Renting in Auckland
When you arrive in Auckland, you may consider renting a house/apartment while you decide where to settle more permanently. Renting gives you the opportunity to find out about different areas of Auckland before committing to buying a property.
Finding Rental Properties
Most rental properties are advertised in the local Auckland broadsheet paper – The New Zealand Herald, (which can be found online and in free local community papers such as the Central Leader and North Shore Times. Websites such as Trademe have listings of rental properties; some are private and some are managed by real estate or letting agents.
Most real estate agents advertise their rental properties on their individual websites and many also leave printed lists in a box outside their offices or at their reception.
Property managers and private landlords generally want a commitment of at least six months from tenants, although you may find shorter-term tenancies available in Auckland’s central downtown areas. Sometimes you may be asked to sign a fixed-term tenancy; otherwise it will be a ‘periodic tenancy’, which the tenant or landlord can end at any time (with notice).
Power, Water and Furniture
Most houses and apartments will already have power and water connected; however you will need to ring and get the account put into your name. There will usually be an oven, curtains and other fittings. Sometimes landlords may provide ‘whiteware’ (fridge, washing machine, dryer), but usually the tenant needs to obtain these items themselves. You can find some companies renting out whiteware items on a monthly basis if you do not wish to purchase them immediately.
Be aware that unlike some countries, most rental properties in New Zealand are rented out completely unfurnished, so be prepared to buy things you need when you move to Auckland or to have them sent over from your home country. Cheaper and second-hand household items can be found on Trademe. There are many second-hand furniture dealers around Auckland, generally located in the suburban shopping areas rather than in the central city.
You may wish to purchase “Contents Insurance” while renting, because it is not your landlord’s responsibility if your property gets damaged or stolen. See our home insurance page. Each country has its own rental laws, so no matter where you decide to right, it might be worth doing a little research into your rights as a renter as well as looking at getting renters insurance to help you if things go wrong.
Tenancy Agreements and Charges
The letting agent or landlord must give you a ‘Tenancy Agreement’ which both you and they will sign. You may be asked to pay a ‘Bond’ which is a single payment extra to your rent, which can consist of up to three weeks rent. Landlords are not allowed to keep the bond but must ‘lodge’ it with the Government-run Tenancy Services, who will look after it on your behalf. At the end of the rental period (or ‘tenancy’), you should get back the Bond — unless you owe rent or have deliberately damaged the property.
Some letting agencies may also charge a one-off “letting fee” for renting the house, which is normally one week’s rent plus GST.
The rental cost of a house or apartment is often set according to the number of bedrooms, the location and how much parking is available. You usually pay rent on a weekly or fortnightly basis, and in advance.
The NZ Government, through the Housing New Zealand Corporation, owns and manages a limited number of rental houses (called ‘state houses’). However you have to meet very strict conditions to apply. State houses are usually given to people on low incomes or with special needs. Waiting lists can be very long and you must be a NZ citizen, permanent resident, refugee or spontaneous refugee (asylum seeker).
For more information on renting, the rights of tenants and landlords, tenancy agreements and bonds, visit the website of the Department of Building and Housing website.
You can also find information on renting in 9 different languages here.
House Sharing and ‘Flatting’
Another common option for renting in the Auckland area is ‘flatting’ or house-sharing, where a group of people (not just one family) share the rent and bills for a house. It is especially popular with younger people and students, but people of all ages can ‘go flatting’. Look in the ‘Flatmates Wanted’ section of The New Zealand Herald or on sites like Trade Me.
More information about renting can be found here:
Click on the links below to hear how to rent a house in your own language.