Frequently Asked Questions about Renting

Thinking about Renting


Who is the Landlord?
 The landlord is Dargaville Realty Limited who manages the property on behalf of the owner.
 
What information will a Landlord need to rent me a property? 
 Your full name and current address, your date of birth, your driver’s licence details or form of ID with your photo (a copy will be requested), references from three of four people who are not related to you who can vouch for your character and/or payment history, names and ages of those who will be living with you at the rental property.
What is an address for service?
This is an address that legal notices can be sent to, away from the rental address. An email address, P O Box number, or alternate address is acceptable Addresses for Service.  An alternate address is one to which your mail can be sent and you will receive it promptly, eg your mother’s address.
 
Do I have to sign a tenancy agreement? 
 At Dargaville Realty Limited we will only hand over keys to the property when the tenancy agreement has been signed and all ingoing costs have been paid.  However, if no tenancy agreement has been signed, the terms of the Residential Tenancies Act will apply.  It is in your best interest to have a tenancy agreement completed before you move into a property.
 
What fee do I have to pay if I rent through your company?
The letting fee is the equivalent of one week's rent + GST otherwise known as a letting fee.
 
Are there any other payments before I move in?
Yes, you are required to pay two weeks rent in advance, letting fee, and a bond.
 
How much is the bond?
Four weeks rent. The bond is sent to Tenancy Services and held in trust by the Bond Centre until the tenant ends.
 
What's the difference between a fixed term tenancy and a periodic tenancy?
A fixed term tenancy cannot be terminated by either you or the landlord. It has a start and finish date and you are responsible for the rent for the entire term of the tenancy. It can be terminated sooner by mutual consent.
A periodic tenancy can be terminated by notice. You have to provide the landlord with 21 days written notice. The landlord must provide you written notice:
  • 42 days if the property has been sold or if any of the landlord's family require the property for their own use. 
  • 90 days for any other reason.
If you wish to vacate before the 42 days or 90 days you will have to give the landlord 21 days written notice.
 
What happens with a fixed term tenancy? 
 A fixed term tenancy is one for a set period of time with a specific end date.  This date may be negotiated between the tenant and the landlord dependent on the circumstances. 
When you have a fixed term tenancy, if you vacate the rental property before the specific end date, you are still liable to pay for the rent and outgoings up to the end date.  There are some exceptions to this but they do need to be heard by the Tenancy Tribunal to enforce them.
 
Fixed term tenancies will revert to a periodic tenancy on the expiry of the fixed term unless the tenant or Landlord gives the required notice.
 
I have a dog
Tell the Property Manager at the initial meeting. 
 
You will find it very difficult to rent with a dog. Most landlords are becoming less inclined to allow a dog because of the potential for damage, and the irresponsible attitude of some dog owners in the past.
 
You will almost certainly need a reference for the dog from your existing landlord (or real estate agency if you have just sold your property), and may be faced with an increased bond requirement. You may also be asked to sign a declaration that damage caused by the dog will be met by you, the tenant, even if in excess of the bond amount.
 
I want to get a dog
 Don't. It will make renting very difficult, if not impossible.
Is the rent negotiable?
Rents, like all goods and services, can sometimes be flexible. If rental properties are in short supply then you would not expect to be able to negotiate the rent. If you are looking to stay for an extended time, or the Landlord assesses you as an outstanding tenant, then a negotiation may succeed.
What will it cost to move in? 
Dargaville Realty Limited require two weeks rent to be paid in advance, together with four weeks rent as bond, and a letting fee of one weeks' rent plus GST a total of just over 7 weeks rent.
 
Will the landlord require a credit check?
 Yes.  We carry out a credit check and contact all your referees.  There are many aspects taken into consideration when processing tenancy applications and our selection process is not based on a credit check alone.
What is a Reasonable Rental?
 You need to research rentals in your selected area.  Tenancy Services have this information on their website - https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/rent-bond-and-bills/market-rent/.
 
 

During the Tenancy

Do I get interest from the Landlord on my bond? 
No. The bond is forwarded to Tenancy Services, a government agency, who hold and disburse tenants' bonds. Tenancy Services does not pay interest to either the tenant or the owner of the property.
Is GST payable on rent?
No. GST is not payable on any residential rental. GST would be charged on a letting fee, if this fee is payable.
Can the rent rise during my tenancy?
Fixed Term:  Yes, if it is written into the tenancy agreement.
Periodic: Yes
However, the rent cannot be increased within 180 days (approximately 6 months) of the start of a tenancy or within 180 days after the last rent increase. The landlord is required to give you 60 days notice of the increase.
Do I need insurance?
We strongly recommend you have contents insurance. This gives you the security that should your possessions be lost or stolen, your insurance will replace them. Also if you are found to have deliberately damaged the property your insurance may cover the repair costs.  Please seek independent advice to assess your insurance requirements. It is the Landlord’s responsibility to arrange insurance cover for the building and any of their chattels. 
 
What happens if the Landlord and I cannot resolve a dispute?
 Your Landlord is expected to treat you fairly. If there are unresolved issues (after you and the landlord have discussed these) then contact the Tenancy Services Division (0800 836 262) for free advice. The Residential Tenancies Act provides for both parties to a tenancy to seek resolution to disputes via an independent tenancy mediator. This is an inexpensive process and is available to all landlords and tenants of residential property.
 
What do I do if something needs repairing in the property?
Phone or email your property manager and tell them what the problem is. They will organise a contractor and arrange a suitable time with you to come around and complete the work.
Can I hold back rent if my property needs repairs?
No. The Residential Tenancies Act does not allow for this.  There are other options available to you if the repairs have not been carried out within a reasonable period.  Refer to the Tenancy Services website.  https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/maintenance-and-inspections/

Who can inspect my property?
The Residential Tenancies Act specifies that prospective buyers, prospective tenants (after you have given notice to vacate) and the owner and the property manager have certain rights to inspect your property. The Act is quite specific about the period of notice and the reasons that must be given for anyone to enter the property you are renting.
 
The general rule is that 48 hours’ notice must be given prior to entering a property for purposes of inspection, and that any such inspection must be carried out between the hours of 8am and 7pm.
 
How often do you inspect the property?
By law there is no limit on how many times we can inspect a property however, you are to enjoy quiet occupation so more than once per month would seem unreasonable. As a rule we make four inspections per year if we find everything in order. We are required to give you 48hrs notice of any inspections. Inspections can only be carried out between 8.00am and 9.00pm.
Can my property be sold? 
Yes. If your property is put on the market you will be given written notice of this. If your property is sold and the purchaser does not wish you to remain as a tenant in the property because they wish to occupy it you must be given 42 days written notice of this. If the landlord wants to change tenants then you are entitled to 90 days notice. If you have a fixed term tenancy then the purchaser cannot put you out, and must wait until the end of the tenancy term to obtain possession of the property.
Can the owners move back into the property I am renting?
 The Residential Tenancies Act provides that where a landlord wishes to use the property for their own use, or for the use of their family, they must provide a tenant 42 days written notice of this. If you have a fixed term tenancy then the owner cannot ask you to vacate until the end of your term.
 
Can I sub-let my property?
No. The property is rented to you as the tenant and the Tenancy Agreement lists all the residents.  If you wish to vacate the property, you must give us notice.  If you have a friend who would like to rent the property, they must follow our application procedure.  Let the Property Manager know about your friend but the choice of tenant is ultimately in the hands of the Landlord.
 
Do I have to gain permission to make changes to the property?
 You need the Landlords written permission before making any changes to the property.  You need to know whether the landlord will reimburse, what standard of work is expected, and whether any of the changes are removable by you at tenancy end (such as burglar alarm).  You are normally required to keep grounds tidy, and if you are to plant annuals this is not normally a problem.
Will the Landlord reimburse me for any maintenance I provide to the property?
You should always discuss this with your Landlord before starting any repairs, so the arrangements are agreed prior to doing work.
How do I go about getting repairs done to the property?
If repairs are required advise your landlord by completing a Maintenance Form (available on the website and in the office) detailing the repairs needed, and why.  Please note you are not allowed to withhold rent payment until the repairs have been done.
 
If repairs you believe should be done are not affected within a reasonable time you may serve a notice on the landlord requiring the repairs to be undertaken within 10 days.  If no action, you can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for a hearing.
What happens if I miss a rent payment?
If you miss a rent payment you should contact your landlord immediately.  Explain the circumstances and how you propose to rectify the situation.  If your rent fall into arrears and the landlord cannot see the situation rectified, we will apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for action to be taken.
 
What if my pet is not a cat or dog?
 Many landlords will consider allowing a pet of a non-destructive nature.  It pays to tell the prospective landlord what pet(s) you have so there is no misunderstanding.
 
I want to get a dog
 Don't. It will make renting very difficult, if not impossible.
 
What do I do if I have a complaint about my Property Manager?
Put your complaint in writing and address it to Jill Wilson, our principal.
 

Moving Out

I want to move out?
If you are not a fixed term tenant you must provide 21 days’ notice in writing of your intention to vacate. This is clearly stated in The Residential Tenancies Act and is intended to protect the interests of both parties to a tenancy agreement.
If you have a fixed term tenancy and wish to vacate prior to the end of your tenancy then you can only vacate with the landlord’s consent.
Do I have to allow access to prospective tenants if I have given notice to quit?
 A landlord or their representative may enter your property with your prior consent to show the premises to prospective tenants.  Such consent may not be unreasonably withheld.
 
What can I do to ensure that I get my bond back?
How quickly and how much of your bond is refunded is largely in your own hands, so you should attend to the following very carefully:-
 
Pay your rent in full up to the date of termination.
 
All keys must be returned to the landlord promptly.
 
A bond inspection will be carried out by the landlord. They will not do this until you have fully vacated and returned the keys.
 
You must leave the property in a clean and tidy condition with attention being paid to the following items:-
Kitchen, bathroom(s), toilet(s) and laundry cleaned and free of mould.
Stove cleaned inside and out.
Floors washed and/or polished where applicable.
All rooms vacuumed and dusted including skirting boards and architraves.
Carpets cleaned as above.
Cupboards empty and clean.
Windows, windowsills and frames cleaned inside and out.
Light bulbs and fittings working.
Exterior cleaned and washed down.
 
Damage caused during your tenancy must be repaired. This could include holes in walls, ripped wallpaper, broken windows, mirrors, light bulbs, light shades.
 
All rubbish and any of your belongings both inside and outside must be removed from the property.
 
Garage(s) and carport(s) must be clean and empty.

Lawns and gardens must be in a neat and tidy state.
 
Make sure you have your power/gas meter read on the date you vacate and your account at this property closed, otherwise the utility companies will charge you for any further use.  Close or transfer your telephone account.
 
DO NOT arrange disconnection of any services otherwise reconnection charges will be deducted from your bond refund.
What happens with my keys when I leave? 
All keys and remote controls must be returned to your Property Manager.  If all keys are not returned when you leave, the fitting of new locks to the property will be deducted from your bond.
What happens with my bond when I leave?
 When you move out your landlord will conduct a final inspection to ensure that the property has been left in a good condition.
 
Provided that all keys have been returned, all invoices have been paid and all rent due has been paid, your landlord will instruct Tenancy Services to refund the bond to you. If there is unpaid rent, unpaid invoices, or damage to be repaired, then this needs to be taken into consideration when calculating your Bond refund.
 
What happens if I leave belongings behind when I move?
As provided in the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 tenant’s goods left at the premises on termination of the tenancy (abandoned goods) can be disposed of in the following order;

* foodstuffs and other perishables can be disposed of;
 
* with other goods the landlord must make reasonable efforts to contact the previous tenant and come to an agreement upon a period within which the tenant can collect the goods;
 
* if unable to contact the tenant, the landlord may remove them to safe storage and apply to the tribunal for a disposal order. Or he or she can get a market assessment of the goods, and if the market assessment value is less than the cost of storing, transporting and selling them then the landlord may immediately dispose of the goods. If the market assessment is greater than the cost of storage, transporting and selling them, the landlord must secure the goods for not less than 35 days and after that the goods can be sold for a reasonable market price (by auction or private treaty) with personal documents surrendered to the police. The landlord can then apply to the tribunal for an order specifying the amount owing to the landlord from the tenancy from the sale proceeds. The landlord is not liable in respect of the goods sold nor can the ex-tenant claim them back from the purchaser.
What happens if I abandon my rental home?
 Goods left are handled as above. Additionally, you may be liable to costs and a fine of up to $1,000 if rent and costs are outstanding when the property is abandoned.
 
Can I find out more information about renting?
Yes, Tenancy Services will answer any questions you have on 0800 836 262 or check out their website https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/ .