A good rental return, and a return to the community
good returns is the new option for Tauranga landlords that gives hope to our communities most at need.
Good Returns is an initiative to connect landlords of Tauranga properties with those who typically get overlooked as tenants. People who by chance and not by choice have no place to call home and who are in desperate need of housing.
If you own a rental property, you can change lives.
Who manages my property?
The difference in renting though Good Returns is that we are funded through the Government and we also provide intensive service to the tenant. The property is better managed, the risks to the owner are minimised, and people are able to hold onto that tenancy long-term. There are no property management fees either, so it’s actually more economical from an investor’s perspective.
Who pays the rent?
As a community housing provider, our rentals are subsidised by the Government. So when we place a tenant into a house, the landlord still gets the market rent, guaranteed, but the tenant only pays 25% of their income (which is usually a benefit or New Zealand Super). The balance is topped up by the Government.
Who will my tenant be?
The majority of tenants in need have found themselves homeless unexpectedly, they’re not the rough sleepers people envisage. They’re often suddenly out of work, or the house they were renting is sold. People might be living in overcrowded situations with multiple families in one house, living in cars or port-a-coms without plumbing, or living in caravans long-term.
Will my property be safe?
We provide intensive tenancy management to help people sustain their tenancy and be good tenants. We carry out regular tenancy inspections and welfare checks. With this regular and intensive contact, any issues with your tenant or property are quickly identified and rectified at no cost to you.
“Landlord’s of Tauranga properties have the power to change lives”
Jacqui Ferrel – General Manager of Tauranga Community Housing Trust
New Zealand has a well-documented housing shortage and Tauranga has one of the highest number of people on the Emergency Housing Register. Essentially it comes down to lack of supply but also a lack of affordable homes. The cost of housing in Tauranga, when measured against income, is the highest in New Zealand. We are the eighth least affordable city in the world according to the annual Demographia International Housing Affordability survey.
The majority of tenants in need find themselves homeless unexpectedly. They’re suddenly out of work, or the house they were renting is sold and they have to look elsewhere. The ability to save the deposit for a mortgage is simply not achievable for most people on low fixed incomes such as a benefit or a pension.
A conservative estimate is that 4000 people in Tauranga (about 3% of our population) are experiencing homelessness. This does not just mean rough sleepers. People might be living in overcrowded situations with multiple families in one house, living in cars or port-a-coms without plumbing, or living in caravans long-term. One family was living in a horse float on a driveway.
There’s also an element of discrimination involved. If you’re a landlord, it is potentially your retirement savings or an asset that you’re wanting to protect. There is a natural inclination to want to manage that risk, therefore you’re careful and cautious about who you rent too. And because of the situation that some tenants are in, they haven’t always got the best tenancy history.
We provide intensive tenancy management to help people sustain their tenancy and be a good tenant. We carry out very regular tenancy inspections and regular welfare checks. We know all of our tenants by name and we know what’s going on in their lives because we’re so regularly in touch with them. A lot of our tenants have mental health challenges, financial challenges or family breakdowns… because we know their circumstances, we can help guide them and refer them to other agencies for support before the wheels get wobbly.
We give them the skills to sustain their tenancy because if you have a house, other life events can happen and you can be resilient. But if you lose your housing, it’s pretty hard to cope with other setbacks. Only 2% of the families we work with, return to the Emergency Housing Register after securing long-term accommodation. So we know this model of support works.
Landlords can go to any property management company and pay a management fee to have someone look after their property, and that’s what happens traditionally. But the difference in renting to us is that we are funded through the Government to provide a more intensive service to the tenant. The property is better managed, the risks to the owner are minimised, and people are able to hold onto that tenancy long-term. There’s no property management fees, so it’s actually more economical from an investor’s perspective. And landlords are doing some community good because they are housing someone in need who couldn’t access a home before.
We currently manage over 200 properties. Tauranga Community Housing Trust own 60% of these and the remainder we lease long-term off private owners. We are experienced asset and tenancy managers.
As a community housing provider, our rentals are subsidised by the Government. So when we place a tenant into a house, the landlord still gets the market rent, guaranteed, but the tenant only pays 25% of their income (which is usually a benefit or New Zealand Super). The balance is topped up by the Government. This is what makes the housing affordable to the tenant – therefore achieving secure and affordable housing in a market where this is a real challenge.
Secure housing is an absolute must. If you have a home to rent, get in touch with us to discuss the Good Returns scheme today.
Property investors speak out about good returns
I originally bought a one-bedroom unit for my father. His landlord had been really kind to him and kept the rent right down because he was a perfect tenant. But she wanted to move to Australia so decided to sell. I then went looking for a rental for Dad (who was around) 80 at the time and couldn’t find anything decent. I was horrified… The rent was just so expensive.
When Dad passed away, I heard about the Good Returns scheme. I liked the idea of being able to help an elderly person that was in a similar situation to my Dad. They’re trying to live off their pension and don’t have money in the bank to go and buy a place or rent anything flash. I also wanted to help take some stress away from an elderly person’s family which is how it was for me.
We were allowed to choose what demographic we wanted, so we opted for an elderly lady. The process was incredibly easy and really transparent.
I think that as landlords, it’s good for us to take some responsibility for people that would otherwise be largely homeless. They need somewhere to live. I have a social conscience and I think that all of us, if we can, should do what we can. This is something that I can do and it is pretty low risk, so it’s a bit of a no brainer.
The Tauranga Community Housing Trust approached me, and I ended up renting it to a Russian lady in her early 50s. She’s a nurse by trade in Russia but when she came here, they didn’t recognise her qualifications. So, she just does voluntary work at an old folks’ home and can’t afford much.
I went around there recently to do a little job, and she told me she wakes up every morning and pinches herself that she’s actually living in this house. She’s so happy. The place is immaculate, and she’s done all the garden up. She’s treating it like her own and is looking after it well for us. The house has got an electric garage door and internal entry, so she feels really safe in it.
The amount of money that people have to spend on housing has created a huge social problem. When you’re renting, you don’t get given too much choice when you have to move out. It’s even worse if you don’t have much funding behind you. Just knowing we’ve been able to help this lady is really great.
It’s a win-win situation. I have a tenant that absolutely cherishes being there who I doubt would ever think about moving out. They pay a fair market rent that’s guaranteed by the Tauranga Community Housing Trust and we have a two-year contract, so I don’t need to worry about a property manager ringing up and saying, ‘oh the tenant is moving out’.
There’s also a ‘make good’ clause in the contract. So, if there’s any damage, they’ll look after you and sort it all out. Alot of issues that you have when renting out properties by yourself, are taken away too.
Being a private landlord is hard these days so you get quite choosy and you wouldn’t even consider someone who’s in this lady’s position with a very low income. You’ve got half a million dollars’ worth of house, you need to get some return on it. You can’t just afford to be a charity and rent it out to somebody who can’t really afford it. But to have a scheme like this, where everyone benefits, is great!
When my partner and I found ourselves owning a second property a year ago, we had no experience as landlords. Fortunately, the property was already being leased and managed by the Tauranga Community Housing Trust with an existing transitional housing tenant. We were able to see first-hand how well it worked, so we continued the arrangement.
A mum and her two daughters were living in the house at that time, and we could see what a huge difference it made for their family to have a secure home while they got ready for their next step. This family were able to have a stable home there for over a year with the support of the Tauranga Community Housing Trust. They’ve recently been able to move to a rental home of their own, and a new family has moved into our property.
Tenants are well-supported by the Tauranga Community Housing Trust while they’re living in our home, which provides security for us that all is well, and the property is being well-cared for.
We’ve really appreciated the opportunity to be involved in the Good Returns scheme. At a financial level, it provides us with a market rental and a reliable income, and at a property management level it gives us security. But more than this, it is very satisfying to be able to offer families in need a home that is warm, secure and comfortable, while they prepare for the next phase of their lives.
There really are no downsides.
I have been a landlord for about three months. I built two duplexes at The Lakes which have three bedrooms and two bathrooms each, so there’s two families staying in two different houses but their garages are connected.
I know one is rented by a mother and her disabled son, and I haven’t met the other family yet. The Tauranga Community Housing Trust assured me that being a new build, they’d find their most suitable tenants. It is a nice feeling to know that I’m helping someone who would otherwise be struggling to find somewhere to live.
I had had a couple of rental appraisals, so I knew what the homes were worth. TCHT suggested a realistic amount in the end which was pretty close to the mark. It only took 24 hours to organise and it was all confirmed. They were happy and I was happy. They find the tenants and take care of everything. So far, they’ve been great to deal with.
The rent is consistent the whole time. I have a three-year contract with them and they guarantee that income every week. And you get one chance a year, just like any other landlord, to review and check the rent is still appropriate.
I’m 25 years-old and this is the first property I’ve ever owned. I wouldn’t have been able to do it if my parents hadn’t helped me out. Hopefully it’s a way for me to get ahead but it’s also personally satisfying to be helping someone else at the same time who needs a home.
Jo and Andrew Ball
We bought a block of flats in Judea about two and a half years ago. TCHT already had a tenant in one of the flats. After six months we felt the relationship was working well and so we offered TCHT the other two tenancies also. It’s definitely a win-win. The income is guaranteed, the day-to-day tenancy tasks are taken care of, and we’re providing housing for good tenants that would have struggled to get a private tenancy.
TCHT work with individuals and families for some time before putting them into community housing tenancies. This means they choose tenants who they are confident will look after the property. The tenants TCHT has selected for our properties are all really lovely and have had more than their fair share of hardship. They’re all really grateful to have a place to call home.
In our view TCHT offer a great alternative to traditional property management.
Good Returns is the new option for Tauranga landlords that gives hope to our communities most at need.
Right now there are over 500 Tauranga locals who have no place to call home. Many of the families and individuals who are experiencing extra hard times find it difficult to present themselves as a landlord’s first choice. But if you can look beyond their current circumstance, you’ll see real people with real needs who are just as worthy of a home to rent as anyone else.
Good Returns is an initiative to connect homeowners of properties in Tauranga with those who typically get overlooked as tenants. These aren’t people looking for a new, different or more suitable home, they’re people with NO home, often living in unsafe or unhealthy conditions.
As demand for rental properties in Tauranga soars it’s these people – our communities most vulnerable, who’re getting left behind. That’s why we’re appealing to owners to consider listing their rental properties with Good Returns. You will receive the agreed competitive rent directly by Tauranga Community Housing Trust and your property will be professionally managed and cared for.
Renting your property through Good Returns puts you at absolutely no financial disadvantage, in fact you may even find the process financially advantageous over your traditionally arranged private tenancies.
For a good financial return, and a good return to the community we invite you to consider Good Returns.
If you’re ready for a return to kindness, talk to us about joining Good Returns
Get in touch
If you would like to know more or have a property to lease, please get in contact: