Tenants » Advice for tenants

We believe you should be fully informed about renting....

so we have provided lots of useful information.

Things you should know as a tenant


When you find a rental property

We use letting agents to show properties to prospective tenants. When you apply for a rental property:

  1. Fill in an online application form. You will need to provide photo ID, references, employment and income details, a rental history, and give permission for us to run a credit check on you.
  2. The letting agent will pass your application on to us. We will process it including carrying out reference and credit checks before we make the final selection.
  3. If your application is accepted, you will be asked to sign a Tenancy Agreement and a Bond Lodgement form. You will also be required to pay in advance your first week's rent and a bond*.
  4. Before signing the tenancy agreement, you should read it carefully and ask for explanation of anything you do not understand.
  5. Once you have signed the tenancy agreement, you should set up an automatic payment through your bank for your rental payments.


  • Rent may be paid 1 or 2 weeks, or 1 month in advance, whichever you prefer.
  • Bond is 4 week's rent.


Important points to be aware of

Each person who signs the Tenancy Agreement is equally and severally liable for the tenancy and for the actions of all others in the property.

If only one person signs the tenancy agreement, that person is fully responsible for ensuring that the rent is paid and all conditions of the tenancy agreement are adhered to.

Types of tenancy agreement

A tenancy agreement is a legal contract providing protection for both you and the landlord. There are two types of tenancy agreement:

  • periodic
  • fixed-term.


Periodic tenancy

A periodic tenancy has no end date. Both parties may give notice to terminate the tenancy during a periodic tenancy.

  • A tenant must give 28 days notice in writing.
  • A landlord may only give notice to terminate under certain conditions including:
    • non-payment of rent
    • if the owner requires the property to live in for him/herself, a family member or an employee
    • the owner intends to sell the property, or the property has been sold and vacant possession is required
    • the owner wants to carry out extensive renovations
    • the owner wants to change use of the premises to commercial use
    • the landlord has issued 3 notices for separate antisocial acts in a 90 day period
    • the owner will suffer greater hardship than the tenant if the tenancy continues.


Fixed-term tenancy

A fixed-term tenancy is for a specified length of time, typically 6 or 12 months, although this can be negotiated. During the period of the fixed-term tenancy, neither party may give notice to vacate.

At the end of your fixed-term tenancy, the lease automatically reverts to a periodic tenancy unless you request another fixed-term period. We notify you approximately 6 weeks before the end of your fixed-term lease that it is ending.

If you wish to give notice to vacate at the end of the fixed-term period, you must do so in writing at least 28 days before the end of the fixed-term lease.


When you move in

Rent Payments


You must pay your rent at least 1 week in advance at all times (it can be likened to putting money in a parking meter – you buy a set amount of time which runs down and when it runs out, you must pay more money).

If you find you are not able to make a rent payment at any time, you should get in contact with us. We will help if we can but we cannot help if we don't hear from you. If we do not receive your rental payment and you have not contacted us, you may be issued with a termination notice.


Property Condition Report

We do an entry inspection soon after you move into a rental property. We prepare a Property Condition Report which you are given a copy of. You should read this carefully as it describes the condition of the property at the beginning of your tenancy. You can make any comments where you think it is not accurate. This report is kept as a record until you vacate the property to enable us to determine whether any damage (beyond reasonable wear and tear) has occurred.

Please read and return a signed copy of the report to us within 7 days of receiving it.


Bond money

You are required to pay a bond equivalent to 4 weeks' rent before you move into a new rental property. We lodge the bond with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Bond Centre where it is held as security against any unpaid rent or damage to the property. You will receive written confirmation that they have received the bond money. It will be refunded to you at the end of your tenancy as long as the rent is paid up to date and no money is owed for cleaning or repairs to the property.

If you have any queries about bonds, you can call freephone 0800 737 666, for advice, or refer to additional information for tenants.


When tenants change during a tenancy

If one or more tenants leaves but the tenancy continues, it is essential that all of the tenants, that is, those who are remaining, those who are leaving and new tenants, sign a Bond Centre Change of Tenant form. This must happen each time there is a change of tenant. The Bond Centre will not release the bond at the end of a tenancy if the names of the tenants they have on record do not correspond with the names on the bond refund form.

It is tenants' responsibility to ensure that when flatmates leave, everyone (remaining, leaving and new) sign the Change of tenant form.

New flatmates must be registered as tenants in the property. Prospective new flatmates should therefore complete an application form on our website [Tenants>>Apply now].


During your tenancy

Property inspections

We carry out property inspections every 3-4 months. You are notified of inspections by email approximately 1 week beforehand.

Please note that you do not need to be at home during the inspections.



We have duplicate keys stored in a secure location in our office. If you lose your key, we will come and unlock the property but you will be charged a callout fee of $60.00 plus GST.

If you wish to change the locks on the property, you must contact us first and supply us with a duplicate set of the new keys.


Sub-letting and assignment

Nightingale Properties tenancies may not be sub-let or assigned.



Smoking is not permitted in any of the properties we manage.



Pets are not permitted unless written permission has been given by Nightingale Properties. This includes looking after a pet belonging to someone else on a short term basis.



You should have comprehensive contents insurance to cover your possessions against fire, theft, etc as the owner's property insurance does not cover your possessions. Nightingale Properties also recommends that your insurance should include third party insurance to cover any inadvertent damage that your actions may cause to the property.

If you would like more information on your liability or advice on insurance, please ask us. We are happy to help.

Rent arrears and reviews

Rent arrears

You must pay rent weekly or fortnightly into the Nightingale Properties Trust Account by automatic payment. We monitor payments every day which means we are immediately aware of a missed payment.

If you miss a rent payment and we have not previously heard from you, we will contact you via text or email. Please check your records and advise us when you will make up the payment.

If no effort has been made to contact us or make up the missed rent within 4 working days, we will issue you with a 14-day breach notice. This notice can be used at tenancy mediation to have you evicted from the property once your arrears exceeds 21 days.


Rent review

Rents may only be increased once in every 12 month period. If the rent is to be increased, you will be given 60 days notice in writing before the increase occurs.

If you are on a fixed-term lease, your rent may not be increased during the fixed-term period unless the provisions of the tenancy agreement permit it.


Tenant's rights and responsibilities

Under New Zealand law, tenants have certain rights and responsibilities when they enter into a tenancy agreement.


As a tenant, you must:

  • pay all charges for utilities (electricity, gas), telephone and metered water (if provided for in the tenancy agreement).
  • keep the property, including grounds, reasonably clean and tidy.
  • advise the landlord as soon as possible when any damage occurs or repairs are needed.
  • repair or pay to have repaired, any damage caused intentionally or carelessly by you or your guests.
  • make sure that the *maximum number of people permitted to live in the property, as described in the tenancy agreement, is adhered to.
  • use a residential property for residential purposes only.
  • allow the landlord reasonable access if he or she wishes to show prospective tenants, buyers or valuers through the property.
  • remove all rubbish and leave the property reasonably clean and tidy, and return all keys, pass cards or other such devices at the end of the tenancy.
  • remove all personal possessions and leave the owner’s chattels when you vacate the property.

*Note: Short term stays by relatives or friends is permitted.


As a tenant, you may not:

  • unreasonably refuse the landlord entry when they are entitled to access.
  • intentionally or carelessly damage the property. You are responsible for any damage to the property caused by anyone at the property with your permission. (You are not responsible for damage caused by a trespasser as long as you have taken all reasonable steps to prevent it.)
  • use or permit the property to be used for any unlawful purpose.
  • change the locks without the property manager’s permission.
  • interfere with the peace, comfort or privacy of other tenants or neighbours, or permit anyone else at the property to do so.
  • sublet or assign (transfer) the tenancy to someone else without the landlord’s permission.


As a tenant, you may:

  • request the installation of broadband fibre
  • ask to make minor changes to the property as long as it presents only low risk of damage to the property. Any changes made must be restored to the original at the end of the tenancy.


* Information sourced from the Building and Housing website of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) website. 


Maintenance and repairs


Please contact us here or call us on 04 384 4920 as soon as you notice that something needs to be repaired.


Maintenance tips

You may be able to easily fix some minor maintenance issues. Before logging a maintenance request, please read the maintenance tips to avoid unnecessary callouts.


Terminating a lease

Notice to vacate must be made in writing

You must give at least 28 days notice in writing if you wish to to terminate your tenancy. It is effective from the time we receive it. You may:

  • complete an online Tenancy Vacating Form [online form to be added]
  • download a pdf of the Tenancy Vacating Form
  • send us an email notification
  • write us a letter.


Terminating a periodic lease

If you have a periodic lease, you must give Nightingale Properties at least 28 days notice in writing. You may use our online Tenancy Vacating Form, download it as a pdf, send us an email or write us a letter.


Terminating a fixed-term lease

If you wish to vacate the property at the end of your fixed-term lease, you must give written notice to Nightingale Properties at least 28 days before the expiry date of your agreement. You may use our Tenancy Vacating Form, download it as a pdf, send us an email or write us a letter.

Generally, you cannot terminate a fixed-term tenancy before the end date of the tenancy. However, if any unforeseen circumstances arise and you need to vacate the property before the end of your fixed-term lease, please contact us immediately. We will try to find another tenant to take over your tenancy. If we do find another tenant, you must pay the rent up until the new tenant moves in and takes over the rental payments. In addition, we will charge you a break fee of one week's rent plus advertising.

Alternatively, you may find a replacement tenant but any prospective new tenant must be approved by Nightingale Properties. We will do a credit and reference check and we reserve the right to refuse any prospective replacement tenant that you may find.

Your remain responsible for rent payments until a new tenant takes over the rent payments.


Bond refund form

When we receive notice in writing that you wish to end your tenancy, we will send you:

  • an acknowledgement of your intent to end the tenancy
  • a bond refund form
  • a checklist of things you should do.

You should fill in your details including back account number where you would like the refund deposited and sign the form as required. When you leave for the last time, leave keys along with the bond refund form somewhere obvious (such as kitchen bench). We will find it and fill in the rest of the information required. 





Moving out

Preparing to move

In preparation for moving out you should arrange for:

  • your mail to be cancelled or re-directed to your new address
  • phone, power, gas, etc to be disconnected or transferred to your new address.
  • a carpet cleaner* if the carpet is dirty or has stains



In order to get your bond refunded, the property must be left in a clean and tidy condition. Please refer to our checklist when vacating a property to ensure you have undertaken all necessary cleaning and other tasks.

If the carpet is dirty or stained beyond a reasonable usage expectation during your tenancy, you can arrange for it to be professionally cleaned. Otherwise we will do this and deduct the cost from your bond. If you get it cleaned, make sure you receive a receipt as evidence that the carpet has been professionally cleaned.


Final inspection

We will do a final inspection after you have moved out of the property.

When you leave for the final time, please leave all keys and the bond refund form in an obvious place such as the kitchen bench, for us to pick up.

Termination of a tenancy by the owner

A property owner may give you notice to vacate but only if they have a specific reason such as:

  • non-payment of rent
  • if the owner requires the property to live in for him/herself, a family member or an employee
  • the owner intends to sell the property, or the property has been sold and vacant possession is required
  • the owner wants to carry out extensive renovations
  • the owner wants to change use of the premises to commercial use
  • the landlord has issued 3 notices for separate antisocial acts in a 90 day period
  • the owner will suffer greater hardship than the tenant if the tenancy continues.

In general the notice period that must be given is 90 days, but if they wish to move into the property themselves or have a family member move in, they must give at least 63 days notice.