What to look out for at a rental viewing

It’s easy to get excited about a property from the pictures you see online. Then, when you arrive to find the house isn’t everything you were hoping for it can be frustrating. With so much competition in the rental market, it can leave you wondering if you’ll ever find the right space for you.

Don’t worry just yet - there’s a lot you can do to prepare for the hunt and discover the rental that’s truly right for you.

Found a rental you love? Save your search so you can easily come back to it. Manage your favourite properties here.

Why it’s important to know what to look for in a rental

No property is truly perfect - they’ll all come with a quirk or two. It’s up to you to decide if you’re willing to live with that quirk or not.

It’s important to know what to look for because property managers and landlords don’t legally have to disclose everything about the property to you. That’s why you have to do a little homework before you show up to the viewing. Having an understanding of the legalities that landlords must uphold will help you find a property that is right for you.  

So what do Property Managers have to disclose?

Property managers and landlords have a number of legal responsibilities to meet in order to provide you with a home that’s safe to live in. According to the Residential Tenancies Act of 1986, landlords have the following responsibilities:

  • Ensure the property is in a reasonable condition
  • Allow the tenant privacy of the property
  • Maintain relevant building, health and safety standards
  • Deal with any abandoned goods adequately
  • Notify the tenant if the property goes up for sale
  • Work with an agent if they are absent from New Zealand for more than 21 days.

These responsibilities are frequently being reviewed and updated. For example, New Zealand is currently in the process of updating insulation laws under the healthy homes standard. Since 1 July 2019, all rental properties must have ceiling and underfloor insulation (where reasonable to install) and all landlords need to provide an insulation statement in new tenancy agreements.

What questions should you ask?

Beyond legalities, you have to make sure that the rental will live up to personal expectations. Otherwise, you could be looking for another flat sooner than you’d like. Going into a viewing armed with a list of what’s important to you will help you make an informed decision.

Not sure what questions to ask at a viewing? Download our checklist: Top 10 questions to ask at a rental viewing.

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Here are a couple of key questions to ask at a viewing:

  • How is the house heated?
  • What does my rent cover (or not cover)?
  • Does the insulation meet the current regulations?
  • Why are the current tenants moving out?

These are important to check before you sign a lease - there’s nothing worse than spending your first winter in your new place only to find the place is damp and cold because of poor insulation.

Asking these questions can also build good rapport with the landlord. If you’re serious about getting the place, having a conversation with the landlord about the health of the property will help you stand out from the tyre-kickers.

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

There are thousands of listings waiting at realestate.co.nz. Don’t forget to filter and save your searches to efficiently manage your shortlist so you don’t miss any good ones. Good luck - and don’t forget to give mum and dad a call every now and then.

Set up your rental property search now

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