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New Zealand – Lease Agreements

Renting property in New Zealand is a popular choice for expats and locals alike. Whether you are looking for a short-term rental or a long-term lease, there are several factors to consider when renting property in New Zealand. In this article, we will explore some of the most important aspects of leasing property in New Zealand, including typical lease terms, differences between furnished and unfurnished rental properties, standard and optional lease clauses, and more.

Typical Lease Terms for Renting Property in New Zealand

The typical lease term for renting property in New Zealand is 12 months, although shorter-term leases may also be available. In some cases, landlords may be willing to negotiate a longer lease term, particularly for tenants who are looking for a more permanent rental solution.

It is common for landlords to require a bond or security deposit, typically equivalent to four weeks’ rent, which will be returned to the tenant at the end of the lease term if the property is in the same condition as when it was rented. Some landlords may also require a guarantor, particularly if the tenant is a foreigner without a New Zealand credit history.

Furnished vs. Unfurnished Rental Properties in New Zealand

When renting property in New Zealand, tenants can choose between furnished and unfurnished rental properties. Furnished properties typically include furniture, appliances, and other basic household items such as dishes, utensils, and bedding. Unfurnished properties, on the other hand, do not include any furniture or household items.

Furnished properties may be more convenient for short-term rentals or for tenants who are moving to New Zealand from another country and do not want to bring their own furniture. However, they are generally more expensive than unfurnished properties due to the cost of purchasing and maintaining the furniture and household items.

Standard Lease Agreement Clauses in New Zealand

Lease agreements in New Zealand typically include standard clauses that outline the rights and obligations of both the landlord and the tenant. Some of the most common clauses in a New Zealand lease agreement include:

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  • Description of the property: This clause describes the physical characteristics of the property being rented, such as the location, number of rooms, and amenities.

  • Term of the lease: This clause specifies the length of the lease term, typically 12 months.

  • Rent amount: This clause outlines the amount of rent due each week or month and when it is due.

  • Bond or security deposit: This clause specifies the amount of the bond or security deposit required and the conditions under which it will be returned.

  • Maintenance and repairs: This clause outlines the responsibilities of both the landlord and the tenant for maintaining and repairing the property.

  • Pets and subleasing: These clauses specify whether pets are allowed and whether the tenant is allowed to sublease the property.

Optional Lease Agreement Clauses in New Zealand

In addition to the standard lease agreement clauses, there may be additional clauses that can be included in a lease agreement in New Zealand. Some of the optional clauses that may be included include:

  • Utilities: This clause specifies which utilities are included in the rent amount and which utilities the tenant is responsible for paying.

  • Parking: This clause outlines whether the property includes parking and, if so, how many spaces are available.

  • Renewal: This clause outlines the process for renewing the lease at the end of the term, including any rent increases or changes to the lease agreement.

  • Early termination: This clause outlines the conditions under which the lease can be terminated early, such as if the tenant needs to move out unexpectedly.

Considerations for Expats When Signing a Lease Contract in New Zealand

If you are an expat renting property in New Zealand, there are some additional considerations to keep in mind when signing a lease contract. These include:

  • Language barrier: If you do not speak fluent English, it is important to make sure that the lease agreement is available in your native language or that you have someone who can translate the agreement for you.

  • Cultural differences: New Zealand has a different cultural approach to some aspects of renting property, such as maintenance and repairs. It is important to familiarize yourself with these cultural differences before signing a lease contract.

  • Visa requirements: If you are not a New Zealand citizen, you will need to ensure that you have the appropriate visa to rent property in New Zealand.

  • Local laws and regulations: It is important to familiarize yourself with local laws and regulations related to renting property in New Zealand, particularly if you are not familiar with the country’s legal system.

Condition Reports for Rental Properties in New Zealand

Condition reports are common in New Zealand before signing a lease agreement. A condition report is a document that outlines the condition of the property at the beginning of the lease term, including any existing damages or issues. This report is used to ensure that the tenant is not held responsible for any damages that were present before they moved in.

It is important for tenants to thoroughly review and, if necessary, dispute any issues in the condition report before signing the lease agreement.

Qualifications and Licenses for Letting Agents in New Zealand

Letting agents in New Zealand are not required to have any specific qualifications or licenses. However, it is important to choose a reputable letting agent who has experience working with expats and who has a good understanding of the local rental market.

Association or Organization for Reputable Letting Agencies in New Zealand

There are several associations and organizations for letting agencies in New Zealand, including the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ). REINZ is a professional organization that represents real estate professionals in New Zealand and provides training and certification programs for its members.

If you are looking for a letting agent in New Zealand, it is recommended to choose one who is a member of REINZ or a similar organization. This can help ensure that the letting agent is knowledgeable and experienced in the New Zealand rental market.

REINZ can be contacted through their website, which is https://www.reinz.co.nz/.


Renting property in New Zealand can be a great way to experience the country’s unique culture and beautiful landscapes. By understanding the typical lease terms, differences between furnished and unfurnished rental properties, standard and optional lease clauses, and more, expats can make informed decisions when renting property in New Zealand. By choosing a reputable letting agent and familiarizing yourself with local laws and regulations, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable rental experience in New Zealand.

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