Landlords: what new privacy guidelines mean for you
New privacy guidelines released last week mean landlords won’t be able to use the same basic due diligence for potential tenants. The good news for landlords and property managers is that there is a solution benefiting both tenants and landlords.
The new set of guidelines, released by the Office of Privacy Commissioner, declared what information should and shouldn’t be collected by landlords when deciding the suitability of a tenant. Information requests, most of which have previously been standard, have now been categorised into three groups: “always justified”, “sometimes justified” and “almost never justified”.
The most noteworthy changes state bank statements, pay slips and credit checks as only “sometimes justified”. Other standard checks, including age, driver licence number, citizenship and employment status are considered “almost never justified”.
Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, along with many landlords and property managers, have identified the changes as unreasonable, as a landlord should be able to ensure tenants can meet their financial obligations. Equally for property managers, failure to ensure a tenant has the ability to pay their rent could result in them losing the landlord’s business.
One solution which allows landlords and property managers to determine suitability of a tenant without directly collecting such information, is the recently launched MoveSmart loan package. MoveSmart offers finance for bond, advance rent and moving costs.
Since tenants approved for MoveSmart have gone through financial due diligence, landlords can have confidence tenants have been fully assessed in terms of their ability to meet financial obligations. Under requirements of responsible lending, approved borrowers have been vetted for a range of mutually relevant factors, including:
– Date of birth
– Residency status
– Employment details, including contract type, company, occupation, time employed
– Income details, including frequency and amount
– Current address and rental amount
– Anti-money laundering checks
– Credit checks
– Bank account conduct
Tenants approved for MoveSmart are also nice and easy as landlords know they’re good to go for bond and other moving costs.