Barfoot & Thompson backs a call for regulation of the property management sector.

Barfoot & Thompson, one of Auckland’s largest property management agencies is backing a call for regulation of the property management sector.

10 October 2018

Barfoot & Thompson is one of 26 organisations to have signed an open letter on the subject, delivered yesterday by Anglican Advocacy to the Housing Minister Phil Twyford, Justice Minister Andrew Little and Associate Justice Minister Aupito William Sio.
The call coincides with the Government’s consultation on proposed reforms to the Rental Tenancies Act 1986, which does not currently include the regulation of property managers.

Director Kiri Barfoot says the company has long voiced the need for more regulation of the sector, to help ensure both landlords and renters are better serviced and protected. 

“Property managers have significant responsibility and are trusted not only with people’s assets, but the place they call home. 

“Not to include the regulation of property managers in the Government’s current reforms would be an opportunity lost.”

She says Barfoot & Thompson already meets the priority criteria, including:
Requiring property managers to hold a relevant qualification and undergo training via their REINZ-endorsed courses;
Requiring all team members to follow company-wide property management protocols and standards, and meet the expectations of all company policies;
Managing all tenancy-related funds via an audited trust account; and
Providing an effective complaints procedure.

“While Barfoot & Thompson already meets the standards requested in the open letter, not all property managers do. There is currently no Government mandated training, qualifications, licence to operate or otherwise.

“We are potentially leaving a significant gap in the proposed rental reforms, which will allow less scrupulous operators to continue to take advantage of unsuspecting or misinformed landlords and renters.”

She says with more than a third of Kiwis now renting, and demand continuing to increase, New Zealand needs to take this opportunity to ensure it has modern systems in place to meet the needs of both renters and landlords.

“Alongside the mechanics of setting up and managing tenancies, a big part of the role is providing expertise and support to landlords, helping them take the right steps to provide good quality and compliant rental properties.

“Tenants can also be better supported by professional property managers who are well-trained and versed in protocols for inspections, reviews, dispute resolution and so on.”