Tenant Information & Tips
Property Application Process
If you’ve found a property that ticks all the boxes for your needs, then it’s time to get the property application process underway. Download our Tenancy Application Form fill it in, then return it to us along with your photo ID.
Upon acceptance of your tenancy application form, we require a rental bond which we then lodge with the Bond Centre – The Department of Business and Employment. Your rental bond is a form of financial protection against any unacceptable wear and tear, damage to the property, or money owing at the termination or end of your tenancy period. The amount of bond you are required to pay is outlined in your tenancy agreement and may increase with any rent increases.
You are legally required to pay your rent in advance to the landlord before or on the date it is due. The method for payment is outlined in your tenancy agreement. If you cannot pay by the due date, you fall into arrears, or you have any problems with rental payments, contact your Southland Real Estate property manager. In the event of rental arrears, Southland Real Estate will collect the rent on the landlord’s behalf under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986.
Your tenant agreement should include how many and who is residing permanently at the property. If a tenant is moving into the property or out of it, you need to notify your Southland Real Estate property manager in writing. Any new tenants will be required to undertake the property application process before moving onto the property.
A pre-inspection is carried out before the commencement of your tenancy, noting any damage or issues and evaluating the property’s condition. Pre-inspection ensures you are not held responsible for damages occurring before your tenancy period. During pre-inspection, you will need to make notes and comments on the property’s condition before signing and returning your document to Southland Real Estate’s property management department within seven days. This document is then filed, along with your tenancy agreement, as evidence of the property’s condition.
At regular intervals throughout your tenancy, your property manager will carry out routine inspections. You can use these inspections for pointing out any maintenance or repairs needing to be carried out. Your Southland Real Estate property manager may also take photos and advise on the property’s condition to the owner.
At all reasonable times and with reasonable notice, the property owner or your Southland Real Estate property manager can enter the property for inspection or valuation purposes, or for repairs and maintenance. Having been given reasonable notice as required by The Residential Tenancies Act 1986, the tenant must also make a key available if necessary to gain entry to the property.
Repairs and Maintenance Process
If you have an issue relating to maintenance or repairs, download and fill out a Maintenance Request Form and notify your Southland Real Estate property manager immediately. Any maintenance or repair task requiring a tradesperson must first be given landlord approval.
Upon receiving approval, your request is directed to a Southland Real Estate-approved tradesperson who will communicate with you directly to arrange a time and day for repairs and maintenance to take place.
Note: Any non-approved works carried out at the address may result in the tenant being liable for all costs.
Emergency Repairs Process
In the event of an issue that makes a tenant or property unsafe – e.g., dangerous electrical fault, plumbing faults and leaks, and burst pipes, contact your property manager immediately. For after-hours assistance, contact the Southland Real Estate office directly to be put through to the manager in charge.
Note: Specific legislation outlines what is and isn’t an emergency repair. Tenants may be responsible for any fees pertaining to emergency call-outs for non-emergency repairs.
End of Tenancy
To find out what is required to end your tenancy, consult your Southland Real Estate property manager. A written notice period will be required, as will a notice to vacate. You will then need to return the property to its original condition, excluding noted issues and undue wear and tear before the commencement of your tenancy.
Upon return of the keys, payment of all outlaying invoices and a final inspection, you will then receive your bond back.
Note: Failure to return keys within the specified timeframe will result in the locks being changed at the property at your cost.
Ending a Fixed Term Tenancy Prematurely
A fixed term contract is a legally binding agreement, outlining your tenancy term as agreed to by the tenant and landlord. The landlord is under no obligation to release you from your tenancy agreement prematurely. However, if your circumstances change, you can contact your property manager to find out if another option is available.
Contact Detail Alterations
If, at any time, you change any of your contact information – e.g., home and business phone numbers and email addresses, notify your property manager immediately. We may need to contact you via these channels and require up-to-date contact information at all times.
Under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986, no tenant shall interfere with a means to escape from fire – including smoke alarms. Do not remove or tamper with smoke alarms and let your property manager know if your smoke alarms are no longer working. You can purchase replacement batteries from most supermarkets and hardware stores.
Rubbish and Recycling
It is the tenant’s responsibility to keep the property tidy and free from debris. Rubbish and recycling collection vary for each suburb. Visit www.wastenet.org.nz to find out your collection day, or www.icc.govt.nz for more information.
Property insurance responsibilities lie with the landlord. However, you, as the tenant, are responsible for your possessions and any contents insurance and tenant liability insurance you may require.
Pets may or may not be permitted. Refer to your tenancy agreement. Where pets are allowed, the tenant is responsible for keeping the property free of faeces. The tenant must also rectify any damage caused by the pet.
Gardens, Outdoor Areas, and Landscaping
The tenant is responsible for all garden maintenance, lawn mowing, and watering unless otherwise stated in your tenancy agreement.
If you require emergency assistance after hours, phone Southland Real Estate to access the after-hours answering service.