Whether your property is managed by a management company or by an individual owner, renting accommodation in Auckland is a very simple process.
Once you decide where you want to live, the first step is to find a home. Trade Me, http://www.trademe.com, has the most complete rental listings in Auckland. However, other sites like http://www.realestate.com and the local real estate firms also post listings.
Rent is typically charged by the week, and varies greatly by area, as well as the quality of accommodation. In Central Auckland, you’ll typically pay $300 per week for a one-bedroom apartment and $450 for a two bedroom. A house will set you back at least $500 a week for three bedrooms, and at least $600 for four. Add on luxury amenities like an ocean view, modern kitchen and appliances, newer construction or renovation and the price rises from there.
Rents to the north, south, east and west are hundreds of dollars lower, but again can reach well above $1000 per week for a luxury home.
Please note: There is currently a rental crisis in Auckland with many hundreds of people all trying to apply for the same properties due to a massive shortage of rental properties. As a result, rental prices are going up and negotiating a lower price has become quite difficult. It can, however, be done. If you know that you need somewhere for at least the next 12 months, it is worth negotiating with the landlord to have a set term of 12 months in exchange for a reduced weekly rate, or a fixed calendar monthly rate.
When you find the house you want, and agree on a rental price, you will be asked to fill out an application for a lease where you will list your general information, rental and employment history and other sources of income. No documents whatsoever are required. The owner or management company will run a New Zealand credit check on you, but if you are new to the country and have a limited credit history here, they do not consider this a problem.
If you are accepted, you’ll fill out a standard lease agreement of 1-2 pages covering who will pay for water (usually the tenant) and repairs (usually the owner), the owner’s policies on pets, smoking and the maximum number of people who can live in the house or apartment. Leases are generally for a fixed term of six months or a year, but you can negotiate a longer or shorter term. Renewals are generally handled casually – you just let your landlord know a month or so before the lease is due to expire that you’d like to stay on. You can then negotiate a longer term or a month-to-month lease. It is polite to give 30 days notice if you plan to move out at the end of your lease, but not legally necessary. If you have to move out early, let your landlord know as soon as possible, and do what you can to expedite finding a replacement tenant. You may be held liable for the rest of the lease.
Due to some dodgy landlords, it is advisable that you take a detailed photographic record of the property whilst it is empty, before you move in, ensuring that the photos can be date verified, perhaps by printing them out and sending them to yourself in a sealed postmarked envelope. This gives you a record of the state of the property and all the items included by the landlord. Some landlords try to avoid returning deposit payments at the end of tenancy terms by stating that carpets are dirty or walls have marks on them, so if you have photographic evidence that the dirty carpet or wall marks were there prior to moving in, then you will be able to get your deposit back more easily.
Moving in can be expensive. Renters in New Zealand are typically asked to pay a week’s rent as deposit, another 2-3 weeks rent as bond, and if a leasing agent is involved, another week’s rent, plus 12.5% GST (tax), as a fee.