Watts Property Management Tenant Guides.

Tenants’ rights are at the heart of everything Watts Property Management does. By establishing clear, fair guidelines the renting process is made simple, safe and stress-free for all parties.

By enlisting a professional, experienced manager to find your next home you are investing in your own security and stability.

Watts Property Management goes over and above legal requirements to ensure tenants get a fair deal: we want to make someone else’s home feel like your own.

The renting rules in New Zealand are pretty straightforward, but there are quite a few – so we have put together a guide to make sure you know your rights when it comes to finding your next abode.

We’d like to start our tenancy advice with a quick overview over your tenants’ rights in New Zealand.

The key to a smooth tenancy is knowing your obligations. Watts Property Management believes in clear communication for a stress-free occupancy.

Renting in New Zealand is governed by the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 which is administered by Tenancy Services, a branch of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.

They make and enforce the rules, we ensure they are followed. To do so, we have compiled a list of the key rules to live by.

Tenants should…

  • Be given a tenancy agreement signed by all parties.
  • Have your bond money lodged by the landlord/property manager with the Department of Building and Housing within 23 days and receive a receipt.
  • Move into a clean, tidy and safe property.
  • All locks should work and only be changed with your consent.
  • Be notified if the owner is selling your property – and give your consent for any visits by real estate agents or prospective buyers/new tenants.
  • Notify the property manager of any maintenance or repairs that need to be carried out.
  • If you have to pay for any urgent work – you should be reimbursed for it. Note: You will need to prove it is urgent and it wasn’t caused by you on purpose.
  • Be given a clear list of chattels included with the property.
  • Leave the property in a clean and tidy state, return all the keys and provide a forwarding address for mail.

Notice Periods…

  • 60 days for a rent rise.
  • 42 days to vacate a property if its sale has gone unconditional or the owner wants to move in.
  • 90 days to vacate if your landlord wants to end the tenancy.
  • 48 hours before an inspection (that should occur between 8am and 7pm, and only once every four weeks).
  • 24 hours for repair work to be carried out (between 8am and 7pm).

Tenants should NEVER

  • Pay more than four weeks rent as bond.
  • Pay more than two weeks rent in advance, or pay rent before it is due.
  • Have your peace, comfort or privacy interfered with.
  • Be disallowed installing reasonable fixtures like shelves.
  • Accept being evicted without an order enforced by a District Court.
  • Have your belongings taken as security, or denied access to items left behind (as long as you paid reasonable storage costs).
  • Pay rates or house insurance (tenants need to get their own contents insurance).

Tenancy Agreements.

Fixed-term: Sets a time for the length of tenancy which cannot be ended early or automatically renewed. There is leniency for exceptional circumstances.

Periodic: Obligations are the same as a fixed-term agreement, but it can be ended with 21 days written notice from the tenant and 90 from the landlord with no reason, but 45 days if the landlord of their family are moving into property or it is sold and a vacant premise is a condition of sale.