Remote renters: How to rent when you already own a home

So you’ve landed a new job - congratulations! There’s just one catch; the new position has come with a new city as well. 

Fortunately, you don’t have to uproot your whole life to it work for you. You can be one of the many Kiwis who ‘remote rent’ - the people who spend their Monday to Friday working in another city, in a place easy to lock up and leave, so they can return home on the weekend to enjoy time with their family. 

Your priorities as a remote renter are likely to be different from the regular renting experience, and it’s probably been a while since you last rented. We’ve pulled together some tips to help you get underway with finding a rental that suits your lifestyle in a new city. 

Where to begin

When you’re remote renting, you have to change your mindset to think more practically. Ask yourself:

  • Is the rental close to your job?
  • Will you need a car for work and does the rental have parking?
  • Does the property have amenities that can help you avoid doubling up on costs (e.g. a gym or laundry)?

It’s best to think about the rental as a place to rest and relax rather than a more permanent home. This will help you narrow your search.

What kind of paperwork do you need?

While every property manager and agency will have their own set of requirements, the rental application process will at least ask for the following:

  • Your CV
  • References (both professional and personal)
  • A short personal statement about who you are.

You may also be asked about your rental history, contact details and a credit/police check. The specifics of these can usually be found on the property management company’s website.

Nervous about your lack of recent rental history? Don’t be! Simply explain your situation and it usually won’t be an issue, you may just get asked for a few more details. 

What should you do before and at the rental viewing?

A key challenge for remote renters is being efficient with rental viewings. Success here relies on the amount of research you do. There’s a fair amount of research you can do online, so you can make the most of your time when you do travel for viewings.

When searching, be sure to consider the following criteria:

  • Work. Is the rental within a reasonable distance to your new job?
  • Shops. Are shops like the grocery store or pharmacy close and easily accessible?
  • Safety. Is the property in a generally safe area?
  • Budget. Is the property reasonable in weekly rent?

Filter your searches using these criteria and only consider properties that fit the bill. This will help you research properties efficiently.

If you have any questions about the property, you can usually find answers in the listing, but property managers are usually happy to chat with you by email or phone. 

Starting to find great rentals? Don’t forget to save your searches so you can easily come back to them. Manage your shortlist here.

Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to head to the city to check out the property and introduce yourself to the property manager. Take your time walking around and assessing the features you looked into online, like the following:

  • Inspect for any mould or water damage
  • See how the space 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)
  • Look for smoke alarms (and ask if they work).

Be sure to ask lots of questions, even if you know the answer, to get the property manager’s opinion. If you’re not sure what kind of questions to ask, check out our free checklist. These questions can spark conversation that’ll make you stand out from the crowd.

Download now

And what not to do at the rental viewing

Remote renters tend to make excellent tenants because of their financial security and their own experiences as a homeowner. However, the rental market is still competitive and to be considered as a tenant, you need to put your best foot forward. 

At the viewing, avoid inappropriate comments and be as positive as you can - you can still ask hard questions, but be diplomatic about it. Remember, you are renting, not buying the property!

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

Now it’s time to find a suitable rental property and the thousands of listings on make it the perfect place to get started.

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