How to find the right long-term rental

Owning a home. It’s the Kiwi dream - right? Well, not for everyone! For many, homeownership isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. For some, buying a house is not an option financially, and renting can get them in the desired neighbourhood which would otherwise be too pricey. Others simply don’t want the responsibility! 

There are plenty of benefits to long-term renting - renters benefit from greater flexibility, fewer property costs and, of course, avoiding a mortgage. Renting gives you the flexibility to live the lifestyle you want - more time for travel, working on your side project or whatever hobbies you have.

At the end of the day, it’s important to find a space that you can settle into and call home. But finding the right long-term rental can be time-consuming, and the move itself can be stressful. 
To help you spend less time searching and more time surfing (or whatever it is you’re into), we’ve pulled together this quick guide to help you find the right long-term rental.

What’s your next move?

When you’re looking to make a rental your long-term home, think about what’s important to you in a space and location. Otherwise, you could end up moving (again). 

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What’s your budget? Keep in mind that your rent may (or may not) increase as time goes on, especially if you’re trying to live in a popular suburb. Be sure to factor in possible future costs as well.
  • What are your long term life goals? Where do you see your professional and personal life going over the next few years? Will the properties you’re looking at enable you to achieve those goals, or would you have to move again in the near future?
  • What do you want your lifestyle to look like? Finding any kind of property, whether it’s to own or to rent, is about compromise. Make a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves for properties and be willing to sacrifice the latter for the former.

Once you’ve found good properties, don’t lose them! Save your favourite properties. Start growing your shortlist here.

Brush the dust off your references

This isn’t your first rodeo - you understand how the rental world works, but if you’ve been out of the game for a while, you may want a refresher on the viewing and application processes. 

Make sure you have your paperwork organised in a way that makes life easier for the property manager and increases your chances of a successful application.

You should prepare and update the following before heading to a viewing:

  • Your CV
  • Personal and professional references
  • A short personal statement about yourself.

You’ll also be asked for identification and other forms of legal documentation, including a police check and/or a credit check. These usually involve some paperwork which the property manager will give you further details on.

Don’t forget to double-check the amount of notice you are required to give on your current rental property. If you’re in a fixed-term tenancy, this is especially important.

How to stand out at the viewing 

Once you’ve found properties you love, it’s time to head to viewings. 

Treat viewings as you would a job interview. It’s your time to shine and make a good impression with the property manager. Shake hands, introduce yourself, make conversation and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Property managers appreciate a tenant who is aware and responsible enough to consider the health of the home, so here’s a handy checklist that will make you look like a pro. 

Download now

This is also your chance to inspect the property and get a feel for what it would be like to live there. 

Here are a few details to check:

  • Look out for any mould or water damage
  • See how the house is heated
  • Check the water pressure by turning on the showers and taps
  • Make sure all the rooms have enough power points
  • Check the home for damage (look behind any art for wall damage or under area rugs for carpet/floor damage)
  • Get a feel for where the morning and afternoon sun hits - is it sunny enough for you?
  • Look for smoke alarms (and ask if they work)
  • For apartments, units and properties down right-of-ways - are the surrounding properties owner-occupied? Rentals? Airbnb’s?
  • Assess the age of the neighbourhood - are there young families around, or college students?

As this move could be a long term one, it’s a good idea to check out the neighbourhood too. Drive by at different times of the day to see the ‘neighbours-to-be’ and observe the comings and goings in the street.

Ready to start searching? Discover the place that’s right for you

Now you’re ready to find your next long-term rental. Check out for thousands of listings all around New Zealand. Easily filter and save your searches to efficiently manage your shortlist and so you don’t miss out on any great rentals.

Set up your rental property search now

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