We asked Harcourts NZ rental team some of your most commonly asked questions about moving to New Zealand and renting a property there.
Case study example:
I am a UK citizen who has secured full time employment as a teacher in NZ, I will be teaching in Auckland and will need to rent a two bedroom house. I am not sure where in Auckland at the moment probably the North Shore
1. What documentation do I need to provide?
You will need to provide evidence of who you are – passport, drivers licence etc, our offices usually require at least two types of identification.
2. Can I secure a rental property before I arrive in NZ?
Most of our offices prefer that you view the property before making the decision whether to rent the property as if you arrive and it is not what you expected it can end up in a dispute that means a court appearance as once a tenancy is signed it cannot be broken without a very strong reason.
3. What costs do I need to factor in on top of the weekly rent?
You will need to pay for water, electricity, possibly gas, telephone and living costs.
4. How long will my rental agreement be?
This varies and depends on the owner’s situation and wishes – it is usually between 6 months to a year if a fixed term is offered by the owner. If a periodic tenancy is offered then it requires 21 days notice in writing from the tenant if they wish to move.
5. What is the rental market like?
At the moment there is strong demand for rental properties – particularly on the North Shore. Of Auckland. The regions are not quite so sort after.
6. Should I get reference from past landlords and friends in the UK?
All references need to be verified so any references provided must be from someone that can be contacted by our office.
7. Do you need to see a copy of my employment contract?
Although not mandatory this would assist an office in knowing that the applicant for the property has a stable income and can afford the rental property they are wanting to rent.
8. Can I rent the property with other teachers coming into NZ from the UK?
Each application for a property is looked at individually so I could give a blanket statemen there. A lot of factors come into this, such as, how many people the owner is comfortable living in the property, what the parking arrangements are etc.
9. Can I be a flatmate as opposed to a tenant if I flat share?
This is a possible scenario depending on the property and the owner. We don’t handle flatmate enquiries however there are websites that tenants advertise for flatmates on.
10. Do you provide a viewing service?
Yes, our Property Managers show the available properties, usually using a structured ‘Open Home’ situation where all interested parties are given a time when the property manager will be at the property to show interested parties through.
11. What are your costs on top of the rental cost?
The offices charge a letting fee consisting of one weeks rent plus GST, there is a bond payable prior to moving in which is equivalent to four weeks rent and the first weeks rent is payable before moving in as well.
12. What percentage of rentals are furnished?
There are very few furnished properties on the North Shore of Auckland. There are not very many furnished properties available throughout New Zealand as it there is not the demand for them.
13. Are any part furnished with whiteware?
A lot of apartments come with whiteware but other than that it is not usual to supply whiteware with a rental property.
14. Is it easy to buy furniture to set up a flat when I arrive?
Yes, we have a number of relatively inexpensive places to purchase furniture.