Finding A Place To Live In New Zealand: A Guide For Expats

Finding A Place to Live in New Zealand

New Zealand is a beautiful country to live in and offers a unique way of life. If you are looking for a place to live in New Zealand, it is important to know a few things before you get started. Knowing where to look and having an understanding of New Zealand Tenancy Laws are especially important. This article will direct you to some useful websites to find rental properties in New Zealand, discuss Tenancy Laws, and provide some other helpful tips to get you started in finding your ideal New Zealand home.

Useful websites to find a rental property

Rental properties can be found through landlords, letting agents that assist them in granting a tenancy, rental agencies, estate agencies, or through ads in local newspapers. Immigration consultants or travel agents might be able to help you arrange rentals before you arrive, but you might end up paying more and won’t have a chance to see the property in advance of making a commitment.

To make the process easier, there are several websites that will help you locate available rental properties. TradeMe Property is a privately operated website that lists many rental properties. It is a good place to get started because it provides an overview of rents and property types that are available in different areas. Other websites to help you find flats or flat mates in New Zealand include…

New Zealand Tenancy Laws

A tenancy agreement is a legal requirement for renting a property in New Zealand. It is the contract signed by you and your landlord that states the terms of the rental and the length of your stay. If your landlord uses the Department of Building and Housing’s standard agreement, it should be fairly straightforward, and you won’t need to have it checked by a lawyer.

Fixed-term residential tenancy agreements are usually short to medium term, while long fixed-term contracts are less common. Another possibility is a periodic tenancy agreement that lasts until one of the parties gives notice to end it. Periodic tenancy agreements are common and usually require a tenant to give 21 days notice and a landlord to give 90 days notice.

For advice about rental tenancies in New Zealand, Tenancy Services within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment can help. They provide a guide to tenancy law that is available in several languages, a phone helpline, and a mediation service to help in cases of rental agreement disputes. They can advise you on your rights and responsibilities and help resolve any issues that might arise.

Rental costs

While prices may vary depending on location, they tend to be high in the main centres such as Auckland and Wellington. The national average for rent is about $200 per week and is determined primarily by size and location. Rents are also determined by the quality of the property. In expensive areas, rents can range from $350-$500 a week. Sea views or places in university towns might cost even more. Note that rents are listed by a weekly price rather than monthly in New Zealand.

Some landlords might require you to pay rent in advance and a bond. A bond is a security deposit that is usually comprised of two to three weeks’ rent, and cannot exceed four weeks of rent. The landlord is required to give you a receipt for your bond money and to lodge it with Tenancy Services at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, within 23 days. You should receive a letter from them telling you that your bond has been lodged. The bond money will be held until the end of the agreement, when it will be returned if you leave the property in good condition on your moving out day.

Option fees are charged in order to hold a property while you decide whether or not to rent it. If you decide to rent, the fee will be returned or applied towards your rent. As of 12 December 2018, landlords and agents are not allowed to charge letting fees or key money. Notice is the period of time that you have to finish your contract with your landlord.

Insurance, taxes, utilities

The landlord is responsible for insuring the property, while the tenants are responsible for insuring their own possessions. Tenants are also responsible for liability coverage for any damage they cause to the property. The landlord pays tall taxes, while the tenant pays for utilities such as electricity and gas.

Sharing a flat

In New Zealand, sharing a flat is common and known as “flatting.” It is a good way to save money by sharing the rent and expenses with other people. It is also one of the best ways to make friends in New Zealand. In some flats, everyone shares food bills and cooking responsibilities, while in others, everyone buys and prepares their own food. You might also find a room in a boarding house where you share kitchens, bathrooms, and living rooms with other tenants.

Renting a house

If you are looking for a place to live for your family, you can find stand-alone homes in different parts of New Zealand. They can be found in the suburbs, on the countryside, by the sea, or in urban areas.

Where is the best place to live in New Zealand?

There are many great areas in New Zealand to choose from when looking for a place to live. Here are some of the top choices.

A year-round destination with great winter and summer activities, Queenstown is definitely one of the best places to live in New Zealand. Not only will you find a wide array of activities and amazing views, but it is also a good place to work. Prices tend to be high, but you might be able to find something more affordable in the surrounding suburbs.

Napier, located in the center of Hawke’s Bay, is another great place to live. The cost of living is lower than in the larger cities, and it is a great place to find work, activities, and plenty of sunshine.

In addition to Napier and Queenstown, other top destinations include Rotorua on the North Island, and of course, Auckland, the biggest city, and Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city. These are just a few of the many great places where you might choose to live.

Other helpful tips

Another way to find housing is through word of mouth. Check with friends and work colleagues to see if they know of any places for rent in New Zealand. Before committing to renting or buying any property, you should always take the time to visit. When you visit, take notes on any damage to the flat or the furniture.

If you are relocating to New Zealand, you might consider staying in a hostel until you get the feel for the area. That way, you won’t be making a long term commitment, and you will have time to look around for a flat in a convenient location or to meet potential flatmates.

Other than the rent, there are a few other things to look out for when choosing a place to live. You should find out the cost of electricity and the bond, whether it is fully furnished, where the closest bus stops are located, the number of tenants allowed, and the move-in date.

You will also want to consider heating types and costs. The climate varies widely in New Zealand, so the heating needed will depend on the region where you live. In most cases, there is not central heating, but heating in individual rooms. When choosing a flat, find out if it is well-insulated and how much sun it gets. Ask for an estimate for electricity costs, and consider getting advice from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority. As of July 2019, all rental homes must have insulation that meets required standards.

If you have kids, it is important to look into school options. Some schools have enrollment zones, and if you live in the zone, your child will be guaranteed a place. Also, find out whether there is decent public transportation available. New Zealand is a great place for families. You can find great homes that are spacious and comfortable, excellent healthcare facilities, high quality schools, and many healthy activities and sports to engage in.

Healthcare in New Zealand is free or low cost for citizens and holders of work visas for two years or more. If you have a temporary visa, you may be eligible for some services. Check the Ministry of Health website for details.

Final thoughts

A beautiful and clean country with a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, New Zealand has a lot to offer. The climate is mild and the scenery is fantastic. It is easy to get around, and there are plenty of options for places to live. Once you know the basics about New Zealand tenancy laws and what to look for when deciding on a place to live, you will be able to get started in finding the perfect place to live in New Zealand.

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