An Auckland naval rating, who couldn't afford to live near his base, is now a landlord with a $1.3 million property portfolio.

"The irony of it!" says Rafiq Moses, 37, who works not far from the many North Shore streets around Bayswater, Belmont and Hauraki where dozens of navy families live.

Four years ago, the single man decided that to get ahead, he would need to borrow about $800,000 to buy places in Manurewa, Mangere and Mt Albert.

His three Auckland properties bring in $1300/week. Those places are all rented out to families with children, said Moses who took a decade to save a $100,000 deposit.


"The bank manager told me I don't earn enough to live in my own houses. My income's not high enough," Moses explained.

So in yet another ironic twist, the man who works on the frigate HMNZS Te Kaha lives on the city side at Princes Wharf - and stares back across the sea to the grey war ship.

He spends up to 30 hours a week educating himself on the skills of property investment and aims to have a portfolio of nine properties eventually.

He is also a member of the Auckland Property Investors Association which is on a drive to encourage a more professionalism amongst landlords.

"We recognise that as landlords we owe our tenants a duty of care to provide good quality, clean and healthy housing so that they can thrive in their own lives," Moses said.

An association spokeswoman agreed.

"APIA is for the overall uplifting of landlords and property manager's professionalism, either by way of industry accreditation or Government backed further education. We're keen to change the way property investors are perceived. Property investor wrongly gives the impression that landlords purchase properties, tenant them and forget about them," she said.

The term landlord was preferred because it implied a more active stance - one which most landlords and certainly those like Moses take, she said.

Meanwhile, Moses says properties are too expensive to buy more for his portfolio right now.

But he estimates his three places have risen in value by $400,000 since he began buying in 2012.

"Yes, that's the capital gain increase - quite good."