Private Rental Accommodation

What is it?

Private rental is when you rent a house or flat from someone else (not the government). In private rental you are called a ‘tenant’ and the owner is called a ‘lessor’. The lessor can be the owner or a real estate agent. People often call the lessor a ‘landlord’.

Who can apply?

Anyone can apply, as long as you can afford the rent. Lessors can’t discriminate against you because of your age, sex, sexual preference, race, marital status, religion, because you’re pregnant or because you have children. Lessors can say how many people can live in the place though.

You can sign a tenancy agreement when you are under 18. If the lessor is unsure because of your age, try explaining that it’s possible. If you have problems with this situation, contact a tenancy advice organisation.

You can live by yourself, with a partner, with your family, or with others. If you want to live in a house with people, this is called a share house.

How much will it cost?

Rent for houses and flats vary a lot. You’ll have to work out what you can afford to spend each week and then look for a place within your budget. Renting by yourself can be very expensive – it’s cheaper if you can share with other people.

You’ll probably have to pay a bond, and this is usually up to four weeks rent.

You’ll also have to pay to have the phone, electricity and maybe gas put on – and you’ll have to pay these bills.

New laws allow lessors (landlords) to pass on the full water consumption costs to tenants provided ALL the minimum criteria have been met.

What are the minimum criteria for water charging?
Lessors will be able to pass on the full water consumption costs to tenants if:
* the rental premises are individually metered (or water is delivered by vehicle), AND
* the rental premises are water efficient; AND
* the tenancy agreement states the tenant must pay for water consumption.

For more information click here to access the Residential Tenancies Authority website.

ERGON handhints to save on electicity costs - click here for more information.

Looking for a rental property?

The following are some of the places you can look to find rental accommodation;

  • Saturday’s paper
  • Real Estate agents
  • Notice boards – shopping centres etc
  • The Internet – for more Internet resources see the Links section

Want more information?

If you’ve never done it before, there is a lot to know about renting privately. For more information, check out the Tenants’ Union site or download their “Renting a Home” (PDF) booklet.

Rent Connect

These are located in your Department of Housing Area offices and assist in finding a suitable property to rent.  For more information click here

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