For more information on flatting, your rights and responsibilities when renting a flat, see the Department of Building and Housing's Flatting 101 website page.
Costs for Flatting
The costs for flatting can range from approximately NZ$100 - $200 per week plus expenses such as food, power, water, telephone, internet, etc. Costs for setting up a flat may include:
- Bond to the value of two to four (2-4) weeks rent
- Rent usually paid two (2) weeks in advance
- Connection of power generally requires a deposit of $150,+ $25 establishment (new connection) fee
- Telephone connection (Telecom) - a connection fee of around $60 or a $30 fee to have the account details changed to a new name
- Connection of gas requires either a credit check or a deposit of $100
A tenancy agreement is a contract between the landlord, and the people/person leasing/renting the house. The law requires all tenancy agreements to be in writing. The landlord must provide you with a copy of the tenancy agreement. An agreement may be for a fixed term (starting and finishing on a specific date) or periodic (no term specified).
A bond is an initial payment required by landlords for security when offering their premises for rent. Bonds are refunded at the end of your tenancy if accounts are paid in full and the flat or house is well maintained. Landlords can request a bond equivalent to 1-4 weeks rent. Extra fees that can be added to the bond payment include two weeks rent in advance or / and a Real Estate Agent’s fee that is usually equivalent to one week’s rent. The bond is not held by the landlord, but is deposited in trust with the New Zealand Tenancy Board.
You should check whether the flat is fully furnished (e.g. with a bed, fridge, washing machine), semi-furnished or unfurnished. Most houses for rent are unfurnished, but there are plenty of ways to buy cheap, quality second-hand items. In most houses for rent, you will need to provide your own basic necessities such as a bed, linen, chest of drawers, desk and light, etc.
Most houses for rent do not provide whiteware (fridge, washing machine, etc). You need to decide if you want to rent these items or if individual flatmates will provide them. There are many companies in Tauranga that lease whiteware at an affordable price.