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Review by Amy Hamilton-Chadwick, Editor NZ Property Investor Magazine
There are plenty of books which tell you how to make squillions with property investment. They’re great for innovative strategies, savvy leveraging and buying tips. But the best deals in the world won’t help you if you have a continuous string of non-paying tenants who savage your properties and steal your fittings. Too many landlords are driven out of the industry by a miserable investing experience caused by problems with tenants.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Forewarned is forearmed, and Brian Kerr is aiming to make you the most forearmed landlord in your neighbourhood. Because when Brian Kerr says ‘complete’, he really means it. It would come as a shock if there were any issue a Kiwi landlord could face that wasn’t somehow covered by this book. It could, in fact, be the breadth and depth of potential problems that will come as the real shock to novice landlords. There’s an astounding number of issues that can crop up with a tenancy, yet most can be managed easily with the right tools and know-how – provided you’ve got the right systems in place at the outset.
If you’re just starting out in the property management game (as a landlord or a professional property manager), this book tells you precisely how to set up systems that are as foolproof as possible. The Complete Guide to Landlording is a hefty read, packed with information, and it’s unlikely that you’ll want to read the whole thing at a sitting. It’s a reference book – at each step of the property management process, you flip to the section you need, and all the details are there to guide you through the process. For instance, if you think your tenants aren’t being tidy enough, Kerr gives you examples, tells you when to be concerned, what to do about messy tenants and when to be kind to a tenant going through a brief rough patch.
Because Kerr is a long-time investor and spent 16 years as a tenancy mediator, his knowledge of the subject is exhaustive and his case studies plentiful. He has brilliant tips, like this one: If you want the tenants out, issue a 90-day notice before a Tenancy Tribunal hearing even if you think the case is clear-cut (like the tenant admitting drug offences and being charged).
“Never assume that Tribunal will always agree with you,” Kerr advises, pointing out that issuing the 90-day notice after an unsuccessful hearing may be deemed retaliatory. That’s the sort of action that wouldn’t occur to the average landlord or property manager, but because Kerr’s seen it all, he has the tips that can save you time, money and serious stress. He dedicates three whole chapters to dealing with Tenancy Tribunal applications and orders – well worth your time when you consider that at least one in ten tenancies ends up in front of the Tribunal.
If you’re serious about being a landlord or a property manager, this book would pay for itself the very first time you get a tenant – whether it saves you from the Tenancy Tribunal or ensures you know exactly how to win your case when you get there.
Published Feb 2012