Looking to rent

Who pays for the council rates and utilities (water, gas,... The landlord will ultimately be responsible for the payment of any charges that are incurred on their property, regar...
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Looking to rent?

The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions. Click here for full Terms of Use.

How can I terminate my Tenancy Agreement?

Different termination rules apply for ongoing periodic tenancy termination and for fixed-term tenancy termination.  These rules are explained below:
For a periodic tenancy:
  • In New Zealand, a tenant must give their landlord or property manager at least 21 days’ written notice that they wish to terminate their tenancy.  Some landlords may allow a shorter notification period, but this should be noted in writing.
  • A landlord should generally give their tenant at least 90 days’ written notice of termination.
  • If the owner has an agreement to sell the property, or if they require it for themselves or a family member to live in, the required minimum tenancy termination notice period is reduced to only 42 days.
For a fixed-term tenancy:
  • At the end of the specified lease period, the tenancy will automatically become a periodic tenancy unless either the landlord or the tenant has given written notice that they do not want this to happen.
  • If you wish to break your Tenancy Agreement by leaving the property early, you will be required to pay the associated costs (these will be specified in your Tenancy Agreement) unless your landlord waives these.

Are there any differences between renting a house and renting an apartment?

There are several factors to consider when deciding on the type of rental property you want to rent.
  • Living in a rental house often requires more attention to the house exterior, fencing, backyard and gardens than an apartment.  As a tenant, you are responsible for keeping these areas neat and tidy.
  • Rental houses may have more security requirements (locks on gates, alarm systems) to attend to than renting an apartment where many security features are centrally managed by the Body Corporate.
  • Renting an apartment requires you to comply with the Body Corporate rules concerning building access, parking, rubbish disposal and noise. It is important to familiarise yourself and your flatmates with the Body Corporate rules and regulations.
Houses generally have land attached - but you must maintain this.  Apartments offer less living space and closer proximity to neighbours, but need reduced maintenance.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a private home rental?

Some owners will rent their properties privately (directly to market), rather than using a registered real estate agent or property manager to do this. While this may mean there are no letting fees, there are also some disadvantages to taking private rentals:
  • Private rentals may not have the same level of professionalism and promptness with regards to maintenance and tenancy disputes.
  • Owners who rent their homes directly to tenants are not always as familiar with their legal obligations with regards to inspections, rent increases, notice periods and the like.
  • Without a real estate agent or property manager to act as an intermediary, you may experience less privacy and have a more difficult time settling any disputes due to an owner’s lack of objectivity.
Your local First National Real Estate office will help you to find a great rental.  Our professional property managers and real estate agents are highly experienced and work with integrity and honesty.  Contact First National Real Estate today.
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