Common mistakes tenants make

landlord tips

There are several common mistakes that tenants often make when renting residential property in New Zealand.

These mistakes include misunderstanding the terms and conditions in the lease agreement, failure to advise the landlord of any repairs or damage, not researching the area properly and not taking out content insurance.

A property manager can help prevent these mistakes and can allow for an effective long-term relationship between the landlord and the tenant.

1. Understanding the lease agreement

Before tenants sign a lease agreement there are several aspects in which a tenant must be aware of before they are legally bound to the tenancy agreement.

  • Check the fine print of the contract 
  • Understand the tenants' rights outlined in the tenancy agreement 
  • Keep a copy of the lease agreement.

2. Do a thorough walk-through

Things might seem perfect on the surface but make a quick check of the following things so any repairs can be arranged promptly: 
-  Flush toilets
-  Flick the lights (don’t forget about the ones on the deck)
-  Run the taps and the shower
-  Turn appliances off an on
-  Run the air con or heating unit
-  Test power outlets
-  Open and close the garage doors
-  Test gates
-  Test locks
-  Open and close windows

3. Failure to assess damage

We get it, you are totally excited to move in and get those boxes unpacked. Plus, moving is a hassle and who needs one more thing to do? Stop!  Before you place a pot in a cupboard or a shirt in your wardrobe - first things first. You should have received a copy of an entry inspection report and note down any repairs the landlord has agreed to fix or get out your laptop and phone and make note of any damage to the property before you move in. Don't forget to return a copy of the entry report to the branch

Whilst a landlords obligation is to provide the property in a “reasonably clean and tidy condition” this can be subjective so we recommend that you look for dirt, spots, moisture, mould or breakage on the following at a minimum:  carpets, blinds, curtain, fixtures, interiors of cupboards, knobs, drawer pulls and any appliances that may be included with your lease.  Place all of your notes in the inspection report of in an email and send it to yourself and the property manager.  Do the same with any photos so you have a time-stamped record of damages.  Also, file away your copy of the inspection report immediately so it is not lost as you get settled.

4. Not researching the area

The place you are considering may tick everything on your property wish list but you need to think beyond the boundaries of your house.  Be sure to drive by at night as you may suddenly scope out your loud party prone neighbours, tons of traffic or a bar or club that comes alive that could be an annoyance.  Check the crime stats too!  A simple Google search can give you a good idea as to whether it would be a bad idea to park on the street, not lock the garage or to leave windows open when you are not at home.

5. Forgetting to take out insurance

Cards on the table, we all know the cost of living can be tough at times. So, of course, you want to tighten your budget wherever you can. Insurance is NOT the place to do it!  Even the smallest of incidents can cause you chaos financially especially in the instance of fire, flood, theft and other unforeseen events.  

Contents insurance is not very pricey with many local companies offering bargain policies starting at $50 a month. Some companies are now offering renters insurance at around $26 a month for $10,000 cover, which also gives you liability cover if you accidentally cause damage to property.  Some providers often offer things like petrol and gift cards to woo new customers. Check with your insurance provider.


How we can help you

Our rental teams know their communities inside and out and have the on-the ground knowledge to help you find the right location and the right property that matches your needs.

We also know all about the legal ins and outs so you can be sure you have everything you need to make the right decision at the right time.

Find out more about why people rent with us or contact a property manager.