FAQs When Renting

A guide to some of the most commonly asked questions on renting a property.



Frequently Asked Questions For Renters

Here we list our most frequently asked questions on renting in New Zealand.

If you still have a query, don’t hesitate to contact one of our property managers who can help you with your personal circumstance. 


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What fees and costs will I need to cover?


Bond amount 

A bond amount of up to four weeks rent is collected at the start of the tenancy and held in trust with the Bond Centre. In the event that you fall into rental arrears, are responsible for damage to the property, or leave the property in a dirty or unkempt condition, your landlord can make a claim against the bond. At the end of your lease, if the property has only sustained reasonable wear and tear the full bond amount will be returned to you. 

Rent in advance 

You will usually be required to pay up to two weeks of your rent in advance upon the start of your tenancy. 


How do I pay my rent?


Each Harcourts office will have a different system for rent collection which can be found within your tenancy agreement. There may be several payment methods available to you, so check with your property manager to discuss your preferred payment method. 

If for whatever reason you feel you may be late with your rental payment, please notify your property manager as soon as possible.


What types of tenancy agreements are there?


There are two types of tenancy agreements, fixed term and periodic.

Fixed term

Fixed term tenancies are for a set period of time, with a defined start and end expiry date. Usually six to 12 months. Fixed tenancies can’t be terminated during the term by either party, unless each party agrees. For fixed-term tenancies granted after 11 February 2021, must use one of the specified grounds in the Residential Tenancies Act 1986. See the grounds for termination below for ending a periodic tenancy.


Periodic tenancies can simply be terminated by notice. As a tenant, you must provide your landlord/property manager 28 days written notice of your decision to terminate the lease. Your landlord must provide you with notice which varies depending on circumstance:

63 days if they or any of their family require the property for their own use; or

90 days notice for the reasons below:

  • The premises are to be put on the market by the owner within 90 days after the termination date (as above) for the purposes of sale or other deposition. 
  • The owner is required, under an unconditional agreement for the sale of the premises, to give the purchaser vacant possession.
  • The landlord is not the owner of the premises and the landlord’s interest in the premises is due to end.
  • The landlord or owner has acquired the premises to facilitate the use of nearby land for a business activity. That fact is clearly stated in the tenancy agreement, and the premises are required to be vacant of residential tenants to facilitate that use.
  • The premises are to be converted into commercial premises for at least 90 days by the landlord or owner.
  • Extensive alterations, refurbishment, repairs, or redevelopment of the premises are to be carried out by the landlord or owner, and it would not be reasonably practicable for the tenant to live there while the work is being done. The work must begin, or material steps towards it are to be taken, within 90 days after the termination date (as above).
  • The premises are to be demolished and the demolition is to begin, or material steps towards it are to be taken, within 90 days after the termination date (as above).

See https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/ for more information about tenancy agreements.


What happens at the end of a lease?


You will find the expiry date of your fixed term tenancy within your tenancy agreement. Your property manager will be in contact with you well before this date to ask if you would like to renew the tenancy agreement for a specified period of time as agreed between you and the landlord. If this date passes without renewing your fixed term tenancy agreement, then your agreement becomes a periodic tenancy agreement. 

You can also request a lease renewal from the landlord or property manager before the expiry of your tenancy agreement. The owner of the property has the right to renew the lease, let arrangements continue under the terms of the original lease or issue the appropriate notice requesting that you vacate the property. 


What if I need to end my lease early? 


In the event that you need to break your lease and a suitable tenant can be found, you will be responsible for all reasonable costs incurred by the landlord to find a suitable replacement tenant.

You will need to continue to pay rent until a new tenant enters into a tenancy agreement. Both you and your landlord/property manager are able to look for a tenant, but any suitable tenant found must follow the correct legal processes when entering into a new tenancy agreement.


What happens if the property I am renting is sold? 


The owner of the property has the right to sell the property regardless of the lease type. However, as a tenant, you have the right to remain in the property for the duration of your fixed term rental agreement. 

If vacant possession is required and you are on a periodic tenancy, you will be given a minimum of 90 days notice to terminate the lease.

In the event you do have to relocate, we are more than happy to work with you to find a new rental property that will suit your needs.  


How do I arrange any repairs that might be needed?


Any repairs that are needed on the property should be made clear to your property manager as soon as possible, preferably in writing. Some repairs will be considered urgent if your health and safety or the property itself is threatened. 

In these instances, your property manager will have a repair person attend to these issues as soon as possible. 

Non-urgent repairs should also be directed to your property manager, who will organise for these repairs to take place when practical. It’s important not to try and repair the property yourself. 


If personal items of mine are damaged at the property, whose responsibility is it?


Your personal property is your responsibility, so any items that are damaged, lost or stolen are not the responsibility of your landlord. That is why it is advisable to cover your belongings adequately with contents insurance. 


Can I make minor changes to the property?


Before making anyminor change to your rental property, including small changes like picture hooks etc, you must make the request in-writing so the request can be forwarded to your landlord who will need to provide permission for any minor changes. Keep in mind changes may also be at your expense and you may be asked to remove any minor change unless agreed otherwise with your landlord. 


Where can I find more info about the rules and legislation of renting in New Zealand? 

You can always contact your property manager if you’re unsure anything or visit the Tenancy Services website at www.tenancy.govt.nz

Alternatively, you can find more links and resources on our legislation page. 

Legislation Resources


If you have any questions that are not covered here, please feel free to get in touch with your local Harcourts property manager.


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