Renting A Home In New Zealand

Renting A Home In New Zealand
Most migrants will be looking to rent a home on arrival, with a wide selection of properties available in most locations on both North and South Islands. Most rental properties are let unfurnished, with the rent depending on location. The highest prices are found in the major cites, set in comparatively wealthy areas close to good schools and all amenities such as restaurants, shopping centres and entertainment venues. Homes close to beaches are at a premium.

Local estate agents, letting centres and local newspapers are good sources for rental homes, which are normally described as apartments, units or flats, houses or townhouses. Obviously, apartments occur in blocks, but 'units' or 'flats' can refer to terraced or semi-detached houses, with a 'house' normally a detached property. Townhouses are mainly detached, modern and have small gardens.

Two forms of rental contract are standard here, fixed term tenancies and periodic tenancies. A fixed-term tenancy is normally for a period of six months or a full year, during which time the rent cannot be increased. Renters should check the contract to ensure a fixed rent for the period. Periodic tenancies have no end date, and are ended by the tenant giving at least three weeks' notice of intention to quit.

Periodic tenancies can include rent increases, although the landlord must give at least 60 days' notice. To end your tenancy, six week's notice must be given by the landlord, with the tenant obliged to give 21 days notice. Rent increases during the initial year's tenancy are rare; increases on an annual basis are common. Periodic tenancies are the best bet for new migrants as a job offer in a different region may require swift relocation.

Significant up-front costs are involved in renting a home, related to the weekly rent. Estate agents' fees are normally a week's rent, with landlords requesting between two and four weeks' rent as a bond. By law, the bond must be lodged by the landlord with the Ministry of Housing's Bond Centre within 23 days. When the tenancy ends, the bond is returned unless damage has occurred to the property.

In New Zealand, rent is paid on a fortnightly basis, with most landlords requesting two weeks' rent in advance.

For example, if your rent is NZ$250 per week, your initial costs if renting through an agency will be NZ$1,750. Renting though a private landlord advertising in a local newspaper can save money, and negotiation for a rent reduction is easier with a private landlord. On North Island, two-bedroom apartment rents range between NZ$200 and NZ$400, with houses, units or flats and townhouses correspondingly more expensive. South Island rental properties are less expensive, dependent on the area.