conducts the appropriate assessment. This covers areas such as:

–          weather tightness

–          if heating and installation has been adequately supplied

–          if fully functioning smoke alarms have been installed

–          whether cold and hot water is available in each property.

Once the property has been inspected, it will receive a pass or fail from the local council. This will happen on the spot and the landlord is then given the report so that they can see any areas that may need improving. The warrant of fitness is covered for three years and will need renewing after this time.

Letting your Property

Letting your property can be a great way of making more money on your assets. Real estate agents and property asset management teams are a great way to start looking at your investments. These organisations will pride themselves in knowing all the pros and cons of renting a property. Properties for rent are becoming more popular as buying property can sometimes be problematic. As mentioned above, the warrant of fitness will be the first thing that you have to undertake. After this property inspection has taken place, you will then be able to market your property accordingly. Property management companies will be on hand to help you every step of the way and this will alleviate some of the stress related to renting out your property. In some cases, you may be advised to get a professional house inspection completed before you try to go for your warrant of fitness.

The Standards

The standards that are required to rent property are quite stringent. House rental agencies will be able to assist you with the standards that are required. Things like meth residual testing may not be something that you will be aware of, but it is something that will be tested before you start to rent your property. This is a relatively simple test and it will ghttps://www.zippi.net.nz/about-us/ive the future tenant some piece of mind.

Marketing your Property

Once you have decided to rent your property and you’ve been through your warrant of fitness, you will need to check with local letting agents and property management companies of the viability of your future rental. If so, it will now be time to start marketing your property. This, if done by professionals, can be something that is very easy to achieve and succeed in. But if you are the type of person that likes a challenge, then consider marketing your own property. Renting out your property can be made much easier if you present a polished, finished package in the first place.

Marketing your property can be done with some simple steps. Below we will outline some of the steps that you could undertake:

  1.      Make sure the property reaches all the basic requirements to pass the warrant of fitness. This is vital if you wish to get the best tenants possible.
  2.      Make sure everything in the property works. If you have a television, central heating or any other product, make sure it is in full working order and it is in good condition. A prospective tenant will be able to see that you are the type of landlord that looks after your property and will be there for them in the event of any need in the future.
  3.     Cleanliness is an area that can often be overlooked but keeping the property clean and tidy for potential viewings is vital. Potential tenants want to see the property at its best so that they can really see themselves living there. It may sound like a cliché, but you must have that wow factor and a feeling of home for potential tenants. People who want to live there will need to feel like they can make it a home without too much work involved.
  4.     Price is one of the areas that you have to get right as you want to make sure that you are making enough money to warrant renting your property whilst at the same time you don’t want to charge too much where you put potential tenants off. Try charging a reasonable amount for your property to ensure that you get the right people renting it.

Conclusion

Renting your property is not something that is necessarily the easiest thing to do, but with the right help and the right information it is something that you could easily achieve a good yield from. Talking to others in the field is a great way to learn the pros and cons of renting your property. The warrant of fitness has proved itself to be something that does help tenants get a good quality property.

Preparing To Move Out – How Much Work Do You Actually Need To Do?

To come directly to the point, there is no such thing as an easy move. It is ranked alongside major life events such as job change/loss, the death of a loved one or divorce on the level of stress it causes. So the more you prep and plan in advance the easier it will be. Majority of leases terminate during summer, especially towards the end of the school year. Advance planning some weeks ahead can keep your on track and ensure you receive your deposit in full or as much as possible. Keep this 6-step essential checklist handy, refer to it to ensure a smooth move-out.

Give Written Notice

Handover a written notice to your landlord informing him of your intention to move out. The notice must be given well in advance, before the final termination date of your lease. The period of notification differs as per the terms and the duration of your lease, it can sometimes be required as much as 3 months in advance. Check your lease to stay updated on this clause. If your landlord or caregiver is available in the same premises, hand deliver the notice and get them to sign a letter confirming the receipt of the same. Another good option is to mail it with an extra copy, which can be requested to be signed and sent back, to be maintained for your records.

Book a professional

Either book a moving company or rent a moving truck. It is important to do this way ahead of time so that there is no last minute panic. If you are moving in summer, when the majority of leases end, or when the school year ends, you will have to compete with the extra crowd to book a professional. So plan in advance. It will be a major relief on the move day. If there is a gap between your move-in day and your move out day, book a storage unit to keep your belongings safe and ready to move when the day arrives.

Submit the new address

Giving a couple of weeks prior notice of your new address will erase or at the very least reduce any lag in service. Make sure you transfer your mail to your new address by visiting the local post office in your area. This can also be done online. Also notify banks, credit card companies and your landlord of the change in address and don’t wait until the very last minute to do this. Preparing in advance relieves some of the stress of the move. Also,  you may want to get in touch with the utility companies well in advance for the transfer of services if you are moving locally.

Pack

Before you move out, start packing non-essentials weeks in advance. Starting the packing early can provide enough buffer to go through items and see if you really need them, also to make a list and label them appropriately. Give away or throw away items that are no longer needed. You can use this time to declutter your life. Wrap your fragile items in bubble wrap and keep your cleaning supplies out as you would need them especially if you are hoping to get some of your deposit back.

Clean

It comes last on your priority list but is the most essential step, if you don’t want to put in the work hire a professional window cleaner, roof cleaners or even hire them to clean the entire apartment. This is one point that the landlord will bring up while returning your deposit. If you’ve done no damage to the apartment, it just needs a thorough cleaning to get your entire sum back. Turn on a cleanup playlist and get down and dirty. Do this way in advance, to avoid last minute stress. Here’s our handy list.

  •         Take out any nails and screws you have nailed in and fill holes with putty.
  •         Wipe down light switches, doors, windows and walls of any dirt or smudges. Do this step thoroughly
  •         Vacuum, mop, and dust all rooms and living areas. Remove any carpet stains that may have been ignored over the months.
  •         Mop and Vacuum all floor, and clean carpets well. Do this for all the rooms with special consideration for high traffic areas.
  •         Bath
  •         Clean down the tub, sink and remove all your toiletries from the area.
  •         Remove any liners used for cabinets and otherwise and check for hair or other grime. Clean it out.
  •         Clean the pot, mirror, and all other surfaces.
  •         Keep sweeping/vacuuming and mopping as the last step.
  •         Kitchen
  •         Clean out all cabinets and drawers for residual grime and gunk
  •         Clean the refrigerator, remove the shelves and give it a thorough wipe down.
  •         Scrub the oven and stove, also clean the burner, drip pan, and other attachments.
  •         Wipe down all cabinet door, counters, and other surfaces.
  •         Clean the sink and de-clog it.

Say Goodbye

And lastly bid adieu and hand over the keys to your landlord after you do a walk through or inspection with him or her. For additional safety take pictures of the apartment once vacant as further proof if needed. Be sure to ask the date you will receive your deposit back and mark it in the calendar and do a follow-up a week prior.

Now, for some of you, the reason to move out may be because you have bought your own house and are finally ready to start your life in it; setting it up is as essential as this move – getting home security systems, setting up a trust to gain tax exemptions are some of the initial steps you need to take when moving to a new house. Home security systems will ensure the safety of the house. And getting a trust lawyer can ensure your house is well protected and is passed on to your successor after your demise without any complications.