What do landlords need to know about flooring for their rentals?

Floor coverings are always a pretty big consideration for landlords as it is an investment that they hope will last for years to come. So our General Manager of Property Management, Samantha Arnold, caught up with industry expert, William Beare from Carpet Mill to share some great advice on flooring for rentals. He also unpacks a special discount negotiated for landlords of Barfoot & Thompson managed properties.

What is the most common thing landlords ask about flooring?
They often enquire about the depreciation that they are able to claim and how to calculate that amount.The IRD has very specific requirements to determine diminishing value and what you can deduct. In a nutshell, it is based upon the unique details of each property, the make-up of the carpet or flooring, it’s age and the value at purchase. You need to thoroughly research the issue and possibly contact a tax expert to make sure that you are deducting the maximum amount allowed by law. There is a calculator and depreciation rate finder available on the IRD website

What are some of the most common damages that you see in rental properties?
Everyday spills such as red wine and curries that often won’t come out with a steam clean,can make for impossible stains. We also see damage from people placing curling irons and hair straighteners onto carpets. Wax from candles, urine from pets and everyday dirt in high traffic areas can lead to a need to replace. Another common culprit is cigarette burns.

Kiwis love a good DIY project—is laying your own carpet advisable?
No, no, and no! There are a number of reasons this should be avoided. First, if you measure incorrectly or cut any areas short it can often be more expensive to have a tradesman attempt to repair the damage. There are professional tools required to do a proper job to which the general public do not typically have access too. It is a very specialised trade skill to lay flooring. At the end of the day, it is worth having a carpet layer come in and do it for you.

What sorts of colours for carpets do you recommend?
Something that is great for landlords is that darker colours are very chic right now. Hues in greys are very stylish and are much more forgiving after spills, than whites and creams.

What changes have you seen in carpets over the years?
In New Zealand, for obvious reasons, there was a tendency to select wool carpets.These were great in their day however they would often fade and deteriorate. New cutting-edge solution dyed nylon carpets are much more durable and a far superior product featuring fade and stain resistance. You can even clean pet stains and odours with bleach.

What is something that landlords can overlook when selecting the right flooring?
Noise, especially if it is a multi-unit property. Carpet and acoustic underlays may be a much better choice than tile, wood or vinyl and can lessen the sound of footsteps. It is also important to check any body corporate bylaws related to noise and flooring.

What do you need to know about timing?
Schedule your installation appropriately. We are very busy around the holidays and there is a skill shortage in New Zealand at this time so plan ahead. We typically book one - two weeks in advance. 

What makes Carpet Mill different from its competitors?
Similar to Barfoot & Thompson, we are a family-owned business. We are a Kiwi company and one of only two carpet manufacturers left in New Zealand. We have specialised robotic cutting machines that cut the carpet to the shape of the house so it arrives ready to lay, maximising efficiency and minimising time required on site. Estimates are free and we don’t do hard sells. We just don’t need to—we are really proud of our product range.

In addition to carpet what else works in investment properties?
Vinyl is great for areas that are exposed to water and dampness. New SPC floors are practically bulletproof and a wonderful flooring solution that can cost more on the front end but last longer than carpet.

Now, what can you tell us about the special deal you have for Barfoot & Thompson customers?
In addition to carpet packages, we are also offering special “developer’s pricing” deals on vinyl products and alternative options too. While the package details vary, we can guarantee that prices are well below what the public has access to. All people need to do is contact their property manager and they can arrange on-site visits to gain a firm quote.

However please note the following:

  • The special pricing cannot be accessed at our brick and mortar stores.
  • This discount is only available for investment properties managed by Barfoot & Thompson.

Looking for further assistance or advice?

Contact one of our property managers