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Where to Start - Utilities

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Landlord or property manager?

It may not bother you who manages the property, but there are some differences between dealing with a landlord and dealing with a property manager. A landlord most likely does something else for a living, while making some money from the rental on the side. So, they might be a bit harder to contact than a property manager, who does that role for a living. That’s not always the case, though.

Because there’s another salary to pay, dealing with a property manager can be more expensive than a landlord. If you’re looking at renting a property through a particular company, ask friends and family if they’ve had any dealings with that company, as the service from property managers can vary a lot.


Setting up utilities:

You’ll need to set up a bunch of accounts for power and phone. Before signing up to anything for your power, check powerswitch.org.nz to find the best deal for you. If you have no idea how much power you’ll use, pick the deal that looks the best for you, and then go back to powerswitch after a few months and make sure it’s right.

You’ll also need to look at setting up phone and internet accounts. Combining your internet and tolls will often save you $10 a month and internet companies like ihug and woosh are starting to offer landline services to replace the likes of telecom and telstraclear.


Things to look out for:

So, you’re looking at a place – it looks nice, there’s the right number of bedrooms, now what? There are a couple of extra things you should consider when deciding if a place is right for you.

1) Transport: Is it either close to a bus/train route, or convenient roads to get where you need to go? If you have a car, is there a car park or only on-street parking?

2)  What chattels come with the rental? Is there just an oven, or are there other things like a washing machine, fridge or any furniture that might save you money?
3) Do the bedrooms have built-in wardrobes, or will you have to make space for a standing one?
4) Which way does it face? Are there big trees or other buildings that will block the sun?
5) Does it have a problem with dampness? Check with the landlord, or ask the previous tenant if they are available. You can also look for any signs of water damage or mould.
6) Is there an outside area, and if so, what is expected for maintenance?