So, you’re ready to rent, and you’ve found the property you would simply love to live in! However, don’t jump into a tenancy agreement right away – this is a legally binding document that’s difficult to back out of, particularly for our New Zealand residents. To make sure this property is absolutely right for you, we recommend you ask the following questions: 

1. What is included in the rent? 

Some rental agreements are bills-included, and some aren’t. It’s important to check whether your weekly or monthly rent includes the cost of utilities such as water, electricity, gas and internet. Sometimes, landlords also expect you to provide your own furniture and essential appliances, which would otherwise be included in the rent payment.  

2. What is the lease term and renewal policy? 

In New Zealand, the typical lease term is 12 months and renters, with the approval of their landlord, may renew their lease at the end of this term. Of course, this can differ wildly from place to place. Remember to ask questions about the lease duration – namely, is it fixed-term or periodic, and if a fixed-term, how long for? Query your landlord about the specific notice periods for renewal and termination, too.   

3. Can you make changes to the property, or bring pets? 

It’s always important to know whether you can customise the rented property with a fresh lick of paint or new carpets, just in case you’d like to make the place your own! Some landlords allow significant changes, and some don’t. 

Similarly, some properties are pet-friendly and some decidedly aren’t. If they are, your landlord may charge a pet fee to account for potential damage. Thoroughly enquire about these expenses before renting so you and your beloved animals aren’t caught unawares later on. 

4. How does your landlord handle maintenance and repairs? 

How do you report issues with the property? Should you report directly to your landlord, or do they contract a rental property management service to handle issues in their stead? It’s necessary for you to know how long it will take for repairs in the future! If your plumbing or electrics break down, the quicker your landlord’s response time is, the better. Sometimes, landlords may even implement an online system for logging repairs – it all depends on their preferences.  

5. What’s the surrounding neighbourhood like? 

The area in which you rent can significantly impact your quality of life. Always query about the surrounding neighbourhood, even if you don’t think these questions are relevant. Are the local crime rates high, and are there safeguards in place to prevent this? How close are you to public transport, amenities such as a supermarket or school, and is there a sense of community? 

These questions can vastly elevate your rental experience in the long-term.

If you own a property and would like to rent to tenants, contact Home James Property Management for comprehensive rental property management in Auckland and Wellington. Our rental property management services take on the challenges of a rental in your stead; from rent collection to maintenance repairs and financial reporting, we really handle it all. Contact us with any enquiries at your earliest convenience. 

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