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5 Things to Know About Renting a Home in New Zealand

By · July 20, 2022
5 Things to Know About Renting a Home in New Zealand

New Zealand has a reputation as a progressive and friendly country. Our small country is popular with immigrants looking for work-life balance and a slower pace of life. While there are a lot of areas where New Zealand shines, renting a home can come with a host of issues you may not experience overseas.

Here are 5 things you need to know before renting a home in New Zealand.

Searching for a rental can be competitive and take a lot of time

If you are moving to a major city, be prepared to spend months looking for a rental property. Typically, you’ll have to look for a rental on your own as there are no rental brokers to do this for you. You’ll need to be available to look at rental properties throughout the day. Most viewings are held on weekends or during working hours, and viewing is required before you can apply for a property.

On the plus side, property managers aren’t allowed to charge letting fees or application fees for applying for a rental. You can safely apply for as many rental properties as you like without risking your money. Additionally, property managers must set a fixed price for the rent and can’t ask applicants to pay above this price to rent the property.

Renting from private landlords is better than renting from property managers

Ask any New Zealander who has spent their twenties or thirties renting, and they’ll all say the same thing. Property managers aren’t better than private landlords. On the one hand, property managers know the rental laws and aren’t likely to turn up at your home unannounced (which is illegal). On the other hand, their priorities usually lie with the property owners, not the tenants. Renting from private landlords can sometimes be a better experience. Many private landlords aren’t as aggressive about increasing rent each year and are more inclined to work with good tenants to keep them happy and ensure they stay longer.

Don’t be put off renting a home from a private landlord.

Be prepared to spend at least 30% of your income on rent

Rents in New Zealand are typically quite high. Wellington has one of the highest rents in the country due to its rental shortage. The average rent is $527 per week.

Wellington and Auckland are the most expensive cities to rent. However, the pandemic has left Auckland’s inner city underpopulated due to fewer international students. Finding an affordable apartment is now easier in Auckland than in Wellington. 

Christchurch has one of the most stable and affordable rental markets in New Zealand. The post-earthquake rebuild has resulted in more new townhouses and apartments around the city.

If you are considering moving to a small town, you may struggle to find a rental property. If you plan to move to New Zealand long-term, it can pay to have a plan for getting on the property ladder. Renting in New Zealand comes with less security for tenants than in other countries, and the average lease is only two years.

You’ll need to pay a bond before renting the property

Once you’ve found your ideal rental, you’ll need to pay a bond before you can rent the property. A bond is the only payment a landlord or property manager can charge you to secure the property. Your landlord or property manager will lodge the payment with Tenancy Services. Your bond is paid back to you once you pass your final inspection at the end of your lease.

Bond can be anywhere from two weeks to one month’s rent. 

Heating standards are below the rest of the world

New Zealand is reasonably warm when compared to many other countries. However, our warmth and insulation aren’t as high as many other countries.

New heating standards for rentals require better insulation, ventilation, and heating. Condensation is common in New Zealand homes. The Tenancy Tribunal can help enforce Healthy Home Standards in your rental. Requirements for all rentals include a heating source in the living area, ventilation (fans) in bathrooms, and insulation in walls, ceilings, and beneath the floor.

Air out your home and wipe down windows

To avoid damp and mildew, ventilate your living and bedroom areas regularly by letting in the fresh air and turning on fans in wet areas. Wiping down windows can help prevent mould and mildew from forming on glass doors and window frames.

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Dehumidifiers are a great way to help ventilate your home and are inexpensive to buy and run. Most rental properties require you to pass an inspection every six months. Tenants need to remove or treat any mould in the home, even if your home has adequate ventilation units.

Ready to move into your rental?

Finding a rental property can be challenging, but moving into your rental is easy. Wise Move gives you the best prices and keeps delivery costs low by finding room on already existing moving routes. Get started booking your move today.

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