Once you’ve decided to make the move to Auckland and you’ve ensured your visa and work status paperwork is in order, it’s time to think about housing.

Auckland is currently ranked as the third most liveable city in the world for expats according to the Mercer Quality Living Survey 2019. Cost of living, housing affordability, lifestyle, healthcare and education all play a part in making our city a desirable place to live.  

We’ve put together this guide to help you navigate the Auckland rental market, ensure you find your perfect home and get settled quickly and easily. 

Where do I start? 

Initially, it’s most likely that you’ll be seeking a suitable rental property for either a short or long-term tenancy. Auckland has a thriving rental market which is competitive and fast moving, so be prepared to look hard and act quickly.  

Think about the type of property you are looking for – do you want a house, flat or apartment? Do you want to live alone, with family and friends or share with others? Where do you want to live? The suburb you choose will affect cost and lifestyle factors such as commuting, public transport, access to work, schools and shops. Do your research on Auckland suburbs at Hometopia and browse for information on rental types, costs and agreements too. 

Find your home online  

Once you know what type of property you want and where you’d like to live, start your search on websites such as trademe.co.nz, easyroommate.co.nz and nzflatmates.co.nz. The adverts will state a weekly rental amount, move in costs and will usually tell you when the property or room is available.  

If the rental is a flat share, you’ll arrange a time with the tenants/owners to view the property and meet the flatmates. This is when you can ask questions about what’s included in the rent, how bills are split, what costs are required before you move in, and it also gives you a chance to get to know the people you’ll be sharing with.  

If you are looking at taking on a property tenancy yourself, then you may deal with either a private landlord, a real estate agent or a property management company. When dealing with an agent, the viewing of the property will normally be arranged at a fixed time when you will attend the property with other prospective tenants. You’ll have a chance to ask questions, including the minimum tenancy term and notice period required if you want to move out.   

Application process and costs 

Rental agreement

Auckland rental costs can differ quite markedly depending on location. To find out the average rent charged for a particular suburb try this market rent calculator.  

As of January 2019, the average weekly rent for a one to two-bedroom property in Auckland was NZ$460. The average weekly rent for all property sizes in Auckland was NZ$555 in the same period according to the Trade Me Property Price Index

If you’re interested in a property, then you’ll need to fill in an application form for processing. Due to the competitive market, it’s likely you’ll need to move fast as you’ll be assessed against others Having all your visa, job information and payslips readily available will be an advantage. If your application is accepted, there will be more forms to fill in and a tenancy agreement to sign.  

Your move in costs will vary depending on the rent but generally, tenants are required to pay one week’s rent in advance and four weeks’ rent as a bond.  

The bond is money held by Tenancy Services that could cover

  • unpaid rent 
  • damage to the property; or 
  • any claim(s) relating to the tenancy. 

If you have looked after the house and paid rent in full, you should get a refund of the bond when the tenancy ends. Going through a private landlord may be a less formal process but should still include the payment of a bond and a signed tenancy agreement. 

Moving in 

Once your application is approved and your rent and bond are paid, you’ll be all set to move into your new home. It’s worth noting that most properties and rooms for rent in Auckland will be unfurnished, so be prepared to either ship over furniture from your home country or budget to buy new or second hand once you move here.  

The rental process is usually efficient and should only take a few weeks. So, whether you opt for an inner-city apartment, a townhouse or a suburban family home with a garden for the kids to run around in, you’ll be enjoying the Auckland lifestyle in no time.  

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