The world for property investors is getting rough out in the deep water but this is where the good fish are. This year is going to be a record for gains but you will need to keep your life jackets on. Check your insulation and smoke alarms, get your standard tenancy agreement amended to comply with the new legal requirements, and stay vigilant about Meth and other drugs in your properties. If you do not take action over Meth before you have a problem then it will cost you an arm and leg in court and out of court. Want to know more? Then come to the next meeting and try to upskill like the rest of us.
NELSON PROPERTY INVESTORS ASSOCIATION
JULY 2016 NEWSLETTER
Our fifth meeting of the year is being held at the Honest Lawyer on Tuesday 19 July. Miles Stratford from Meth Solutions is flying in from Auckland to address us on P detection and cleaning / decontamination of rental properties. Meth Solutions is the company of choice by our principle sponsor Summit Property Management. A number of other property management firms who are members of Nelson PIA also use them. Brent Higgins one of our members will also be speaking about his recent experience with a P problem at one of his properties.
The meeting proper commences at 7.30 pm with the meal at 6pm. The first meal we had there last month was great and the prices were affordable. The setting and ambience was what I liked most. If you are coming to the meal please email Glenn by return email.
THE AGM DID HAPPEN
Just in case you missed it Gloria Lines was elected as our new President. Gloria and I attended a NZPIF communications meeting last Sunday and caught up with the latest news. The NZPIF is going to introduce a new associate membership to less active investors. More details on this when Andrew King addresses our 30th August meeting.
Gloria and I are excited about the Initio Insurance deal now being offered to members. Lower costs and a better deal for you with a small commission to Nelson PIA has to be good news. Their Meth recovery deal needs to be very seriously thought about. You will find details on www.NZPIF.org.nz
The My Republic fibre broad band firm is offering us a great deal.
The annual conference in New Plymouth is on target. Are you going? Details are on the web site and in the magazine. Gloria and I will be representing you at the conference.
Well what can one say? I guess you have all read the latest June release of QV re the increase of house prices around the country. Of more significance is the slightly more out of date information from Realestate.co.nz for the May year that indicated the average asking price for Nelson was $510,709 which was a 7.1% monthly increase compared with Waikato at 6.1% with a corresponding 30.9% drop in listing compared with May 2015. They do monthly averages as opposed to QV which does rolling three monthly averages. Something strange is happening with the rental market. Normally the numbers to let on Trademe are at their lowest in February with vacancies increasing over winter till about November. Well this year the pattern continued in April but suddenly the numbers have dropped right back to February's listings of 120 to let and 140 for sale. The screws are going on the selling and letting market. Any day now you will see the June figures and it is obvious what is happening. I think we will see Nelson as having close to the largest yearly price increase in the country once the QV rolling averages catch up. Meanwhile the number of building consents roars on at a similar percentage rate to Auckland. Tasman is building double Nelson's but this might change once the various SHA's kick in next year.
Meetings Coming Up
There is so much happening in our world at the moment this newsletter could go on for ever. Landlords need to up skill on the new RTA provisions re insulation, retaliatory notice, smoke alarms, landlords right of entry into properties laws and something else I have forgotten!
Most of these things will covered in the coming meetings. Andrew King the NZPIF executive officer is speaking on 30 August and MBIE will be speaking on 11 October.
Some people really do read my newsletters!
I do wonder at times if you folks read what I write in these newsletters and have even more doubts if anyone takes any notice. So it was great pleasure to get a recent email back from Dr Nick Smith MP Minister of Housing.
He was responding to my moans about the lack of clauses about Meth in the latest RTA amendments. He wanted to assure me that they are working on it!
I have been sending off my newsletters to Nick for perhaps 20 years and we do have a good working relationship with him. Not that I ever seem to get anything that I want from the politicians but communication is often better than shouting in the wind.
I have been collecting up a lot of articles over the last month that you should read as follows.
Last updated 16:40, June 15 2016
Methamphetamine residues not the big health worry people fear: scientist Nick Kim
Just under 1 per cent of the adult population were thought to be meth users, which equated to about 10,000 to 16,000 households.
Tenants and home buyers have nothing to fear from much higher levels of residual methamphetamine in a property, a New Zealand scientist has claimed.
Dr Nick Kim, a senior lecturer in environmental chemistry at Massey University, tested the residue left on walls by meth smokers and found the potential health effects of past P smoking in a house was no worse than those of tobacco, or handling meth-contaminated bank notes.
In fact, contamination was a phrase he used carefully because it had been used loosely, he said. The accepted New Zealand benchmark for remediation, 0.5 micrograms per 100 square centimetres, was based on levels in a meth lab, not on houses where smoking had occurred.
Even that level was 24 times lower than "the lowest level that could you could plausibly have a health risk".
Kim said the damaging effects of exposure to a meth lab was largely from the solvents involved in making it.
Households where meth was still being smoked or worse, manufacture, were obviously a risk to health, but once it stopped, the residues would break down over a matter of months.
Tenants who found that their houses had been smoked in could wash down walls and curtains but Kim said he personally would not worry.
There was no need to tear down gib or replace carpets and insulation unless there was strong suspicion that there was a lab and the chances were lower than people feared.
Just under 1 per cent of the adult population were thought to be meth users, which equated to about 10,000 to 16,000 households.
Kim said he peer reviewed the testing guidelines six years ago when concern was just emerging over the explosion of P labs and councils wanted guidance on testing.
"Somehow it's slipped sideways whereas it's now being used to test for cases where there's no clear evidence of a laboratory and I'd actually turn it the other way around and say, unless you have reason to suspect, why would you worry?
"What seems wrong is the idea of kicking people out of houses where residues are not too dissimilar to [tobacco] smoking residues on walls."
Kim's comments followed the country's biggest meth bust in Northland on Sunday and a call from Harcourts chief executive Chris Kennedy for mandatory meth testing of houses when they went up for sale.
Kennedy also felt there should be greater standardisation of testing.
But landlord group the Property Investors Federation said Kim's research indicated that level of compulsion was not necessary.
"The NZPIF's view on P was that we didn't want to do anything that would harm the health of tenants, but we wanted any action taken on meth to be done so on an informed and scientific basis," the federation's executive director Andrew King said.
He felt the Government needed to step in to allay people's fears.
"This is really good news as the cost of testing for and cleaning up meth for what we now know is at necessary levels was costing many millions of dollars and was set to go much higher."
By Miriam Bell
Standards NZ has announced that a committee has been appointed to develop a testing and remediation standard for properties contaminated by the manufacture or use of meth.
It comes in the wake of rising public panic about meth contaminated properties – with increasing calls for mandatory testing between tenancies and/or when properties are bought and sold.
This has led to growing concern among landlords about inconsistent test results, uncertainty about what different levels of meth mean if detected and, accordingly, the degree of remediation necessary in different situations.
The new standard is intended to provide guidance on methodologies and procedures to ensure a consistent and effective approach to the testing and remediation of meth-affected properties and their contents.
However, of the 18 committee members, over half hail from the meth testing and remediation sector itself.
There is no-one on the committee who will be specifically representing the interests of private landlords.
Several landlords.co.nz readers have expressed concern over this, with one suggesting that landlords could be vulnerable on this issue as a result.
She said standards sound like a good idea but, without a strong voice on the committee, how will landlords get a reliable, cost-effective test and clean-up option?
"The more likely option is an expensive, fear-based agenda if those who stand to gain are the drivers."
NZ Property Investors Federation executive officer Andrew King said he was very upset the NZPIF was not included in the committee.
He said the NZPIF had applied to be part of the committee as the issue of meth contamination is one causing a lot of anxiety and concern for landlords.
"Private landlords play a big part in the rental property sector and it is just wrong that they won't be represented on the committee."
Prompted by members concerns over the issue, the NZPIF is already having discussions with MBIE and will also be discussing it with the Principal Tenancy Tribunal Adjudicator.
King said the issue of meth needs to be handled so that tenants are protected but the risks to landlords are also mitigated.
But Standards NZ principal advisor Bruce Taylor said private landlords would still be able to have a say on the standard.
When selecting standards committees, it was always difficult to get representation from every affected sector and still have a manageable committee, he said.
They received 34 nominations for representation on the committee and had to narrow it down to the 18 selected, which was in itself a large committee.
"For those who submitted nominations which were unsuccessful in terms of being on the committee, we can still ask them to be part of a reference group for bouncing ideas off and the like.
"Also, anyone affected by the issue will be able to comment on the draft standard, put together by the committee, during a two month consultation period.
"So there will be an opportunity for landlords to have input on the standard."
The committee will hold its first meeting on June 29 and the draft of the standard will be released for public comment later this year.
The final standard will be published between the end of January and June 2017 - depending on the type and degree of comment received from the public consultation.
Interim report from Andrew King on Unintended damage – May 2016
We have been in contact with the Insurance Council who are in the process of consulting with their insurance company members to see how they view the Court of Appeal ruling.
We believe that we need regulation to return the situation to how it was previously. The Insurance Council are likely to come to this conclusion as well.
If they do, we will likely work together to lobby Government for an urgent change in the regulations to ensure tenants can be held responsible for the damage they cause.
We are also looking at an alternative solution, which is landlords taking out an insurance policy on behalf of their tenants, which covers the landlord for costs they may incur through a tenant causing accidental damage.
Insurers we have spoken to say that they would need to know who the tenant was so that they could correctly ascertain their risk and charge an appropriate premium. ((An 18 year old male student's premium is likely to be higher than a middle aged woman's for example).
We believe that such insurance would be directly attributable to the tenancy, therefore it would be the tenant's responsibility to pay for it over and above their rent.
This is not a preferred option as the tenant still has a reduced duty of care to the property. It is also more complicated and likely to have higher premiums.
At this stage we are still gathering data, but we will be providing information to members as soon as we have a clearer picture of the situation.
Insurance companies have said that nothing is likely to change from their point of view in the short term. However landlords are still exposed for the cost of the excess in any claim they make due to their tenants' actions. This is clearly wrong and means that a solution has to be established as soon as possible.
Announcing a new special deal for members
The NZPIF is pleased to announce that it has negotiated a discount on MyRepublic's fibre broadband plans for all members and partners of the Property Investors' Associations nationally. As a member you can also initiate deals on behalf of your tenants.
MyRepublic New Zealand provides
There are good reasons to upgrade to fibre broadband. It delivers operational efficiencies and will ensure business continuity. It also allows you to take advantage of the latest entertainment and internet based services. In addition, having fibre broadband installed will add to the value of your premises as it's increasingly becoming a requirement for new tenants/buyers.
MyRepublic works for property developers, property owners and property managers to handle the entire fibre project including scope, planning, installation and activation.
Take advantage of these exclusive offers today.
For information or to upgrade to fibre go here https://www.nzpif.org.nz/items/view/57911
Stimulating and inspiring speakers a feature of the 2016 NZPIF Conference
The 2016 NZPIF Conference will be a stimulating and inspiring experience, assisting you to climb higher in your property investing and personal life. Here is the background of three of the Conference speakers and each has a message which will sustain you during the following 12 months.
The keynote speaker is Martin Ayles. So who is Martin Ayles and why should you make every effort to hear him?
By all accounts Martin is down to earth, common sense sort of chap – the sort of person you might meet in a coffee shop down the street. But what he has achieved is outstanding. He has purchased or developed over 150 properties over the past eight years. He might come across as an ordinary person but his investing journey has been quite incredible.
At the heart of Martin's success are a broad strategy and his comprehensive Development Checklist which he pioneered and is the cornerstone to his automated investing system. He is always listening to the market to ensure that the way he does his renovation and development projects are always in demand. He will be sharing the essence of his success during his presentations.
If you are feeling stuck and that your life has plateaued, it is very worthwhile coming to the 2016 NZPIF Conference to hear Wendy Kerr. In her mentoring and coaching work she has worked with many clients whose growth has stalled. She has also worked with clients whose growth has accelerated. Through in-depth quantitative research, she as discovered seven essential personal qualities of a successful business person. She believes that these qualities can be acquired over time if you really want them. Over time you will grow with your business. Read more about Wendy's work as director of the University of Auckland Business School's Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/university-of-auckland/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503679&objectid=11638887 )
Learn about another aspect of property investing from Bryce Barnett. Augusta Property Syndicates are structured to provide investors with a high yielding and highly tax effective investment in some of New Zealand's top quality real estate, without any of the burdens of private property ownership. Bryce established KCL and when it was sold to Augusta Capital in 2014 he said the sale did not mean KCL would be leaving New Plymouth.
"We are not deserting the ship. We are not leaving. Even though Augusta Capital is an Auckland, publicly listed company, our focus will be to grow our provincial following even more and we will still have a strong New Plymouth base and presence,'' he said.
"It leads to exciting opportunities to introduce more products for a greater range of people under the new regime. " Delegates will learn more about these exciting opportunities. For example this May Augusta Funds Management is syndicating an industrial property in Queensland, allowing New Zealand investors to invest into the Australian industrial property market with a minimum investment of A$50,000. (http://www.interest.co.nz/property/81517/augusta-syndicates-another-industrial-property-queensland-nz-investors-only )