McDonald Real Estate Property Management
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McDonald Real Estate Property Management Success Stories

Owning an investment property comes with a great number of advantages and for many, it’s a financially rewarding situation to be in. But buying a property for income and long-term capital gain can also have its challenges. 

During the years, our property management team has seen and dealt with a range of different situations. Many self-managed landlords come to us when things have gone from bad to worse and they need help. Along with our experience and knowledge, we can work with many landlords to get their investment properties working for them and not against them. 

Below we have put together three different situations where our property management team has been able to help. 

A terrible mould infestation

What was your challenge as a landlord?
The challenge we were facing was an ongoing mould problem which resulted in relocating the tenant while repairs to the property were carried out.

The tenant had complained of a mould problem and, as a landlord, we initially put this down to poor ventilation by the tenant. However, after receiving advice from our property manager Maureen Burnnand, an inspection of the building revealed rainwater was seeping through the external cladding of the house causing a build-up of moisture in the wall cavities and ceiling space. 

Maureen advised that in the interests of our obligations as a landlord, the tenant should be relocated, and the necessary repairs carried out. Further expert advice advised the entire outer cladding and roof of the house would have to be replaced in order to cure the seepage problem.

Our property manager Maureen Burnnand, together with Pam Hight from McDonald Real Estate Head Office, were extremely proactive in their assistance and guidance throughout the whole unfortunate saga. They gave us professional advice regarding our legal obligations as landlords, as well as actively relocating the tenant, and negotiating a settlement for damage to the tenant’s property caused by the ongoing mould problem. Quite frankly, we couldn't have done it without them. 

Would you recommend McDonald Real Estate to other landlords?
It goes without saying that we were extremely grateful to have McDonald Real Estate on board with us throughout this saga. We couldn't have asked more from them. We would thoroughly recommend them to other landlords and have done so in the past.

If you had one piece of advice for other landlords, what would it be?
Our advice to other landlords is to ensure your property manager is experienced and thorough, and do not hesitate in seeking their advice when dealing with issues with tenants.

Words from the property manager
Previous inspections showed mould starting to form on the walls and the tenant was asked to ventilate and wipe down these areas, however slimy brown mould seemed to explode a couple of weeks after an inspection. It was coming from behind the cladding at the back of the house.

My first priority was to get the tenants out of the property. Not having any available rentals I managed to secure a short term rental from another company. The owner was brilliant in his response and paid the extra rent and compensation for damage to their belongings. He then had the house tested and it was discovered that the moisture level behind the wall was extreme. All the cladding was removed and replaced and a new roof was installed and then the house was professionally cleaned.

All through this process both parties were kept informed frequently. The outcome was very successful, and the tenants have moved back in. As a property manager for McDonald Real Estate, we are very fortunate that we have brilliant support from our Regional Manager Pam Hight and with her industry knowledge guides us through difficult situations such as this one was.

Dealing with a dodgy property manager

What was the challenge you were facing as a landlord?
I had a property manager who stole my tenant’s bond and she had ripped us off and I had lost all faith and trust in her. I lived in Auckland and my property was in Taranaki so I didn’t know what to do and needed some advice, help and guidance but most of all a trustworthy company to deal with.

I had bought a property in Eltham, using another property management company. They claimed to be trustworthy and had a professional-looking online business, they were also recommended by another property investor. They helped us find a property to purchase and then looked after the renovations, for which we paid over $21,000 for the work. They also got tenants in and I thought everything was fine. 

Then the phone calls started. I then learnt that the property manager had not paid the contractors, and we later discovered that they also did not do half the work which we were charged for so the house had an overwhelmingly long list of jobs that still needed to be completed. To make matters worse, we then found out that they had not lodged the bond and I decided I needed a new property manager, and fast.

When I rang McDonald Real Estate I was put in touch with Pam Hight (Property Management manager), who made me feel at ease straight away when she emailed me. I replied and she called me straight away because she was as horrified and as concerned as I was. Pam put a plan in place straight away and she just wanted to get everything right for us so we didn’t have to worry. Pam took over and even dealt with the other property management company so that we didn’t have to as it was a very distressing time. Pam found out information for us and pointed us in the right direction so we could get everything back on track. Pam then passed us to Denise the property manager in Eltham who now looks after our property. She is amazing, she always ensures our property is checked thoroughly and gives us regular updates.  

Denise has also helped us to find another rental property and is currently looking for the best tenants. Denise treats our property as if it was her own, I totally trust her completely and I know she is always upfront, honest and looks after us especially after what we have been through.

Would you recommend McDonald Real Estate to other landlords?
Yes, completely they are trustworthy and worth every cent. If it wasn’t for them I probably would have just sold the house and cut our losses because it was a nightmare at the time but they made a bad situation so much better.

If you had one piece of advice for other landlords, what would it be?
It's important to choose a reputable company to deal with. Buying in Taranaki can be beneficial for you and the community because it’s affordable with good returns and there is a real need for rentals in the area.

Words from the property manager:
The owner belonged to a Facebook group of investors and was recommended to a property manager, who turned out to have let a number of people down in Taranaki.

Pam looked after the initial contact and built a relationship with the owner, enabling her to trust that we could help and would not let her down. She helped the owner to cancel the contract with the property manager, helped report the matter to the police, got her signed up with us so that we had the authority to move on and then passed the owner to me once they were confident that we were reputable and experts in our field. 

I have continued to build the relationship with both owner and tenant, communicated with them on every step that was being taken, arranged healthy homes assessments, and for the outstanding maintenance to be completed. I helped the tenant to file a successful application to the Tribunal to get her bond money back, but of course, that court order will now have to be collected through a debt collector.

Overall this experience did require extensive knowledge of the Residential Tenancy Act and the new legislation to get through to the position we are in today, which is that we have an owner and tenant that feel they are in good hands. It was very satisfying to be able to help them to reach a place where they feel they are being looked after by professionals.

Managing arrears and regular inspections

What was the challenge you were facing as a landlord?
My biggest challenge was time. Having two small children and working from home I was struggling to get inspections done on time. I was looking after 12 tenants through properties I owned myself and with family members, some were not paying regularly and it was stressful. 

Another issue I was dealing with was regarding my insurance company and the growing 'P' problem. Inspections had to be on time and recorded properly for a claim to be made and I just did not have the time to complete these. 

What made you choose McDonald Real Estate?
I did a bit of digging and received a good recommendation from another investor who uses McDonald Real Estate. After a few meetings with various different property management companies, I found McDonald Real Estate fitted well for me. I could be involved as little or as much as I wanted to be in terms of using my usual trades which was ideal.

Once they took over, our property manager sorted out arrears and got the rest of our tenants onto regular weekly automatic payments. This helped me to start sleeping at night again. 

Words from the property manager:
When the landlord approached us to manage their properties, it was important to get to know and gain the trust of this new client. They had come to my portfolio after another property manager left to go overseas.

The owner has multiple properties that they were trying to juggle with work and family life. Their tenants were getting into arrears and failing to pay rent regularly which was causing a lot of stress for the landlord. The owners were also struggling to keep up with the property inspections.

It was important for me to spend time with the owner face to face and ensure that I would continue to give them and their properties the same great service that they had always received from the company. For me it has been about retaining the clients, having the properties filled with great tenants, and having the arrears cleared up and paying regularly again.

How McDonald Real Estate can help your property investment

Working closely with our landlords and tenants is key to our partnerships. We do the heavy lifting for the landlords and act as advocates for tenant’s rights and wellbeing. We focus on what’s fair and remove the stress for all parties involved.

If you are facing similar problems and would like to talk to one of our experienced property managers, you can contact us today for a no-obligation chat. Whether you’re self-managing your property or your property is in the hands of another property manager, we can help.

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