Home / Property Management March 2022 News
We are a good 2 ½ months into the year of 2022 and already we have had to adapt and change to a rapidly changing landscape in respect of New Zealand in general and more specifically Property Management.
Towards the end of January, here at Whittle Knight, we made the decision to split into teams – working alternate weeks in the office and then at home. As our business is ongoing, and involves interacting with lots of people, we thought it safest to operate in teams, so that when the inevitable strikes and isolation is required, at least there will be a team able to operate fully and keep business going. So far it is working!
Of course, the last couple of weeks have seen a huge increase in COVID cases within the Christchurch community, with many of our tenants isolating at home. In the interests of keeping everyone as safe as possible and to minimise the risk of spreading this infection further, we cancelled our March inspections. Maintenance is being carried out on our properties, where it is safe for all to do so. We are hopeful the end of March will see us having reached the peak of this pandemic and that we are finally beginning to see the other of it – it has certainly been a long 2 years!
In other changes, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, has stepped up its focus on the Property Management industry and will be taking a ‘proactive stance to protect the rights and privacy of tenants and prospective tenants’. From this month onwards, the Privacy Commissioner has launched a new ‘monitoring and compliance programme to ensure that rental agencies and landlords are acting in accordance with the Privacy Act’. This focus is on what information may be requested at the various stages of the rental process, who may have access to this information and for how long this information should be kept. It is important that we do not ‘over collect’ information and that personal information collected is not mis-used.
Here at Whittle Knight, we’ve always been careful about information we may collect about someone. We have only ever collected information that we have required and always with the consent of the party giving it, and we have never held it for any longer than has been required. For us this is really business as usual, but we are very conscious of the auditing that the Privacy Commission will be carrying out to make sure that we are adhering to 13 Principles of the Privacy Act.
Another change coming into effect from 1 July 2022 – the charging of excess water fees by Christchurch City Council. Households that regularly use much more water than average (more than 700 Litres a day – roughly equivalent to 100 toilet flushes) will pay extra for their water supply. A fixed rate of $1.35 for every 1000 litres used over the average limit. Read more by clicking on the link below:
This will not apply to all properties e.g. boarding houses, or properties with shared meters, but it will apply to some – a separate email will be sent out to all our owners with some further information.