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Connect with local experts on renting

Running for more than 20 years, NZ Realtors has grown to become the largest group of independently owned and operated real estate agencies in the country.

Our strength is derived from our structure: a collective of strong, independent and professional realtors who are experts in their respective home markets. With member agencies spanning New Zealand, we provide access to more than 490 property managers and assistants across 210 offices who already manage more than 35,000 properties combined.

Helping people find a property to rent

If you are looking to rent, there can be a lot to organise and remember. It’s essential to find out as much as possible about the renting process before you begin. Here are some of the steps in the (usual) renting process.

Renting made easy

The renting process and how it works

NZ Realtors agents have a lot of experience in helping people find a new home or property to rent. Here are some of the steps in the (usual) renting process.

Work out your budget

Before you commence looking for your new home to rent, it’s important to find out how much you can afford to pay in rent each week. Once you know how much money you can spend, stick to your budget and be realistic.

For help with your budget it is worthwhile looking at Sorted or NZ Family Budgeting Services.

Remember to factor things like insurance, moving costs, fees for connecting services and any furniture or appliance purchases into your home renting budget.

Choose the right home

Think about what you are looking for in a rental property. Make a list and prioritise the list into “must haves” and “nice to haves”. Take into consideration your needs for the future. Are you planning a family? Do you intend to have pets? Do you need the security of a fixed term tenancy?

Consider:

  • Location and proximity to amenities like transport, schools, hospitals, shops and work
  • Rental price range
  • Type of property – house, townhouse, apartment, unit
  • Property size – number of bedrooms, garage, storage
  • Garden and fencing.

Everyone has their own way of searching for a rental property. To broaden your search, drive through an area and surrounding suburbs, refer to local newspapers and the internet.

Take the time to view a reasonable number of homes to give yourself an understanding of the rental market value of the properties and area you’re looking at renting in.

Check out properties

When viewing properties, it is important for find out as much as possible about the property and keep in mind what you are looking for in a rental property.

Consider:

  • Are pets allowed?
  • If there is no garage are you able to park on the property?
  • How many people can reside at the property?
  • Does the property have working smoke alarms and is it insulated?
  • What sort of tenancy is it – fixed term or periodic?
  • When is the property available to move into?
  • Who is responsible for caring for the grounds?

Applying for a property

When you have found the right property, you will most likely need to complete an application.

Each landlord or property manager will have their own process for applications. Speak with the landlord or property manager to find out exactly what is required and what documentation you need to provide – identification, proof of income, references etc.

Only sign documents when you are ready

A Tenancy Agreement outlines the terms and conditions agreed to by both the tenant and landlord. Read the tenancy agreement carefully (including the standard terms and any conditions) and make sure you understand it before you sign it.

Only sign a tenancy agreement when you are sure you want the property.

Bond

A bond is money you pay as security to your landlord to protect them in case of unpaid rents or damage to the property. The bond is lodged with Tenancy Services, which is part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

If you look after the property and you don’t owe any rent when you move out, you’ll get your bond back. Your landlord or property manager should contact you to discuss any claims they may have against the bond for rent arrears, cleaning, damage cause to the property etc.

Record the condition of the property

Your landlord or property manager would have completed an inspection of the property and inventory of the chattels prior to your tenancy commencing.

You should be given a copy of an inspection report when you are given the keys to the property. It is important you take the time to read the inspection report and verify that the information is correct. If amendments to the report are required, or you identify maintenance issues, you need to advise your landlord or property manager immediately (or within the timeframe they have specified).

Get the right insurance

We recommend you obtain personal insurance to cover your personal belongings and tenant liabilities as soon as possible. Your landlord or property manager would have completed an inspection of the property and inventory of the chattels prior to your tenancy commencing.

You should be given a copy of an inspection report when you are given the keys to the property. It is important you take the time to read the inspection report and verify that the information is correct. If amendments to the report are required, or you identify maintenance issues, you need to advise your landlord or property manager immediately (or within the timeframe they have specified).

Get services hooked up

You are responsible for arranging services such as electricity, gas and telephone connected in your own name when you move into the property. You are also responsible for settling these accounts when you vacate the property.

In some regions, you may be responsible for paying water charges, record the water meter reading on the property inspection report and in the tenancy agreement. It’s also a good idea to find out when rubbish and recycling is collected and if needed, get your mail redirected by the post office.

Keep records

Ensure you get and keep in a safe place a signed copy of your Tenancy Agreement, and receipts for any payments you make, such as your bond. These may help if there’s a dispute.

Have your property professionally managed

When selecting a property manager to look after your residential investment property there’s more to consider than just money. What about the about the level of service you will receive? Here’s a few reasons why you should have your residential investment property professionally managed.

Property manager advantages

Reasons for a professional property manager

Minimise the stress and save time

The ongoing management of a residential investment property can be very time consuming, complicated and stressful. Owning and maintaining a rental property is a specialised business, it not only involves time dealing with tenants and maintenance but also good knowledge and understanding of the legislation involved with residential tenancy. Finding a suitable tenant is only just the beginning.

Using a professional property manager will minimise the stress for you and save you time to do the things you enjoy. They will:

  • Understand your needs and offer a range of services to meet those needs. They can take care of everything before, during and at the end of a tenancy.
  • Maximise the return on your residential investment property by assessing your property to ensure you are receiving market rental value.
  • Advertise your property through a mix of advertising media: internet, social media, property viewings, window displays, signage at the property and local newspapers for example. They will ensure high quality photos are used and advertising is well written.
  • Have a rigorous selection process to find the most suitable tenant for your property.
  • Effectively manage the relationship with your tenant and ensure that the maintenance of your property is kept up to date and rent payments are made in accordance with the tenancy agreement. They will have a strict policy regarding rent arrears and quickly follow up on any shortfalls.
  • Conduct a thorough property inspection and condition report at the commencement and termination of each tenancy and will recommend periodic inspections of your property during the tenancy. They will provide you with a report on the condition of your property after each inspection.
  • If required, they can represent you at mediations and tenancy tribunal hearings.
  • Have built relationships with qualified tradespeople who can undertake maintenance on your property. In some instances, they may have negotiated special discounts with their tradespeople to minimise your outgoings.

Looking after your money

A professional property manager will ensure all money collected on your behalf is held in an audited trust account. They will pay funds to you in accordance with the management authority for your property and provide you with monthly statements summarising the financial transactions for your property.

Communication

Communication is important and your property manager will keep you informed with as little or as much communication as is right for you. They should however, report to you regarding inspections of your property, keep you up to date with current market conditions, rent reviews, and any maintenance issues as they arise and before they become a major problem.

Moving advice

Once you have successfully secured your rental home or property, chances are moving will become your next priority. Here is some handy advice and tips on how to make your move as painless and easy as possible.

Tips for moving

Moving without stress

Moving home can be both exciting and arduous at the same time. By planning and organising properly, you can ensure that moving into your new rental property is a good experience. A major stress factor is moving household items from your old property to your new location. Hiring an experienced moving company can help reduce this stress, as many New Zealand removal companies will provide boxes and pack everything for you.

However, if you are going it alone, here are some handy tips for packing up and moving to a new property.

Plan ahead

Have a big clear-out before packing up your house. Getting rid of things you don’t really need will save time and moving costs. Think about the available space in your new property and measure your larger furniture items to ensure they will fit in your new place and that you’ll be able to get them through the door.

Ask for help

Ask family and friends to help with the move but make sure you give them enough notice. Making sure you have people helping out at both properties can save you time and reduce the risk of problems occurring.

Reward everyone with some beers at the end of the day and keep some snacks and drinks on supply throughout the moving day.

Get organised

Don’t leave everything to the last day – packing in a hurry will increase the risk of damaging your furniture or breaking something that is precious to you. Adopting a systematic approach to labelling your household items will also make unpacking in your new property a lot easier.

A lot of stress associated with moving house is due to not being able to locate certain items. Label boxes by room so you can put them in the right location and unpack the most important items first. Pack essential items like the kettle, toaster, sleepwear and toothbrushes etc in a separate box and take this in your car, or clearly label it “Essentials – Kitchen” and pack it last so it’s the first thing to be unpacked.

Be patient and understanding

It’s better to accept that things may not go completely to plan, and be pleasantly surprised if the day goes well. There is so much to plan and remember that there’s always a chance something will be forgotten.

Try to keep smiling and treat your helpers and family with kindness. If you start to feel stressed don’t take it out on them. You don’t want the move remembered for arguments.

Don’t try to lift everything yourself

Avoid accidents and injuries by packing smart and ensuring you have the right equipment for moving your boxes. Don’t be tempted to pack more into a box than can be lifted comfortably. If it’s too heavy either get some help to lift it, use a trolley-cart or simply repack it into several boxes. On the other hand, under-filling boxes can cause objects to move around and get damaged, so add extra padding to stop items from moving around.

Give yourself plenty of time

The more time you allow yourself for the move the less stressed you will be if unexpected problems pop up, and the more pleasurable the moving experience will be for you and your family.

Moving house needn’t be a stressful experience as long as you plan ahead.

FAQ's about renting

Here are the more common questions that are frequently asked when renting a home or property in New Zealand.

Buying FAQ's

Frequently asked questions on renting

Are both tenants and flatmates covered by the Residential Tenancies Act?

Flatting is a term commonly used to describe a living arrangement where people share rented accommodation, regardless of whether they are a tenant, or a flatmate.

A flatmate is not legally responsible for the tenancy. The only persons who are liable are those who are specifically named and have signed the Tenancy Agreement.

If you’re a flatmate rather than a tenant, you may have different rights. Flatmates are not covered by the Residential Tenancies Act 1986, which only covers tenants and landlords. This means the rights of flatmates are not as clear cut. Both tenants and flatmates can read their full rights here .

Can a landlord sell their property if a tenant has a fixed term tenancy?

Yes, the landlord has the right to list and sell their property regardless of the term of the tenancy.

However, tenants will be entitled to remain in the property for the duration of the fixed term. This term may be extended if tenants and the new landlord agree.

How many types of tenancy are there?

There are two main types of tenancy. They are called a periodic tenancy and a fixed-term tenancy. Whether you are a landlord or a tenant you should know what you are to do in each kind of tenancy so you can choose the one that suits you best.

A periodic tenancy lasts until either the tenant gives the required notice that they want to leave or the landlord asks them to leave. A periodic tenancy is good if you’re not sure of your plans.

A fixed-term tenancy finishes on a date that is written in the tenancy agreement. The landlord can’t give the tenant notice to quit before then. The tenant can’t give notice to leave before that date either. A fixed-term tenancy is good if you are sure that nothing will change.

What’s the maximum bond that landlords can charge?

The landlord can ask for bond money up to the equivalent of 4 weeks’ rent. Other forms of security are not allowed. A guarantor’s agreement is not considered a bond.

Do tenants need insurance?

Yes.

A landlord’s insurance policy does not protect tenant’s belongings. Under the Residential Tenancies Act, tenants are liable for any damage they, or their invited guests, cause intentionally or carelessly. Even if a person is living in the property but not names on the tenancy agreement, they should have a contents insurance policy to protect their own belongings.

Personal liability insurance is also recommended to protect tenants from any careless damage they or their invited guests may cause to the property. If an insurance company pays out a landlord for damage and believes that a tenant is liable for that damage, the insurance company may seek compensation from the tenant. Personal liability insurance may protect a tenant in this situation.