Flat-hunting: What to look for
Published 02 September 2021
Did lockdown put your flat moving on hold? Or maybe you’re thinking ahead to the end of semester 2? We’ve put together a few tips so that when levels drop and NZ gets moving again, so can you!
Setting up the Tenancy
- Is the landlord refusing to give you a tenancy agreement and asking that you pay rent in cash?
- Will you be able to put all flatmates on the tenancy agreement?
- Do you know the maximum amount of people allowed to live in the house?
- Do you know if you want a fixed-term or periodic tenancy? (Check out Tenancy.govt.nz)
- Do you know your rights as a tenant? (See Tenancy.govt.nz)
- Do you really like/know the people you are going to live with?
- Does the landlord/property manager seem all right/helpful?
- Can you afford it based on your current income?
- Is the rent reasonable? (you can find the average market rent for your area on Tenancy.govt.nz)
- Does it have sufficient bathroom facilities for the number of bedrooms?
- Do you have enough storage?
- Does it come furnished?
- Are the rooms the same size? (Would you need to stagger the rent for your flatmates?)
- Does it meet the Healthy Homes Standard for insulation?
- Is it warm? (Are the windows double-glazed and in good condition? Is the joinery in good condition? Are the curtains all right and are they included? Is there a heatpump?)
- Does the house get sun during the day? (Is it North facing? Are there trees/houses blocking the sun?)
- Is it dry? (Can you spot any mould on curtains or ceilings? Are there any leaks? Does it smell musty?)
- Is there any visible rot in the exterior (e.g. decking, wood panels, doors, window frames, guttering)
- Does it have a high maintenance garden? (Do you have time to handle this? Will the landlord take care of it?)
- Is it noisy? (Are the walls a bit thin?)
- Does the house have good security? (e.g. are there deadbolt locks? How many keys are there? Does it have lockable windows?)
- Is it going to take you longer than 30 minutes during rush hour to get to uni?
- Is there a supermarket nearby?
- What kind of neighbours does the house have?
- If you have a car, what’s the parking situation?
- If you take a bus, is it close to a stop?