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Published September 2010

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A new tenant’s checklist

Welcome to renting!

When you are looking for a new place to live, there can be a lot to organise and remember. Asking the questions below will help you choose the place that’s best for you, your budget and your lifestyle.

The second page covers things you should do when you find the right place - completing the Tenancy Agreement, property inspection report and Bond Lodgement Form with the landlord, and also things to do before and after you move in.

Property address:

 

        Weekly rent:

 

Landlord name:

 

        Bond required:

 

Phone:

 

 

 

Email:

 

 

 

Questions to ask:

  1. When is the property available?
  2. Is it a fixed-term tenancy or a periodic tenancy?
  3. Is the property fully furnished?
  4. What whiteware (e.g. washing machine, refrigerator, microwave, etc) is included?
  5. Is it close to transport? Shops? University?
  6. How many people are allowed to live in the property?
  7. Does the property get morning or afternoon sun?
  8. How secure is the property? Are there deadlocks or an alarm?
  9. Who is responsible for mowing the lawn?
  10. Is there a garage or on-street parking?
  11. Is it OK to smoke inside?
  12. Are pets allowed?
  13. What’s the neighbourhood like?
  14. Does the landlord have any references?
  15. What is the best way to contact the landlord?

Found the place that’s right for you?

Make sure you and your landlord:

  • complete a thorough property inspection and note any damage in the property inspection report (part of the Tenancy Agreement)
  • complete a Tenancy Agreement, write in any conditions that you both agree on, and each keep a copy
  • complete and sign the Bond Lodgement Form
  • organise how you will pay the rent (e.g. automatic payment or direct debit)

You might also want to ask your landlord to complete a Contact details for the landlord information sheet (available at http://www.dbh.govt.nz/pub-new-tenancy#map4). This sheet records contact details for your landlord and an alternative person. It also asks for contact details for tradespeople.

Your landlord must lodge the bond with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. You will receive a letter from the Ministry after your bond has been lodged.

Before you move in

  • Purchase contents insurance that includes tenant liability.
  • Find out when rubbish and recycling is collected.
  • Connect the gas, electricity and phone.
  • Tell your doctor, dentist, workplace, gym, bank, children’s schools, friends and family that you are moving.
  • Organise your mail to be redirected by the post office.

After you move in

  • Know your rights and obligations – read the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment booklet Renting and you (available at www.dbh.govt.nz).
  • Check that your bond has been lodged with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
  • Keep all records – especially your Tenancy Agreement, inspection report and bond lodgement letter.
  • Keep records of payment such as rent receipts, bank statements and invoices.