Investing

How much can I borrow to fund my investment? Ideally, you should arrange your finances before you start searching for an investment property. This will let you kn...
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Looking to invest?

The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions. Click here for full Terms of Use.

What safety requirements do I need to consider when leasing out a holiday property?

Landlords and their agents have a duty of care to the tenants who lease their holiday property. The property must meet all appropriate health and safety standards before it is occupied.  Conduct regular checks of electrical and gas appliances, to make sure that they are in good working order, and compliant with local laws.

If the property has a swimming pool it will need to be adequately fenced to prevent young unsupervised children from falling in. The Fencing of Swimming Pools Act outlines the minimum requirements for such fencing and rules around placement. This Act is enforced by local Councils and the fines for not complying can be steep.

If you need advice on whether or not a fence meets the Act requirements, contact a First National Real Estate Property Manager. We're happy to help.

What is the best way to lease my commercial property?

Marketing your commercial property in a professional manner will help to ensure quality tenants and a good rental return. In commercial property markets with a lot of competition, making sure your property stands out requires skill and experience. Prospective tenants will often weigh up the commercial rental price being asked for against location, building quality and other aspects of the property. First National Commercial agents are experts at targeting their needs.

Our commercial real estate network attracts many inquiries from prospective tenants waiting for properties to become vacant. Our expertise in marketing and presenting commercial properties will make sure that the leasing process runs smoothly and is more cost-effective than private property marketing efforts.

What else do I need consider before I lease out my commercial property?

A well-presented commercial property often attracts higher rental returns.  Before looking for tenants, you should undertake any cost-effective building improvements or maintenance required to broaden the appeal of your commercial property.

Ensure that your property is clean and tidy, and appears ready to move into.  Pay careful attention to the following:
  • General building condition – Have any damaged paintwork touched up and any minor damage repaired.
     
  • Cleanliness – Make sure the property is spotless, walls and bathrooms are clean, and have the carpets professionally cleaned.
     
  • Surrounds – Make sure the area around the property is clean and tidy, including any gardens and access ways. Clean up any rubbish areas.
     
  • Car spaces – If the property has car spaces, make sure these are clearly marked or signposted. Apply new car park markings if required.
     
  • Safety systems – Make sure that all safety systems (alarms, sprinklers etc.) are compliant and fully functional. 

Where should I start looking for my investment property?

First National Real Estate agents are experts in their local areas, and they have a wealth of knowledge about investment properties. As a company, we would be happy to share this exhaustive knowledge with you. Start building your investment property portfolio with help from First National today.

How can I pay off my investment property sooner?

Here are some tips to help you boost your investment property equity quickly:
  • Get a Tax Depreciation Schedule done annually for your property. This will tell you exactly what you are allowed to claim as depreciation, which will help you maximise your New Zealand tax benefits.
  • Talk to a First National Real Estate property manager for advice on improvements you could make to your property that would increase the rent.
  • To pay off your mortgage faster, consider making your payments fortnightly rather than monthly. Talk to a financial advisor for further advice.

What other duties would I or my property manager need to perform?

Landlords and property managers will normally undertake these duties:
  • If the lease requires it, arranging for repairs and maintenance at the property
  • Monitoring rent payments and recovering rent arrears
  • If necessary, issuing arrears warnings and eventually eviction notices (in accordance with relevant New Zealand lease legislation)
  • Arranging property inspections for prospective tenants
  • Preparing detailed building condition and inspection reports
  • Arranging insurance policies, paying rates and other bills
  • Assuring compliance with Occupational Health and Safety legislation

What services can a real estate agent or commercial property manager offer?

Property managers (or real estate agents) typically perform the following services:
  • Negotiating your commercial real estate lease and providing relevant drafting instructions to a solicitor.
  • Advertising your vacant property for rent.
  • Arranging inspections for prospective tenants.
  • Receiving and screening commercial lease / tenancy applications.
  • Completing and filing all relevant paperwork.
  • Arranging and monitoring rent payments, and following up on any arrears
  • Organising building repairs and maintenance when needed
  • Providing the landlord with regular payments and statements
  • Paying all required accounts (cleaning, utilities, service systems, security)
  • Conducting initial, final, and routine inspections of the commercial property
  • Collecting the Bond or Bank Guarantees and any advanced rent prior to the tenant moving into the property
  • Lodging of any relevant bonds with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)
  • Providing advice on appropriate commercial insurance policies and options

Is there specific legislation for commercial property?

Commercial leases in New Zealand are covered by the Property Law Act. It's vital that whoever is managing the commercial property fully understands the obligations of landlords and tenants covered by this legislation.  If you have any doubts about these obligations, consult with a lawyer or other professional people. 

What should I look for when choosing a real estate agent to manage my commercial property?

If you've decided that a real estate agent or property manager is going to manage your commercial property, make sure you choose one that will provide you with great service. A good real estate company will save you time, remove hassle, and will help your commercial investment grow.  The following checklist contains questions that will help you to find the right real estate company for you.
  • Does the company have dedicated commercial property managers?
  • How, and how often, will the company keep you updated?
  • Do they seem to have good knowledge of the local commercial and industrial rental market?
  • How many properties do they manage? How many properties will your dedicated manager be managing personally?  
  • What kind of property management systems do they have?
  • Does the property manager have a sound understanding of the appropriate legislation?
  • Does the company make sure it’s staff attend regular training to keep up to date with current trends and practices?
  • Does each real estate office have the support of a large network?
  • What approach does the real estate company take when screening and selecting tenants?
  • Are there formal systems in place for following up arrears?
  • What systems will they use for collecting rent and reporting to the landlord?
  • Can they arrange insurance and payment of all outgoings?
  • How effective is their website and online marketing?
First National has a team of highly experienced property managers, and we welcome your enquiry anytime about the services we can offer you.

What are some things that I should not do if I am investing in commercial property?

Investing in commercial property is different to residential property investing. The rewards of commercial property ownership can be great, but in times of market uncertainty, there are risks to be considered.  We provide some helpful tips below:
  • Don’t overcommit financially to commercial property ownership. It can be tempting when things are going well to financially stretch yourself in search of quicker or larger returns. A more sensible strategy is to re-invest the majority of your profits on an on-going basis and use a long term returns approach.
     
  • It’s alright to put some of your wealth into speculative investments, but make sure that if these turn bad, you haven’t exposed yourself too much.
     
  • Do not commit funds from the sale of one property to finance another until settlement on the first one occurs.  Commercial property transactions can be more complex than residential transactions, and can take longer to complete.  Bridging finance can be expensive at high interest rates.
  • A handshake is a good way to end a meeting, but is not the way to finalise commercial property discussions.  To legally protect yourself, always have a solicitor prepare and execute contractual agreements when closing a transaction. 
     
  • Be careful if considering a variable-rate mortgage. While these may sometimes offer better initial interest rates than a fixed-rate mortgage, a spike in interest rates could result in a significant financial burden. To determine if a variable-rate mortgage is appropriate for you, consider what impact different interest rate increases might have on your finances.  Consult a financial advisor or lawyer to get advice on your specific financial situation.
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