HOW MUCH RENT CAN I RECEIVE FOR MY PROPERTY?
To determine how much rent you can charge for your property, you will need to assess the market. In other words, how much money are similar properties in your area renting for?
A good place to start is to carry out some research online. It is important to pay attention to the requested prices, as well as how long the properties stay on the market at those rates. Your local Harveys agent can provide you with plenty of useful information on comparative rentals in the area.
HOW LONG IS A TYPICAL TENANCY?
In New Zealand, standard tenancy periods are generally either six or 12 months. While longer terms are possible, you are likely to find a smaller number of tenants who are willing to commit to this time.
You may wish to speak to your Harveys agent about the different advantages of each tenancy length and help you determine how to maximize your return most effectively.
CAN I INCREASE THE RENT DURING THE TENANCY PERIOD?
Current rent rates must remain in place for the remainder of the tenancy’s term, but if you then want to increase the rent, you should give your tenant the required notice that you intend to change their rates at the end of their current lease.
IS IT MANDATORY TO ENLIST THE SERVICES OF A REAL ESTATE AGENT TO MANAGE A RENTAL PROPERTY?
If you are outside of New Zealand for more than 21 days, an agent must be appointed.
As a tenant, what documents should I expect to receive before I move into a property?
Documentation should include a copy of the tenancy agreement, information about renting, a copy of the bond lodgement form and the condition report, which is to be completed, signed and returned to the agent or owner within the required time frame.
You may also receive a receipt for the initial rent amount and bond payment, as well as copies of access keys and any remote controls. The agent may also provide you with emergency contact details for urgent out-of-hours repairs.
What happens when the tenancy expires?
If you have a fixed term tenancy you will find details of the expiry date in your tenancy agreement. If this date passes, your tenancy becomes a ‘periodic tenancy agreement’. This ensures all parties are bound by the original tenancy terms.
You can also request a lease renewal from the owner or agent. 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.
It is important for you to discuss whether or not you want to continue living in the property with the property manager well before the expiry date of your tenancy, which allows everyone to make the necessary plans and arrangements.
I want to break my tenancy, but have another person who wants to take over the property. What do I do?
Any agreed handovers must be done correctly and legally – you and the other person should contact your property manager as soon as possible and let them know what you want to do.
You should also be aware that your landlord has no automatic obligation to agree to your request – the new person must complete an application form, provide references and carry out all the other steps that are necessary for anyone to be approved as a tenant.
If this application is approved, the new person should not move into the property until a final inspection has been carried out and the necessary arrangements are made with your landlord for the release of your bond.
What happens if I need to leave the property before my fixed term tenancy expires?
In this event, you are responsible for all reasonable expenses incurred by the landlord to locate a replacement tenant.
You would also need to continue paying rent until a new tenant is located and enters into a new tenancy agreement. You and the agent are both able to actively seek a new tenant – but this individual must complete all normal processes and checks before they are approved.
It is essential that you not leave the property without notifying your agent – this will likely result in the loss of your bond and could also create a bad rental history record, which may make it more difficult for you to rent again in the future.
What happens if the owners of the property I am renting decide to sell?
There are a number of different scenarios that can occur if the owner decides to sell – these can depend on the expiry and terms of your tenancy agreement.
For example, if you are within the fixed term of your tenancy and the property is sold to another investor, you continue to have your rights to the property as a tenant when the new owner assumes the responsibility as your landlord.
If the property is sold to someone who wishes to live there, you will be given notice to vacate – this will usually give you plenty of time to arrange your next property.
As an existing tenant, your Harveys agent is perfectly-placed to help you find another rental property that suits your budget and preferences.