Accommodation in New Zealand
It is possible to find suitable accommodations in New Zealand without much difficulties. Visit real estate agencies or contact them directly from abroad. Given the remoteness of New Zealand, some real estate agencies can actually arrange accommodations for you at a distance. Please note that costs for such services are much higher than through traditional estate agencies. Accommodations are usually not furnished. However, most of them are equipped with a refrigerator, stove or air conditioning.
In New Zealand, "apartment" refers to an apartment located in a building or in an individual house; "flat" refers to a detached or terraced house; "house" refers to an individual house with a privative garden and "townhouse" refers to an individual house with a small backyard.
Rents are significantly more expensive in Auckland than elsewhere in the country. There is nonetheless a wide range of housing choices! Be careful to accommodation descriptions in the ads, which do not always reflect reality. As a whole, rents are quite expensive in New Zealand. However, it is possible to rent a house for NZ $300 to NZ $500 per week.
As far as rental formalities are concerned, New Zealanders are very pragmatic. Once the rental agreement is signed, the tenant can stay for an indefinite period unless the landlord wants to break the lease. This is known as the "periodic tenancy". If you have to break your lease, you have to respect a 21-days notice. If the landlord has to break the lease, he has to respect a 3 months notice. Sometimes though, a fixed-term lease is applicable. This is known as the "fixed term tenancy".
The tenant must pay one weeks' rent as a deposit, plus one or two weeks rent to the estate agency as a finder's fee.
Good to know:
If you have been living in New Zealand for over two years, you can apply for a social housing tenancy. For more information, visit the Housing New Zealand Corporation website at http://www.hnzc.co.nz/hnzc/web/home.htm.
Realestate New Zealand - to buy, rent or sell
Department of Building and Housing New Zealand – designed to landlords and tenants
Buying a property in New Zealand:
Temporary immigrants or permanent residents are allowed to buy properties in New Zealand. Minor restrictions apply to temporary immigrants who must have the approval of the Overseas Investment Commission (OIC) before going ahead with their project. Note that owning a property in New Zealand does not lead to a permanent residence visa. In other words, when your visa expires, you must leave both your property and the country.
If you are seeking for a property to buy, browse the web, read ads in the papers, visit real estate agencies or contact a real estate agent to help and assist you in the process. You also can attend auctions.
As a foreigner, you may get a mortgage to buy your property. Note however that down-payment are generally fixed at a minimum of 10% of the total price of the property.
To find out more about buying a property in New Zealand, please visit the Overseas Investment Commission (OIC) at http://www.linz.govt.nz/.
Guide section: Accommodation
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