Benefits of RentingDANNY DE HEK Entrepreneur Decision Maker Connector Podcaster Educator

The majority of migrants choose to rent a house (long or short term) when they first arrive in New Zealand. The benefits of initially renting a house far out-weigh any long term financial benefits of owning a home when first shifting to New Zealand. People who have obtained permanent residency to New Zealand usually arrive with little understanding of the good (and not so good) areas to reside in, or which part of the country will offer the best employment or education opportunities suitable to them. For these reasons short or medium term rental allows a new migrant the freedom to move to different parts of a suburb, town, city or even the country without being committed to a mortgage or owning a home that is no longer suitable to their family requirements.

New residents should be prepared to spend quality time looking for a house to rent in New Zealand as prices and quality can vary dramatically in many parts of a city. You can pretty much rent any type of property your heart and wallet desire in New Zealand, from stylish inner city apartments, little bedsits, spacious old homes with large outdoor living areas or a lifestyle block on the outskirts of town.

However finding furnished rental accommodation is far more difficult and expensive. For this reason most people migrating to New Zealand choose to bring a lot of their own furniture with them, and sometimes when you are in a new country it is nice to have your own bed and familiar belongings with you.

Rental Costs

The majority of rental properties in New Zealand are unfurnished with items in them such as an oven, laundry facility, curtains and carpet. If an advertisement for a rental property states it has white ware this normally refers to such items as a fridge, freezer, washing machine and a dryer.

The below is a list of the approximate average rental price (for previous 6 months) for a standard unfurnished 3 bedroom house in NZ dollars.

Location Per Week
Auckland Central $600.00
Auckland North $450.00
Auckland South $360.00
Auckland West $375.00
Wellington Hutt Valley $375.00
Wellington Central $500.00
Wellington Porirua City $340.00
Nelson Central $360.00
West Coast Westport $250.00
Christchurch Riccarton $340.00
Christchurch Central $440.00
Christchurch Papanui $330.00
Dunedin Mosgiel $250.00
Dunedin St Clair $260.00
Queenstown $470.00
Invercargill $225.00

Migrants also need to be aware of additional costs that are incurred when renting a property. It is your responsibility to organise and pay for the electricity, telephone and any gas or water charges.

Many clients thinking of migrating to New Zealand want to know where to look for New Zealand rental accommodation. Most rental properties are advertised in newspapers in the To Let column or at Letting Centres and with real estate agents. Many Letting Centres charge you a one off fee to access their database of rentals available but if you rent a property through a real estate agent they will charge you a fee, which is usually the equivalent of one weeks rent + GST. For example if you rent a property that is $200 per week rental, then the real estate agent may charge you a one off fee of $200 + GST (15%).

Renting a property can be an expensive set up. The landlord usually asks you to pay a bond of up to 4 weeks rent (which can be refunded to you when you leave the property). The bond is kept with The Bond Centre, which is part of a government department called Ministry of Housing. Once your landlord has lodged your bond The Bond Centre will post you a receipt of your bond amount received and relevant information. When you leave the property the landlord and you must sign the bond form for you to obtain your money back. However, if you have missed rent payments or the property is left in a dirty state or requires repairs, the landlord may apply to The Tenancy Tribunal to have some or all of your Bond money issued to them to cover these costs.

Rent is usually paid fortnightly in advance by automatic payment (set up with your bank account), and the landlord usually requests 2 weeks rent in advance before you shift into the property. Therefore if have agreed to rent a property for $200 per week you will be expected to pay the equivalent of 4 weeks rent for your bond ($800.00) plus two weeks rent in advance ($400.00). This means you are paying $1200.00 plus additional costs for any agent fees, connecting of power, telephone, etc. For this reason we strongly suggest that you choose carefully when deciding on a rental property when coming to live in New Zealand.