Renting A Home? Things To Know Including Renters Insurance

A hand holding a house shape sticky note with the text “Renters Insurance” on it.

31 Aug Renting A Home? Things To Know Including Renters Insurance

Moving into a new rental property can be an exciting experience, but there’s a lot of important information you should know before you move in – from signing a rental agreement to paying rent and other costs, knowing your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, to protecting your belongings with renters insurance.

Signing a rental agreement

Once you’ve found a property to rent, one of the first steps is signing a tenancy agreement. This legally binding document outlines the terms and conditions agreed upon by the tenant and the landlord. It includes essential details such as the duration of the tenancy – either fixed-term or periodic, the rent amount and frequency, responsibilities of both parties, and any additional clauses or rules specific to the property. Make sure you read the agreement carefully before signing it and keep a signed copy of it for your own records.

Paying rent and other costs

Along with the rent that needs to be paid for in advance of moving in, you’re usually required to pay a bond which could be as much as 4 weeks’ worth of rent. The bond is held by Tenancy Services and could be used by the landlord to cover expenses such as unpaid rent or damage to the property. Provided you make all your rent payments and don’t cause any damage, you’ll get your bond back when the tenancy ends, and you move out. In case you do not have sufficient cash on hand for bonds and moving costs, the Personal Lending Advisers at Max Loans could help you arrange an emergency loan to deal with these expenses.

Rent payments are typically made weekly, fortnightly, or monthly, as specified in your tenancy agreement. Additional costs that you may need to pay include utilities (electricity, gas, water), internet, and any maintenance fees agreed upon in the tenancy agreement. Ensure you’re clear on the payment schedule and preferred method of payment set out by your landlord, and plan for these expenses in your budget. Keep in mind that your landlord can increase your rent once every 12 months but must give you 60 days’ advance notice in writing.

Your rights and responsibilities

Both tenants and landlords have rights and responsibilities relating to the rental property. Landlords are required to ensure that the property being rented out meets all relevant health and safety standards, that tenants have privacy and are not unfairly evicted, and that landlords don’t enter the property without providing at least 24 hours’ notice.

In turn, tenants are required to pay their rent on time, keep the property reasonably tidy, and let the landlord know about any damage. Tenants are not responsible for normal wear and tear to the property but must inform the landlord promptly if there is maintenance work that needs to be done. To resolve any issues or conflicts, it’s best to seek advice from the Tenancy Tribunal.

Protecting your belongings

While the landlord may have their own landlord insurance policy to cover the cost of damage to the rental property, this type of insurance usually doesn’t cover the tenants’ belongings in the event of a claim. It’s important that tenants have their own NZ insurance to protect their belongings and cover them against any liability.

Renters insurance is a type of cover designed specifically for tenants, to cover items inside the rental home. This NZ insurance can cover things like mobile phones, electronics, furniture, and clothing, and can be extended to cover personal belongings in the driveway, garage or in the car. Furthermore, with a comprehensive insurance policy, renters insurance also protects the tenant against liability in the event of loss, fire or water damage caused to the property, which could easily amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars in a claim.

Insurance advice for tenants

There’s a lot to think about before moving into a rental property and it’s not surprising so many tenants are left feeling overwhelmed by the process. One way to help alleviate some of these concerns is to speak to an Insurance Adviser about NZ insurance to cover your belongings and liability when renting a property.

When it comes to NZ insurance, Max Insurances Advisers understand that flexibility is important. Which is why our team of Insurance Advisers work with a range of insurance providers to help you find the right cover at the best price to fit your specific requirements. To find out more about renters insurance, get in touch with a Max Insurances Adviser today.

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