Proposed property management regulation ‘welcome news’

New property management regulations put forward by the Ardern Government in response to industry demands will impact investors and landlords if passed into legislation.

The proposal would establish a licensing regime and standards for professional property managers, including a mandatory 15-hour training course that would cover property maintenance, tenant relationships, and financial and trust account management.

Licences would have to be renewed each year, and an independent disciplinary and complaints process would enforce accountability.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) said its proposal was designed to “promote public confidence in the delivery of residential property and management services”.

The regulations would cover only individual managers and not include property management organisations – an element criticised by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ).

The final legislation should ensure responsibility for trust accounts and insurance reside with property management companies rather than individual managers who “tend to be employees”, REINZ said.

It also demanded that any regulation be broader in scope so “commercial managers and private landlords are also regulated to bolster confidence in the residential tenancy market as a whole”.

REINZ has been calling for regulation for several years under its “Call for Change” campaign.

While it viewed the proposed regulatory framework “positively”, it needed to take effect no later than 2024 rather than the planned implementation in mid-2026.

REINZ said in a statement: “It is right and proper that there are minimum standards and safeguards in place within a profession that collects millions of dollars each week in rent and has an impact on something as important as the homes people live in”.

“The licensing regime proposed by HUD is welcome news to those in the profession. REINZ has been a strong, vocal proponent for the regulation of residential property managers for several years now.”

Feedback on the government proposal remains open for public comment. You can respond using the link: