Thanks to the good ol' fashioned kiwi "number 8 wire" attitude, many landlords consider taking a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach. While in many cases, landlords find this works pretty well, sometimes well-meaning landlords inadvertently find themselves in hot water.

Here are some common challenges to keep in mind if you're wanting to become a DIY landlord:

1. Tenancy legislation is a minefield

Make no mistake; tenancy laws are strict and constantly evolving. To stay out of trouble, is important to understand how to maintain compliance with relevant legislation and case law.

There are a number of intricacies around tenancy agreements, notice periods, access to the property, rent reviews, condition of the home and more. Inadvertently breaching these laws could potentially lead to a tenant taking legal action against you.

2. Processing applications is manual & time-consuming

The process of finding and screening prospective tenants can take hours and cost hundreds of dollars. The checks are often manual and draining, but are necessary to ensure that your new tenant can provide a stable income and protect your investment. Taking time to perform these checks can also have a downstream impact on revenue - landlords face an average of 2 weeks vacancy between tenants that can cost them upwards of $1,000 in lost rental income.

Many DIY landlords may not have the tools and knowledge to properly screen tenants and ensure they get the best fit for their property. Some landlords even rely on a gut feeling that may result in a headache later down the track.

3. Getting the right documentation can be difficult

Landlords want a tenancy agreement that can protect them and their property. While there are a number of services that provide generic tenancy agreements, the law may vary by district and so generic tenancy agreements may not meet the requirements of local legislation. This can result in a void rental contract and regulatory fines.

4. Inspections can be tricky to navigate.

As with any investment, you will want to make sure that your property retains its value. Holding regular inspections will ensure that the property is well maintained and issues are resolved promptly. Arranging inspections with tenants can be tricky to navigate as some tenants may be difficult or consider this intrusive.

Lawyers may recommend DIY Landlords include clauses that cement the tenant’s legal responsibility to look after the property and grant access for inspections.

(Note: Be careful that any added clauses are consistent with legislation!)

5. Collection of rent can be stressful.

In most cases, rent collection is fairly straightforward, but occasionally you'll come up against tenants who default on their rent payments. These situations can be tricky to deal with, and can snowball if not properly addressed.

Ideally you will find a reliable tenant with a good reputation for paying on time so this stress factor can be avoided entirely!

(For tips on finding a good tenant, we've got you covered at

Are you a DIY landlord?

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