Rent with Lime
How do I find a rental property?
There are numerous ways you can search for rental properties in New Zealand, the easiest and most common is via the internet property websites such as realestate.co.nz or Trade Me. If you don’t have access to the internet, you can visit local Real Estate offices and ask them for a copy of their available rental properties and ask to speak with someone from their rentals team. At Lime Real Estate, we are always available to answer any question you have in relation to renting a property.
How do I arrange an inspection of a rental property?
You can simply contact either the landlord or the agency who is advertising the home for rent. In some cases, you can organise a private inspection of the property. This will depend on whether the property is vacant or if it still has tenants or owners living in the property. Otherwise, the agency may advertise an ‘open’ viewing for several people to attend at an advertised time. You can feel free to show up to view the home at this time, but it is wise to contact the agency to let them know that you will be attending, just in case the appointment is cancelled and they will be able to reschedule with you.
How do I apply for a rental property?
The application process will be different between each company you deal with however; once you have found a property that meets your requirements, you will need to complete a rental application and submit it to the agency who is managing the property. You can usually find a rental application on an agencies website, otherwise you can contact them and ask them to email the application to you, or you can arrange to pick up a rental application from the agencies office.
When making your application, you will be required to complete an application for all adults over the age of 18 and provide details of all other family members and/or friends or flatmates who intend to reside at the property.
A tenancy application will also ask you a variety of other questions such as:
• Proof of your current and previous address
• Current and previous employment history
• Proof of income – how you intend to pay the rental payments?
• The date that you want to move into the property
• Proof of identity, such as driver’s license or passport
• Do you have pets?
• At least two rental references and one-character reference
Once your form is completed in full, you should hand this into the agency for processing.
What is a Tenancy Agreement?
A tenancy agreement is a contract between a landlord and a tenant that outlines and documents everything that a landlord and a tenant have agreed to about the tenancy, for example the type of tenancy, the start date and the expiry date, the rental amount, the bond amount, further terms and conditions of the tenancy, etc.
Tenancy agreements must be in writing, and the landlord/agent must give the tenant a copy before the tenancy starts. A Tenancy Agreement is a legally binding contract and both landlord and tenant must adhere to the Residential Tenancies Act.
Tenants should read the tenancy agreement carefully before they sign it. This includes all the terms and conditions. If there’s anything they don’t understand, they should seek advice before they sign. At lime Real Estate, we always ensure that we have clearly explained the tenancy agreement prior to signing and in plain English so it is easy to understand.
What is a Tenancy Bond and what is it used for?
A landlord can ask a tenant to pay a bond when they move into a property and most landlords will require at least (4) four weeks rent for the rental bond, for security. Four week’s rent is the maximum that a landlord can ask for. The rental bond may be used at the end of the tenancy for the following reasons:
- Unpaid rent
- Damage to the property
- Any other claims relating to the tenancy.
Your bond will be held independently and must be lodged with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Tenancy Services with 23 working days of being collected.
Both the landlord and tenants are required to sign a bond lodgement form at the start of the tenancy.
What is the Tenancy Tribunal?
The Tenancy Tribunal can help you if you have any disagreements with your landlord that you can’t solve yourself or in relation to breaches to the Tenancy Agreement. The Tenancy Tribunal will hear both sides of the argument and can issue an order that is legally binding.
It is always recommended that you contact your landlord or your Property Manager to try and resolve issues before making an application to the Tenancy Tribunal, as generally most issues can be resolved between the parties and this should be the easiest and least confronting way to deal with unresolved issues.
At Lime Real Estate, we always welcome and encourage our tenants to contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss their concerns and to offer a resolution, where possible. It is important that an appointment be made, so we can ensure that someone from our team can offer their full consideration and the time required to help find the resolution.
Who pays for Rates and Utilities?
The landlord is generally responsible for the payment of any charges that are incurred on their property, despite having a Tenancy Agreement in place. These charges may include (but not limited to) council rates and wastewater charges.
The tenant is usually responsible for the payment of any charges that are incurred due to their usage, such as utility usages: electricity, gas, telephone and water usage charges (when the water supply to a property is metered and usage is recorded).
Do I need Insurance while living in a rental property?
Insurance is important for both landlords and tenants. A landlord should have insurance for the property for any damages. However, we recommend that tenants also get contents insurance for your belongings because your landlord’s property insurance doesn’t cover your belongings.
Insurance is also recommended to cover you for any liability, because as of 27 August 2019, new legislation took effect, which will affect a tenants’ liability for damage.
If tenants or their guests cause careless damage in a rental property, they will be liable for the cost of the damage up to four weeks’ rent or the landlord’s insurance excess, whichever is lower.
If you are unsure about your insurance requirements, we recommend that you speak to an insurer directly or an insurance broker.
What if my rental property requires maintenance?
If your rental property requires maintenance, it is very important that you advise your property manager or landlord as soon as possible. Every agency will have a slightly different procedure, so it is important that you ask about the procedure so that you understand it at the beginning of your tenancy.
At Lime Real Estate, ensuring our properties managed are well maintained and in good order for both landlords and tenants is a high priority and all maintenance requests will be dealt with as such. We have a commitment to seeing through all outstanding maintenance and we don’t close the maintenance order until completion.
For all non-urgent maintenance issues, we recommend that you email your maintenance request to your property manager in the first instance and wait for them to respond with further instructions around contractors for repair and/or access.
For urgent maintenance requests, we recommend that you follow the process outlined in your Tenancy Agreement for urgent repairs, or phone your Property Manager immediately.
For all emergency matters that may cause serious harm or death, contact 111.
Who is responsible for Smoke Alarms in a rental property?
Working smoke alarms or detectors are compulsory in all rental homes. Therefore, you cannot remove the smoke alarms from the property if the batteries are running flat. Tenants must not damage, remove or disconnect a smoke alarm. It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that working smoke alarms are installed at the start of each new tenancy and that they remain in working order throughout the tenancy. However, tenants are responsible for replacing dead batteries if the batteries are replaceable or letting the Landlord/Property Manager know as soon as possible if there is another issue with the smoke alarms.
Where can I go to find further information on the Residential Tenancies Act?
To find more information on the Residential Tenancies Act, tenants can visit the Tenancy Services website; https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/