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What do I need to do to rent / apply for a property?

Download our Tenancy Application Form. Fill out your application on the form provided. This will supply us with all the necessary details needed.

This form may also enable the agent to seek information from past landlords and agencies about your rental and credit history. To complete processing your application we will also require a photo I.D. You can fax or email this through with your application.

You will be required to supply References or/and Testimonials from past landlords, so it is advisable to have these ready, preferably in writing, so that your Application can be fast tracked. Your application form requests contact details for some of these references so we can often verify references quicker on the telephone, meaning that there is often no need for written references.

References are particularly important in today’s market. If you have great references this can often make the difference in you securing the property before anyone else does.

How much money will I need to pay when I rent a property?

Generally you will need to pay a credit check fee of $25 plus GST and one weeks rent payable as a Letting Fee (plus GST). You will also be required to pay a minimum of one weeks rent in advance, plus four weeks rent as Bond. This generally needs to be paid in full prior to you moving into the property. A minimum deposit of one weeks rent and the letting fee must be made upon signing of the agreement and the balance can be paid 3 working days prior to moving into the property.

What happens if I miss a rent payment?

You should call your property manager immediately. Don’t wait for them to call you. Advise them of your course of action to remedy any missed payment. Any missed payment is a breach in your Tenancy Agreement and your property manager will immediately take action to follow up and enforce the payment of any missed rents. This will include termination of the tenancy and any required debt collection enforcement which may affect your ability to rent a property elsewhere. But by communicating any issues your property manager promptly they may work with you to arrange a plan to remedy any breach.

What are my obligations when I rent a property?

Your Tenancy Agreement outlines the main points regarding your tenancy, but you also have additional obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act.

You must take reasonable care of the property, keep it clean and tidy, especially when you vacate. You must take steps to ensure that no damage to the property is made by your or visitors.

Some Tenancy Agreements have special clauses in them which you need to abide by (for example, no pets allowed, the tenant shall maintain the lawns and gardens). Please consult your agreement for confirmation or contact your property manager if you need clarification on what you need to do.

What happens if I breach my Tenancy Agreement?

Your landlord is required to issue you with a ’14 day Notice to Remedy’. This is a requirement of the Residential Tenancies Act. This breach may be due to a tenant not paying the rent/water rates or other breaches such as non-satisfactory presentation of the property. If you fail to remedy the breach within the required time frame then your property manager may make an application to the Tenancy Tribunal in order to terminate your tenancy.

What do I do if something breaks or needs repairing?

Landlords are obligated to attend to various maintenance issues. Email or call your property manager to ask for advice as to whether the problem is one which you need to make good at your cost, or whether it’s the landlord’s responsibility. Communication is the key. The quicker you report any issues to your property manager the quicker they will be addressed.

Emergency repairs and maintenance include anything relating to power, security, water and sewerage and you need to contact your property manager urgently regarding these items. Urgent repairs may include broken locks, and other items which mean the property is not secure. If you experience these problems after hours and can’t get hold of your property manager then it is recommended that you take as many steps to reduce the problem as possible. For example, if it is a water leak then turn off the water.

Regular repairs and maintenance refers to items that do not cause any real damage in the shorter term but are annoying and inconvenient. These may include stove elements that are not working, and leaking taps and toilets. If you report these issues after hours they may not be organised until the next working day. However, these regular maintenance issues are not urgent so will not cause any further damage. Generally your property manager will arrange a tradesman to contact you direct to arrange a time to complete the work.

What do I do if I want to move out of a property?

  • Periodic Tenancies (no fixed term) For Periodic Tenancies you are required to give no less than 21 days’ Notice in writing. The effective date, is the date upon which the agent receives this notice.
  • Fixed Term Tenancies (for a fixed period) Normally your tenancy start and end dates are specified on the Tenancy Agreement and you will be responsible for paying the rent during the total period. However if you find that you need to move out, AND if your agent can re let the property, on the same terms and conditions, you may be allowed to cease your tenancy agreement in favour of the new one. If there is any short fall in rent you will be obliged to pay this. Your property manager will generally release you from a Fixed Term tenancy when they have found a suitable replacement tenant.

How do I get my bond back?

Ensure that you have left the property in a clean and tidy condition and as per the requirements of your Tenancy Agreement. This generally means that there should be no rubbish lying around with the gardens and lawns neat. Internally the walls, doors, windows and ledges, kitchen and bathroom should be clean, and carpets commercially cleaned also. If in doubt check with your property manager.

  • Damage. If you have caused any damage you need to have this repaired at your cost, to a good standard. For any outstanding damage which is considered to be your responsibility, and that has not been repaired by you, an Application may be made to the Tenancy Tribunal to request payment of your bond to the landlord to cover any damages. Sometimes damages may be awarded against a tenant, in excess of the bond money held.
  • Rent Arrears. Ensure there is no overdue rent, water or other debts owing from your tenancy.
  • Bond Refund. Your property manager will carry out an exit inspection. This will be done soon after you have vacated the property and the keys have been returned. (Spectrum Rentals requires keys to be returned by 12 noon on the termination date.) If the inspection is satisfactory, your property manager will complete the paperwork and send off the application for a Bond Refund to Tenancy Services.

What happens if the owner wants to sell or move back in the property?

If you have a Periodic Tenancy (no fixed term) the landlord must give you 42 days notice in writing, to vacate.

If you have a Fixed Term tenancy the landlord cannot issue notice to terminate your tenancy. They may sell the property subject to your existing tenancy. That means that you can stay in the property, while the owner may change. Agreements can be terminated or changed upon agreement of both parties.

When selling, the landlord must advise you in writing that the property is on the market. When the property is on the market, you must be given reasonable notice for buyers to inspect. As the tenant you are also obliged to provide reasonable access for those inspections.

Can I bring in other tenants to help pay the rent?

The only persons who are lawfully able to occupy the property you are renting, are those either named or provided for on the Tenancy agreement. Sometimes they will be named, or the agreement will only name one or two tenants but the agreement will also provide for a certain number of occupants.

The person named on the agreement is the lawful tenant and the other occupants (as noted above) are considered flatmates.

Sub letting the premises or Varying the Tenancy Agreement:

You are not able to sub let the premises without written consent from the owner.

If you wish to move out and a friend or other occupier wishes to stay in the property, most owners will require a new Tenancy agreement, together with updated Application forms and references. Under these circumstances a letting fee may be charged.

What if I feel I’m being treated unfairly?

In the first instance, try to discuss the matter thoroughly to see each party’s point of view. Talk to your property manager about your concerns. If you are unable to reach a resolution on an important matter, you can contact Tenancy Services for advice and arrange for a mediated meeting.

This is known as Mediation and is available at either party’s request.

What is my obligation regarding landlord inspections?

Landlords and their agents are required to give you 48 hours notice of their intention to enter the property or 24 hours for maintenance. For most general maintenance inspections (generally six monthly or yearly) your property manager will usually give you at least a weeks notice.

The only exception to this is when the property is for rent or on the market, and in these circumstances you must be given reasonable notice at all times. You are not required to be present during inspections as your property manager will have a key.

For more information on renting and general tenancy advice visit Tenancy Services website.

Do I need insurance?

If you want your possessions insured against theft or damage then YES all tenants should arrange their own insurance cover. If you have personal insurance this will generally also cover a “liability” insurance which will protect you if you in case by accident you have a fire and cause damage. The owner of the property should have insurance for the actual property but this will be limited and will not generally cover tenants liability or possessions. There are various insurance companies you can contact for quotes and you should ensure that you get the right advice and policy to meet your requirements.