• What are the advantages and disadvantages of a fixed term tenancy and periodic tenancy agreement?
    A fixed-term tenancy is a legally binding contract with clear parameters. You will know from the start the minimum length of your tenancy, your landlord will not be able to ask you to vacate the property during the fixed term unless there has been breach of contract, and you will also not be able to exit the agreement without considerable negotiation and personal cost. If you intend to be in one place for a long period of time, then this tenancy is ideal for you.

    A periodic tenancy on the other hand, allows more flexibility but less certainty. Either party may end the tenancy at any time by giving the correct amount of notice in writing. If you are looking for somewhere to live on a temporary basis, then this form of tenancy may be ideal.
  • Who is responsible for maintaining lawns and gardens?
    Unless otherwise specified in your tenancy agreement, lawn mowing and general garden maintenance such as weeding and watering, is the responsibility of the tenant.

    The landlord or property manager is responsible for arranging pruning and trimming where required, and this will be done at no cost to the tenant.
  • Who pays for what?
    The owner of the property pays for:
    · Local rates and property taxes
    · Property maintenance required due to general wear and tear
    · Garden pruning and trimming
    · House insurance
    · Smoke alarms
    · Pool and spa maintenance and chemicals

    The tenant of the property pays for:
    · Lawn mowing (or does this themselves)
    · Utilities (water, electricity, gas, internet, television)
    · Repairs required because of property damage caused by the tenant
    · Batteries for smoke alarms
    · Light bulbs
    · Contents Insurance (the tenant of the property is responsible for insuring their own belongings).
  • What does the insurance provided by the landlord cover?
    The landlord is responsible for insuring the property against damage caused by factors beyond the tenant’s control such as natural disasters, fire or flood (not the fault of the tenant or landlord).

    This insurance does not cover the tenant’s belongings or assets stored on the property, and the tenant is responsible for insuring their own belongings against damage beyond their control, such as natural disaster, by taking out Contents Insurance.
  • Can I sublet a room or space of my rental to someone else?
    Your living arrangements are up to you, but regardless of the circumstances you must:
    · Have approval from the landlord for someone else to move in
    · Provide your property manager with the full names and any other requested details of each tenant living on the property, including anyone you are sub-letting to, and
    · You must select one person to pay the rent in full to the landlord each week, even if you are collecting portions from multiple tenants. The person paying the rent will be listed as the primary tenant and is solely responsible for ensuring the rent is paid as due. Should any breach of contract occur, it will be the primary tenant who bears the responsibility for the breach.

    You are not allowed to have any tenant not listed on the tenancy agreement living on the property. If after commencing your tenancy, one or more tenants move out or would like to move in, you must notify your tenancy manager immediately. In the case of tenants moving out, you may need to provide proof that you can continue to meet your weekly rental obligations. In the case of tenants moving in, you will need to await approval from your property manager before they can move in.

    If the property you are renting has maximum number of tenants allowed to live on the property (e.g. a 2 bedroom house may have a maximum of 4 people), this will be specified in your tenancy agreement and any variations to this maximum must be agreed upon with your landlord via your tenancy manager.
  • 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 date. Usually six to 12 months. Fixed tenancies can’t be terminated by either party unless each party agrees.

    Periodic tenancies can simply be terminated by notice. As a tenant, you must provide your landlord/property manager 21 days written notice of your decision to terminate the lease. Your landlord must provide you with notice which varies depending on circumstance:
    • 42 days if they or any of their family require the property for their own use
    • 42 days if the property has been sold
    • 90 days for any other reason
    • Up to 4 days should be added to the above to provide for service of the notice
  • 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 a suitable tenant cannot be found before you plan to break your lease, you will be responsible for all reasonable costs incurred by the landlord to find a suitable replacement tenant.

    You will also 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 or for 42 days from the date of notice of your periodic rental agreement.

    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 any small alterations to the property?
    Before making any alternations to your rental property, including small changes like picture hooks etc, ensure you speak with your property manager to get the OK. The best way to do this is in writing so the request can be forwarded to your landlord who will need to provide permission for any changes. Keep in mind changes may also be at your expense 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.