What is a Tenancy Bond? When you move into a rental property, most landlords will ask for an amount equivalent to a few weeks of rent (usuall...
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How do we choose the right real estate agent?

How much rental income can I earn per week from my investment property?

Rental prices are highly individual and will be decided by the type of property you have, the number of bedrooms or offices, and the area the property is located in.

Our First National Real Estate agents can give you an estimated rental price through a free, no-obligation Rental Appraisal.  With over 400 offices around Australia & New Zealand, we've got agent coverage in your area.  Many First National Real Estate offices also offer a property management service should you require this.

Can the landlord or property manager undertake maintenance and repairs?

You should complete a property inspection with your landlord or property manager before you move in and document the findings in your Tenancy Agreement. This will document any existing home damage and help you to avoid any future disputes.

Your landlord must give you at least 24 hours' notice if they require access to your property to carry out maintenance and repairs - unless it is an emergency. If you require urgent repairs but cannot contact your landlord, you are entitled to contact a tradesperson yourself and pass on any reasonable costs.

You should report any rental property maintenance requirements to your landlord or property manager as soon as you notice them.  Failure to notify your landlord or property manager of a serious maintenance issue may see you held responsible for further damage.

What safety requirements do I need to consider when leasing out a holiday property?

Landlords and their agents have a duty of care to the tenants who lease their holiday property. The property must meet all appropriate health and safety standards before it is occupied.  Conduct regular checks of electrical and gas appliances, to make sure that they are in good working order, and compliant with local laws.

If the property has a swimming pool it will need to be adequately fenced to prevent young unsupervised children from falling in. The Fencing of Swimming Pools Act outlines the minimum requirements for such fencing and rules around placement. This Act is enforced by local Councils and the fines for not complying can be steep.

If you need advice on whether or not a fence meets the Act requirements, contact a First National Real Estate Property Manager. We're happy to help.

Can I buy a retirement property with my KiwiSaver funds?

Once you qualify for New Zealand Superannuation (currently at the age of 65), you also become eligible to withdraw funds from your KiwiSaver account. You can opt for small regular withdrawals to supplement your superannuation, or you can withdraw a lump sum up to your full account balance. All funds withdrawn from the account are tax free.

Withdrawing money from your KiwiSaver account may be useful when investing in a retirement property, but make sure you'll still have enough income available (from KiwiSaver or other investments) to support yourself in retirement. 

What else should I know about buying rural land?

The definition of rural land includes any land that is used or intended to be used for the grazing of livestock, dairy farming, poultry farming, grape growing, orchards, beekeeping, horticulture, the growing of crops of any kind, and vegetable growing.

This intended usage makes the soil quality and land slope more important than the land you buy for a family home.  Some important issues to keep in mind are:
  • Is the land surrounding the lifestyle block you want to purchase used mainly for agriculture, commercial purposes or private use?
  • Does the property already have appropriate Council approvals and the correct zoning for any external buildings or other developments you have planned?
  • Consider your own health and age. Will you have regular need for medical facilities and services that are only found in cities and regional centres?  Does your new rural location have a doctor or medical centre nearby?
  • Does the Sale and Purchase Agreement for your lifestyle block include any required licenses such as water usage rights etc?  It's very important to make sure that you know what is, and what is not, included in your purchase.  Get legal advice if you are a first time lifestyle block buyer, to minimise risks.
  • How easy will it be for you to have utilities such as power, gas, sewage and phone connected to your lifestyle block?  What costs are involved?
  • Check for flood plains, areas with access problems or limited water supply.
  • Check for any easements or rights of way that may be through the property. Even though they may have not been used for some time, their use by others can affect your own usage rights.
  • Check that effective noxious pest controls are in place on your land. Pest eradication can be expensive, so prevention is usually the best approach.

When should I involve a solicitor or conveyancer in my home purchase?

You should consult a qualified lawyer, solicitor or conveyancer before a Sale and Purchase Agreement (or any other contract) is signed.  Your opportunities to end the contract can be severely limited if you seek legal advice after signing.

What is the best way to lease my commercial property?

Marketing your commercial property in a professional manner will help to ensure quality tenants and a good rental return. In commercial property markets with a lot of competition, making sure your property stands out requires skill and experience. Prospective tenants will often weigh up the commercial rental price being asked for against location, building quality and other aspects of the property. First National Commercial agents are experts at targeting their needs.

Our commercial real estate network attracts many inquiries from prospective tenants waiting for properties to become vacant. Our expertise in marketing and presenting commercial properties will make sure that the leasing process runs smoothly and is more cost-effective than private property marketing efforts.

What else do I need consider before I lease out my commercial property?

A well-presented commercial property often attracts higher rental returns.  Before looking for tenants, you should undertake any cost-effective building improvements or maintenance required to broaden the appeal of your commercial property.

Ensure that your property is clean and tidy, and appears ready to move into.  Pay careful attention to the following:
  • General building condition – Have any damaged paintwork touched up and any minor damage repaired.
  • Cleanliness – Make sure the property is spotless, walls and bathrooms are clean, and have the carpets professionally cleaned.
  • Surrounds – Make sure the area around the property is clean and tidy, including any gardens and access ways. Clean up any rubbish areas.
  • Car spaces – If the property has car spaces, make sure these are clearly marked or signposted. Apply new car park markings if required.
  • Safety systems – Make sure that all safety systems (alarms, sprinklers etc.) are compliant and fully functional. 

Can I negotiate the settlement period or deposit?

Yes, you can.  The move in date, financial settlement period, and the deposit amount given to the agent can all be negotiated with the seller prior to signing the contract.

What should I check for when buying completely undeveloped rural land?

If you are considering buying undeveloped rural land, check the following:
  • Water tables, depth, quality and reliability
  • Closeness of utilities like water, gas, electricity, telephone and any costs to bring them to the land / property for installation and maintenance
  • Local road maintenance and accessibility, and any potential costs to connect these up to the property
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