Every year, Housing New Zealand tenants have our staff and contractors visit for a range of reasons, and they’ve told us at recent forums it isn’t always clear why the visit is happening and/or who the visitor is.
In our next issue of Close to Home, our tenant newsletter, we will be reminding tenants of the different visits to their properties, what they’re for, and what to expect from our staff or contractors visiting their homes.
What tenants should expect at a visit
We’ll always let tenants know what’s happening and when.
We always remind tenants that anyone visiting an HNZ property will be carrying an identification card they can ask to see. If tenants are in any doubt, they should always call us on 0800 801 601 to check. We would encourage our contractors to always show their ID card when they arrive at the tenancy to ensure our tenants know who you are and why you are visiting their home. Please take the time to introduce yourself – our tenants really appreciate it.
Here’s an overview of the types of visits you and our team make to our tenants every year.
Tenancy Manager visits and inspections
The Tenancy Manager will visit at least once a year to do a property inspection and see if there is any other work we may need to do.
The Tenancy Manager may visit more often if required.
Health and safety inspection visit
Six months after an annual tenancy inspection, a contractor visits to carry out a health and safety inspection. SPM Assets (SPM) does these inspections on our behalf. SPM will check the smoke alarms are working, ensure anti-tip devices are properly installed on freestanding stoves, and check that windows have security stays. They will do minor, quick repairs but also let us know about any other repairs we might need to do urgently to help prevent accidents and injuries in the home.
If our tenants need something fixed, repaired or replaced, we will arrange for a contractor to visit. In some cases, a quality assessor from either our head contractors or HNZ may visit a few weeks after the repair has been completed to check the quality of the work done.
Property condition survey visit
HNZ has a random sample of around 1,600 properties assessed annually to check the physical condition of the interior and exterior of the property. These surveys are also undertaken by SPM on our behalf. The assessor will take photos and access will be required for this survey, which will take around 30 to 40 minutes to complete. We use this information to inform our planned works, for example when a roof is going to need to be replaced.
From 1 July 2019, if a property is randomly included for a property condition survey, SPM will schedule the health and safety inspection and property condition survey to take place at the same time to minimise any inconvenience to tenants.
Quarterly assessment visits
Four times a year, our valuers, Quotable Value (QV), undertake rental valuations on a selection of our properties. Around 250 of these assessments will require access. This visit should take less than 30 minutes. The balance – about 2,500 per year – only requires a kerbside assessment.
Kerbside assessment visit
As well as the quarterly kerbside assessments for rental valuations, every year in March about 6,000 of our homes are randomly selected for a property valuation assessment. Access isn’t required as this is done from the kerb. Again, tenants receive a letter if their property has been randomly selected. We use this information to determine the value of our homes as part of our reporting. QV also does these assessments on our behalf.
Lease property inspections
HNZ leases around 2,500 homes from private owners. As part of the lease agreement we have with these owners, we are required to inspect the homes and identify any work the owner is responsible for. Under the lease, owners can also inspect the property themselves. Tenancy Managers arrange access if the owner has asked to inspect the property.
So as you can see our tenants receive a lot of visitors to their homes; so next time you are visiting to complete a repair, scope for work or checking the quality of work, please keep this in mind and let the tenant know why you are there as we know from our tenant forums, they would really appreciate it.