Rental Advice

Important note for all users:

It has come to our attention that on several internet accommodation websites there is a scam taking place from users based overseas (similar to the Nigerian I-have-money-to-give-you-so-please-give-me-your-bank-details scam). To the best of our knowledge, there are two versions of this scam. This is how they work – please keep an eye out for it, and report to us if this happens to you so we can disable the user’s account (write to markryan@studentrent.co.nz).

Scam Version One:

A user may claim to be from another country, and post you a cheque for the bond. The cheque will be far too much for the bond. The user will then ask you to refund them the additional amount. They hope that you will refund them the amount via an internet payment (which will process overnight) whilst you wait for the cheque to clear (which will take three days). The cheque will bounce, and you will have paid them and have nothing in return.

The way to ensure this NEVER happens to you is to:

Request that the payment is made directly into your bank account. Wait for all funds to clear before making any payment back of any kind.

If they have to pay by cheque and the cheque is too large, either (a) request they send the cheque again, this time for the correct amount, or (b) only give them a refund once the cheque has cleared.

Scam Version Two:

Someone will place a listing, and ask you to pay a bond without seeing the house. They do not have a room in the house, and they have no affiliation what-so-ever with that house. They will pocket your money and you will not hear from them again. They may also try to gain enough of your personal information to gain access to your bank account.

The way to beat this is to always make sure that you get a tour of the house you are looking at, or get a friend to have a tour of the house for you (in order to make sure the person advertising the house actually has a room in it).

Rental Advice
Important note for all users:

It has come to our attention that on several internet accommodation websites there is a scam taking place from users based overseas (similar to the Nigerian I-have-money-to-give-you-so-please-give-me-your-bank-details scam). To the best of our knowledge, there are two versions of this scam. This is how they work – please keep an eye out for it, and report to us if this happens to you so we can disable the user’s account (write to markryan@studentrent.co.nz).

Scam Version One:

A user may claim to be from another country, and post you a cheque for the bond.  The cheque will be far too much for the bond.  The user will then ask you to refund them the additional amount.  They hope that you will refund them the amount via an internet payment (which will process overnight) whilst you wait for the cheque to clear (which will take three days).  The cheque will bounce, and you will have paid them and have nothing in return.

The way to ensure this NEVER happens to you is to:

Request that the payment is made directly into your bank account. Wait for all funds to clear before making any payment back of any kind.

If they have to pay by cheque and the cheque is too large, either (a) request they send the cheque again, this time for the correct amount, or (b) only give them a refund once the cheque has cleared.

Scam Version Two:

Someone will place a listing, and ask you to pay a bond without seeing the house.  They do not have a room in the house, and they have no affiliation what-so-ever with that house.  They will pocket your money and you will not hear from them again.  They may also try to gain enough of your personal information to gain access to your bank account.

The way to beat this is to always make sure that you get a tour of the house you are looking at, or get a friend to have a tour of the house for you (in order to make sure the person advertising the house actually has a room in it).

Information they may ask you for can include the following:

Your Full Name:
Your Full Address:
Flat Address (if different):
One Week Deposit:
Your Direct Mobile Number:
Land Phone Number:
Other phone number:
BANK PAYMENT DEPOSIT
Bank Name:
Account Owner Name:
Complete Account Numbers:

Tell your friends about how this scam works, so that they don’t fall for it.

Best of luck for flat hunting!

Now, onto rental advice:

This page is to provide rental advice from University Accommodation Offices.  All information provided here is to be taken as a guide only. 

Waikato
The average cost of student housing rentals around the University area is as follows:

1 Bedroom Flat: $140-$165

2 Bedroom Flat: $175-$200

3 Bedroom House: $260-$300

4 Bedroom House: $320 – $380

5 Bedroom House: $400-$450

6 Bedroom House: $420-$480

NB: Houses with whiteware (fridge, washing machine, dishwasher) usually cost more, according to what is provided.

For more information to do with flatting (including 1 on 1 help) please visit the Accommodation Office.

University of Canterbury
What suburbs are close to the University?

UC is located in the suburb of Ilam, other suburbs that are nearby are Riccarton, Upper Riccarton, Church Corner, Avonhead, Burnside, Bryndwr and Fendalton. Many other suburbs of Christchurch have direct bus routes to the University however.

 When is the best time to look for a flat?

Although most leases for rental accommodation around the University run from February to February, some often become available for signing up to in August of the year prior.  A number of properties and rooms for rent in flats are also advertised in January and February.

What to look for in a flat

It is important to select a flat that suits you, your budget and your lifestyle. Before signing a tenancy agreement you should view the rental property in person. We recommend you view several properties before settling on one.

To give yourself time to find a suitable rental property, you will need to arrange temporary accommodation (ie. at a friend or relatives place, backpackers or motel) for at least two weeks. Although you may not need the whole two weeks, it is advisable to confirm you can stay that long and that you budget for it accordingly. 

When looking for a flat, some things to consider are:

•  Your budget: Can you afford it?  Not only will you have regular rent to pay, you will also need to pay for monthly phone, electricity, food and transport costs.  You could also potentially have gas, internet and satellite TV charges as well.

•  Heating and insulation: Most properties are not centrally heated. Consider the heating method you will be using and how much this may cost you. Has the property got suitable insulation, ventilation and sunlight?

•  Location: Make sure you are in a suitable neighbourhood and you are close to public transport routes, supermarkets, and schools
(if necessary). Check how close are you to the University campus and make sure you factor transport costs into your budget.

•  Quality: Is the flat in good condition, clean, safe, secure and well maintained? Does it have smoke alarms?

•  Furnished/unfurnished: Many properties are rented unfurnished. You will need to factor this in to your set-up costs. 

•  Tenancy agreement: Read the tenancy agreement carefully and make sure you understand all of your and your landlord’s obligations. Are you happy with the duration of the tenancy agreement? Are all the flatmates signing the tenancy agreement?

•  Flatmates: Choose your flatmates carefully – best of friends can be different people when you actually live with them!

What will it cost?

The average cost of rent in the university area are as follows:

One bedroom flat: $160-260 per week

Two bedroom flat: $190–$290 per week

Three bedroom houses: $270-$370 per week

Four bedroom houses: $300-$450 per week

Five bedroom houses: $350–$500 per week

The majority of landlords of properties around the university area expect tenants to sign a 12-month fixed-term tenancy agreement. If you sign into this type of lease, it means you are liable for rental payments for the entire 12 months, whether you are living in the flat or not.

Set-up costs

Expect expenses up front when you first move into your flat, including:

•  Furniture: Many flats are unfurnished so be prepared to buy items such as a bed, desk, couch, whiteware, cultery and appliances.

•  Bond: Up to a maximum of four weeks rent can be payable immediately. Your landlord is legally required to lodge your bond with the Department of Building and Housing Bond Office in Wellington. When you leave your flat, provided that you have not caused any damage, your bond will be refunded to you. If there is damage to the property the landlord can request that some or all of the bond is used to cover the repairs.

•  Rent in advance: Up to a maximum of two weeks rent, payable immediately.

•  Connection fees: You may need to pay a bond and/or a connection fee to connect your power, phone and internet.

Weekly costs

An estimated weekly cost of living for a student flatting is outlined on the website at www.canterbury.ac.nz/accom/flatting. However, everyone is different and it will depend on things like how much power you need for heating, what sort of food your flat typically buys and your transport costs. A reasonable estimate for one person living comfortably in a flat with two other flatmates in Christchurch (on a 52 week lease) is approximately $200 per week. This would include rent, power, phone, internet, appliance hire, transport costs (bus), contents insurance and food. 

Other costs

Other expenses which need to be included in your budget are your personal entertainment costs, money for clothes and other personal items, snacks, textbooks, photocopying, mobile phone costs, medical expenses and trips home.

Budgeting advice

If you are not sure you can afford to go flatting, go to www.canterbury.ac.nz/hardship.  Check out the budget worksheets and for help with developing these or managing your money contact Student Advisory Services, phone 364 2987 ext 4131.

Renting rights and responsibilities

With flatting comes rights and responsibilities you should be aware of. For more information and advice on any issues which may arise during your tenancy, you can contact:

Department of Building and Housing – Te Tari Kaupapa Whare
Freephone in NZ: 0800 83 62 62
www.dbh.govt.nz/tenancy-index

Tenants Protection Association (TPA)
Telephone: +64 3 379 2297
Email: tpa@xtra.co.nz

 We also have copies of the Department of Building and Housing renting guides in our office if you would like a copy.

 More information

The Accommodation Office is located at 114 Ilam Rd, Ilam, Christchurch. Please contact us if you have any questions:

Telephone: +64 3 364 2959
Facsimile: +64 3 364 2940
Email: accommodation@canterbury.ac.nz
www.canterbury.ac.nz/accom

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