There’s a great range of lifestyle options available within New Zealand’s rental market. Urban apartments, houses with gardens, and peaceful retreats in our great outdoors are all part of our housing smorgasbord. Here’s a bit of a run down on how it works.
Check out our guide to the various different regions of New Zealand.
As of October 2015, the median rental prices for a three bedroom house in New Zealand is about $450 a week. A one bedroom apartment is about $300. Things vary a lot, so – as always – there’s no substitute for research.
Here’s a summarised breakdown as of October 2015
1 Bd Apt
3 Bdr house
Auckland Herne Bay
Dunedin NE Valley
Blanks indicate that a region has very few of that type of property up for rent.
Source: Tenancy Services, Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment.
Tenancy Services is a government department who supply all the standard documents as well as support services to both tenants and landlords. For instance, Tenancy Services – not your landlord – will hold your bond, and provide the first mediation for any disputes between tenants and landlords.
Most landlords require you to lodge a bond of about 2 to 4 weeks.
Tenancy Services also provide a standard tenancy agreement document. Practically all landlords use this, and if they don’t, ask them why not.
While New Zealand has a good range of rental properties, they don’t tend to last long on the market. So, it’s good to be very clear in advance about the kind of place you want and the areas you like. Then, search quickly and systematically, so when you find a good place, you can move rapidly to secure it. Here’s a more detailed break-down.
1. Research fully. Get a really clear sense of what you’re after: area, price and the type of rental (e.g. apartment, house, group-share, etc.) Here’s a good breakdown of prices throughout New Zealand on different types of accommodation. This is also a good time to familiarise yourself with the paperwork, available at tenancy services, here and to arm yourself with references from past landlords and remployers.
2. Search quickly. Knowing which areas you’re interested in, try and bunch all your inspections together. Many properties go very quickly, so you’ll have more options if you’re talking to competing landlords in the same area at the same time.
3. Nail the details. Photograph any scrapes and dings and store the image files somewhere safe in case there’s a dispute in the future. The standard Tenancy Agreement includes a blank inspection report. Have that with you so that any promises to make repairs can be easily captured on paper. Some specific checks:
4. Act! If you like the place and are satisfied over the particulars, waste no time in letting the landlord know you’re up for it. Do what you can to push the paperwork through, and make sure you get receipts for all your outgoings (bond, advance rent, etc.). Et voila! You’re ready to rent.