Guidelines for Tenants
Applying for a property
When you find the right property, you will need to complete a Tenancy Application Form. You will need to provide copies of identification. For example, a Driver Licence, ATM card, credit card and a bill addressed to you at your current address.
The rental bond is required as financial protection should there be a breach in the tenancy agreement. Your rental bond will be lodged with the Residential Tenancy Bond Authority. The bond is held as security against any property damage, undue wear and tear or in the event there is money owing at the end of tenancy. Once it is established that all conditions of the tenancy have been met, the bond will be refunded promptly. The amount of bond payable is specified in the tenancy agreement. Please note, the bond required may increase where there is a rent increase.
Only the people (and the number of people) included on your tenancy agreement are permitted to reside at the property on a permanent basis.
Paying the rent
It is your legal responsibility to pay your rent, to the Landlord in advance. Please ensure that your payments reach us on or before the due date. Harcourts Property Management will not physically collect your rent. Rent must be paid by the method stated on your tenancy agreement. If you have any problems with your rent payments please notify your Property Manager at the earliest possible time. If you fall into arrears, we will be obligated to follow the procedures outlined in the Residential Tenancies Act to collect the rent on behalf of the landlord.
Inspections – Pre inspection and Routine Inspections
A property condition report and photographs are used to determine the condition of the property at the commencement of your tenancy. It also ensures that you are not held responsible for damage at the expiry of your tenancy which may have been there prior to your occupation. You are required to make comment and additional notes, sign and return the document to our office. The documents will be filed with your Tenancy Agreement and used as evidence of the property condition at the commencement of the tenancy.
Routine Inspections will be made at regular intervals. The primary role of these inspections is to advise the owner of the condition and care of their property and what, if any, maintenance is required. This is an opportunity for you to point out any maintenance required at the property. Photos may be taken by the Property Manager during the inspection.
Repairs and Maintenance
It is important when you notice a maintenance issue that you inform our office as soon as possible (in writing). This can be done using the maintenance request form and can be issued via email, fax or mail. Jobs requiring attention by tradespeople firstly require permission from the landlord. Should you arrange maintenance without obtaining the Landlords permission you may be held liable for the account if it not an emergency situation.
Once the Landlord’s approval has been obtained, a work order is forwarded directly to the specific tradesperson, who will then be in direct contact with you to arrange a convenient time to address the approved maintenance. Should a tradesperson attend the property by prior arrangement and access is denied then the tenant will be liable for any call out fees applicable.
Listed within the ‘Welcome to Renting with Harcourts’ guide, you will find details of emergency contacts for emergency repairs. We ask that you always try to contact your Property Manager first, however if it is after hours and you cannot contact the Property Manager, you are permitted to contact the emergency contractors directly.
The legislation is specific about what constitutes an emergency repair and it’s important that you know that should the issue not be deemed an emergency, you will be responsible for the account. An emergency repair is something that is likely to cause injury, undue inconvenience, or which makes the property unsafe or insecure. (For eg. burst water service, broken toilet (where there is no other toilet), serious leak, serious electrical fault ).
Ending the Tenancy and leaving the Property
Contact your Property Manager to discuss your legal requirements with regards to ending your tenancy as written notice periods will be required. Once the Property Manager has received/issued your ‘Notice of Intention to Leave/Notice to Leave’, they will contact you and advise requirements for handing over vacant possession. Once vacant possession is established (that is, all keys have been returned) a bond/final inspection can be completed.
Please note: a Property Manager cannot complete a bond/final Inspection until vacant possession has been established and rent may be payable until all keys are returned. The bond will only be returned once it has been established that all rent is paid as required, the property has been returned in its original condition as per the entry condition report (excluding fair wear and tear).
Breaking a Fixed Term tenancy in New Zealand
Your tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract and as such cannot be ended by notice earlier than the stated term unless the owner’s permission is obtained. Should you find yourself in this situation please contact your Property Manager for assistance.