Property management has long been unregulated in New Zealand, but calls to formally regulate the industry are now finally gaining traction.

On 18th August 2023, The Residential Property Managers Bill was introduced to Parliament and successfully passed its first reading. The Bill has now advanced to the Select Committee stage, marking a significant milestone in the journey toward regulation becoming law.

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) is reported to be ‘thrilled’ with the progress, as it’s been advocating in this space for several years, citing industry regulation as an ‘urgent priority’ and driving awareness via the campaign 'A Call for Change: Better Property Management'. Barfoot & Thompson, as a long-standing member of REINZ, also stands behind the initiative, and warmly welcomes this latest news.

The passing of the first reading of The Bill is not just a win for industry stakeholders - tenants and property owners have reason to celebrate too, given that The Bill’s primary focus is to safeguard their interests through a comprehensive regulatory framework for residential property managers and management organisations.

Key provisions include setting minimum entry requirements for residential property managers, ensuring adherence to professional standards of practice, and implementing a robust complaints and disciplinary process, specific to the sector. 

“We know renters want greater security and we believe that with around 50% of the private rental market managed by residential property managers, enforcing a set of standards for the profession will give much needed assurance to tenants and landlords that their licensed property manager has the requisite skills, training and expertise” says REINZ chief executive, Jen Baird.

Samantha Arnold, Barfoot & Thompson’s General Manager of Property Management, agrees regulation should help boost greater public trust in the industry.

“That said,” she adds “it’s important to note our team already adheres to a self-imposed regulatory regime, so we’re in full compliance with the recommended guidelines – with secure funds held in a trust account, appropriate insurance coverage, up-to-date legislative knowledge, and with all our property managers either certified or actively undergoing training."

“As the largest private property manager in the Auckland region, managing some 18,000 properties, Barfoot & Thompson likes to take the lead” she adds. “Professionalism, transparency and accountability is a given when you work with us, as is consistency of service and the highest level of care, for all our clients – landlords and tenants alike.”