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New Zealand – Changes for house leases?

New Zealand landlords & agents in the past have always been very accepting of the fact companies may want their names on house leases and that the rental payment may come from overseas.  However, we have just come across one of the largest real estate firms in the country having altered their policy and they will no longer accept a lease agreement in anyone’s name or receive payment from anyone other than the tenant.  The rental funds must also be paid from a NZ bank account.

Their reasons behind the change is they no longer want to wait long periods of time to be set up in company systems for initial payments (bond, rent in advance, letting fees) to secure properties, have rent paid less international bank fees and then have to chase small amounts, and have issues relating to rental increases etc.   If rent goes unpaid for whatever reason, they have very limited ability to chase this.  Also, the admin costs for administering all of the above.

The above is only a very recent change by one of the big agencies however could be an indication of what is to come.