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Useful Tips for Tenants

Useful Tips for Tenants

Applying for a property

When you find the right property, you will need to complete a Harcourts Property Management Tenancy Application Form and will need to provide photographic identification.

Bond

The rental bond is requested as financial protection should there be a breach in the tenancy agreement. Your rental bond will be lodged with the Department of Business Innovation and Employment (Bond Centre). 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.

Occupancy

Only the people (and the number of people) included on your tenancy agreement are permitted to reside at the property on a permanent basis. Should a tenant wish to move in or out you are required to notify us in writing immediately of your request. Please note; a new tenant will need to be approved through the standard application process prior to moving in.

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 (Automatic Payment). 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 1986 to collect the rent on behalf of the landlord.

Inspections – Pre inspection and Routine Inspections

A property condition report is 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 within seven days. The document 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.

Notice for Access:

The Landlord shall have the right at all reasonable times either by his/herself or his/her managers to enter upon the property to inspect, value or repair the property, and The Tenant, upon being given reasonable notice of the landlord’s intention so to do shall make a key available to enable The Landlord to obtain entry to the property. Notice of any such entry shall be given as required in terms of The Residential Tenancies Act (1986).

Repairs and Maintenance

It is important when you notice a maintenance issue that you inform our office as soon as possible. This can be done using the Maintenance Repairs Request Form and can be issued via email, fax or mail. Jobs requiring attention by tradespeople firstly require permission from the landlord.

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. Please be aware that works carried out on the property by any person not approved under a work order from Harcourts Property Management may result in your liability to pay the account.

Emergency Repair

We ask that you always try to contact your Property Manager first, however if it is after hours you need to contact our office and put a message through to our duty manager.

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 or which makes the property unsafe or insecure. (For eg. burst water service, serious leak, serious electrical fault) 

Ending the Tenancy and leaving the Property

Please 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 your ‘Notice to vacate’ and issued your ‘Vacate Letter’, handing over vacant possession will need to be arranged. Once vacant possession is established (that is, all keys have been returned) a bond/final inspection can be completed.

Please note: 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) and all applicable invoices have been paid. Please note if you do not return the keys with the time frame we may change the locks to the property and you will be liable for the cost.

Breaking a Fixed Term Tenancy

Your tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract. There is no obligation of the Landlord to release a tenant early from a fixed term agreement. If your situation changes please contact your Property Manager to discuss the options that may be available. 

Change of Contact Details

Please ensure you notify us immediately of any change to your contact details including home, mobile and business phone numbers and email address. As per the Tenancy Agreement, we may issue you with formal notices via email and therefore it’s crucial you keep us updated should your details change.

Smoke Alarms

It is a requirement of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 that a tenant does not interfere with any means to escape from fire. This includes tampering with smoke detectors. Should you note that a Smoke Alarm is not working, please immediately notify the Property Manager. Please never remove smoke alarms or the batteries. Replacement batteries where the battery has come to the end of its life, can be found at most supermarkets or contact Harcourts Property Management.

Rubbish and Recycling

If you require any information regarding what day rubbish and recycling collection is for your new home; simply check out:- www.icc.govt.nz

You are responsible for your own rubbish and recycling removal, please ensure you keep the property tidy and clear of excess rubbish.

Insurance

The landlord is responsible for insuring the property; however the Landlord is not responsible for any damage to any tenants’ possessions. Tenants should take out their own contents insurance for their possessions and tenant liability insurance.

Pets

If you are permitted under your agreement to keep a pet at the property please ensure that you regularly collect and dispose of any faeces. Any damage to the property caused by the pet must be rectified by the tenant. 

Gardens

It is a requirement of your Tenancy Agreement that you as the tenant are responsible for regular watering, weeding and mowing of your outdoor areas, unless otherwise provided for in the Tenancy Agreement. 

After Hours Emergency

Any emergency after hours calls please phone the office and our after hours answer service will page the Property Manager who is on call. 

Harcourts Property Management, 182 Dee Street, Invercargill - Direct Dial: (03) 214 42048