Frequently Asked Questions

house.jpgPlease browse through the FAQs below to find the answers to your questions, if your question remains unanswered, please contact us and we will be more than happy to help. Similarily, if you believe we should have specific information listed, please let us know.

 

Q.  How much does it cost to get into the property?
A.  Four weeks bond (some of which may be able to be paid off), one weeks letting fee + gst and the first weeks rent payment in advance 

Q.  Can I view the property after work or in the weekends?
A.  Absolutely, we have team members available outside of the usual working hours to show you through the property.  We will do our best to accommodate your schedule

Q.  Why do fixed term tenancies end in the summer?
A.  Otago and especially Dunedin mainly runs on fixed term tenancies and the peak season for non student properties is January / February each year.  Ending a tenancy at this time makes good sense for both the tenant who will have the best choice of properties to choose from and the landlord for the best choice of tenants.

Q.  I am in a fixed term tenancy but I need to get out, what can I do to get out of my tenancy?
A.  The Residential Tenancies Act clearly states that fixed term tenancies cannot be ended with notice at any other time than the end of the fixed term. However, where possible we can help you find tenants to take over your tenancy.  (The ability for replacement tenants to take over your lease is often but not always possible and depends on a number of factors).  Where it is possible, we ask you to pay for any costs associated with finding these tenants including any costs that the owner would not have incurred if the fixed term continued to completion such as meth testing, checkout/check in inspections as well as advertising etc.  The success rate of advertising through us will be higher than if you advertised the property yourself due to the number of inquiries that come via our website, facebook and other media.  The costs to advertise through us is also the same or cheaper than it would cost you to advertise in the same locations.  You would remain responsible for the property including gardens and the rent until the replacement tenants take over your tenancy.  Contact us to discuss your situation

Q.  We are students and are looking for a property for next year.  Is this property available then?
A.  Most properties are available now and landlords cannot afford to have a property empty, not earning rent for months at a time, however, the date available is shown on each property so you can narrow down the choices.  If you are looking for a property outside the typical student areas then it is unlikely that they will be advertised more than one to two months before they are ready to rent.

Q.  I am concerned about rent increases, especially in a fixed term tenancy.  Will my rent increase?
A.  Rents have in most years continued to rise to varying degrees.  The level of increases relates to the market conditions surrounding housing as well as general inflation.  We assess the rents on a regular basis.  Both landlords and ourselves appreciate the win win situation of having great long term tenants, so it is common for rent increases to be minimised for longer term tenants.  The property owners benefit from not having additional costs incurred when tenants change and tenants benefit from lower rents.

Q.  How much warning do I get that my rent might increase?
A.  Rents are assessed ahead of time and may continue to rise.  If rents have risen or the advertised rent is the lower end of a range, then it is common practise for us to build in the rent increase into the tenancy agreement.  This sets in stone what the increase will be and protects the tenant who could otherwise be subject to a much higher increase due to increases in market rent levels.  Rent increases can only take effect 180 days or more after the beginning of a tenancy or following the last increase.  Tenants are required to be given at least 60 days notice of the increase.  In 2010 the Residential Tenancies Act was amended and included Scedule 1 - Clauses for rent increases in fixed-term tenancy agreements; including the one which specifies the date of the increase and the amount of the increase.  In all instances, tenants are protected by the market rent provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act.

Q.  What do I need to do if I have a maintenance issue or an appliance that has stopped working properly?
A.  If you have a maintenance issue, you need to complete a maintenance form on our website.  This then provides you with written confirmation that you have lodged the request and provides the Mana team with the written information they need to action your request.  If your request is super urgent, then a quick call to the emergency / after hours number is also required to avoid any delays.  The number is 021 557 050.  However, ensure you still complete the written form and only call the emergency number for true emergencies. Please note we do still want to hear about very minor instances of maintenance via the maintenance form, however we may mark them with a status that enables a tradesmen in the future to deal with them when dealing with something else at the property, rather than arranging a specific call out for that particular minor issue.  The rule of thumb is if you owned the property yourself, would you pay a tradesmen to come out to just fix that one item or would you wait until there are other items that could be fixed at the same time due to how minor that item is?  Finally, if a maintenance issue is found to be user error, then the cost of that callout will be on-charged to the tenant.  Common instances are when an oven appears not to be working due to the timer being set to delay start, a sink is blocked due to rice or fat etc, an error reading on the dishwasher is due to the filters not being cleaned regularly or a light or plug not working due to a blown fuse.  Please ensure you check all common causes first before lodging a maintenance request.

Q.  Its cold and it doesn't seem to matter how high I set my heatpump, it stops working and blows cold air.
A.  Heat pumps have to be given an achievable temperature or they freeze up and cost a fortune to run, therefore setting the heatpump on high temperatures such as 25 or 30 degrees is counterproductive. Heat pumps are room heaters they are not installed to heat the whole house.   The best way to use your heatpump is set it at a low temperature such as 16-18 and leave it going 24/7.  When you are home, you can increase it a few degrees while requiring the extra heat but turn it back down to 16-18 degrees when going to bed.  The temperature in the house will remain comfortable and the power bill reasonable as you are not spending a lot to bring the temperature up each day.