Rent-to-buy boss bullish

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The man behind a rent-to-buy scheme just launched in Queenstown brushes aside his chequered business history.
“I’ve built a lot of houses through a number of companies…and I’d liquidate that company because the builder [can be] done for leaky-building syndrome,” Kerry Christian says. 

Christian, 50, approached Mountain Scene to publicise his How2 organisation’s rent-to-buy scheme – “to get the word out.” 

The Companies Office shows he is or has been a director or shareholder of 19 firms. 

Six companies are alive but nine others have been struck off and four more liquidated. 

“Struck off means nothing,” Christian says. “It’s quite common.” 

According to Companies Office files, the four liquidated companies have unpaid debts of $542,000. 

Christian’s rent-to-buy scheme is “a great opportunity”, he says. 

Though living here for a year, he’s only just launched it locally – “We’ve done two [deals] in two weeks.” 

About 20 vendors are lined up to sell properties, Christian says. 

How2 has been going eight years and he and his associates have done “at least a couple of thousand” rent-to-buys throughout New Zealand. 

How do real estate agents feel? “They hate me with a passion – absolutely.” 

On how How2 clips the ticket, Christian says he charges “a flat fee” to the tenant-buyer – paperwork given to Mountain Scene also shows charges of up to $6325, apparently payable by property owners. 

Discussing his company crashes, Mountain Scene recounts allegations from liquidators’ reports. 

Christian acknowledges one liquidator’s assertion of “a total lack of records provided by management”. Another crash costing creditors $218,000 was due to “a caveat put over a property by a third party – which we closed down”, Christian says. 

Another liquidator trying to collect $170,500 owed to another failed Christian company claims debtors said the crashed company didn’t complete its contracts – Christian says all work was finished. 

A liquidator of a company folded by Inland Revenue in 2008 reports Christian withdrawing an offer to repay “the balance of the overdrawn current account”. 

“[Christian] has indicated his circumstances have changed due to the recession and decline in the property market,” reports the liquidator on August 25 this year. 

Asking Mountain Scene not to do a negative story, Christian says he’s since repaid that money.