Tenant Information

Enjoy fast and friendly tenant support with Cowdy & Co.

We treat tenants with the same respect as we do our landlords.

After all, while you’re renting a property, that’s your home. Our team do their best to ensure tenants enjoy their rental as much as possible, quickly resolving any issues that arise. We have such great relationships with our tenants that many who eventually buy an investment themselves, become property management clients of Cowdy & Co.

Not a tenant yet? Register online and receive regular alerts of new properties that suit your location and lifestyle.

Applying for a property

When you find the right property, complete our online application form – you’ll need to supply ID, references, your income details, rental history and permission to check the information provided.

We process all applications for a property. This includes checking references and credit history for every applicant. Your application is then discussed with the property owner who makes the final choice of new tenants for their property.

application1
Moving in

When your application is accepted, we meet to explain and sign your Tenancy Agreement. You’ll then make the upfront payments and set up a weekly Automatic Payment for your rent.

Upfront payments example

Rent in advance – 1 week’s rent (non refundable) $200.00
Security Bond – 3 week’s rent (refundable) $600.00
Letting Fee – 1 week’s rent + GST (non refundable) $225.00
TOTAL $1025.00

Condition of the property

You’ll get a copy of the Property Condition Report before you move in. This records the condition of the property and the contents at the beginning of your tenancy. You should check the report, record any variations, then sign and return it to our office within 7 days. If there are no variations, you keep your signed copy of acceptance and we file our copy. The Condition Report is used at the Bond Inspection to compare the condition of the property upon you vacating with the property when you moved in.

Term

There are two types of tenancies: fixed and periodic. It is important that you understand what both mean and your responsibilities under each tenancy.

Fixed-term

Most tenancies at Cowdy & Co are fixed-term because they give you peace of mind that you have your home for a certain period of time. In most cases, at the end of your tenancy, you will be offered the opportunity to stay at the property. If you agree to stay, we will draw up a new Tenancy Agreement. Fixed-term rentals are generally 6-12 months and you can negotiate this with your Property Manager. During your fixed-term tenancy, neither party can give notice to vacate before the end of your tenancy.

We will contact you at least 3 weeks before the end of your fixed-term tenancy and ask if you would like to stay at the property or vacate.

Periodic

A periodic tenancy has a start date but no end date. If you enter into a periodic tenancy you can give us 21 days written notice to vacate at any time to end your tenancy. The owner can give you 90 days notice to vacate, at any time without a specific reason. If the owner or a family member wish to move into the property or if they receive an unconditional offer of sale, they can give you 42 days notice to vacate.

Bond

We collect bond for the property before you move in, which is equivalent to 3-4 weeks rent. This bond will be lodged at Tenancy Services and released back to you at the end of your tenancy. Both yours and Cowdy & Co.’s signatures are needed to release the bond at the end of the tenancy, so both parties must agree to how the money is distributed.

Keys

  • Once your payments have been made and the Tenancy Agreement signed, your tenancy is confirmed!
  • You can collect your keys the day before your agreed move in day.
  • You may not change any locks or other security devices without the written consent of the landlord.
  • At the end of your tenancy, all keys must be returned to our office.

Paying your rent

Your rent is always payable weekly in advance by Automatic Payment (AP). When you sign your Tenancy Agreement, we’ll give you the AP form, which you give to your bank or you can set up your weekly payment online using the reference we provide.

Example:
For example, if you move in on a Saturday, your rent starts then and is due each Saturday thereafter. We suggest you arrange for the money to leave your account at least a day earlier to make sure it reaches us on time.

If, for any reason, you are not able to make your rent payment by the due date, contact our arrears manager immediately.

If you get behind in your rent, we will issue with a 14 day notice to remedy, if the breach is not rectified within 14 days, we may have no alternative but to make a Tenancy Tribunal application to terminate your tenancy.

Contents insurance

The property owner has insurance on the land and building. Note: This does not cover your personal contents. For your own protection, we strongly recommend you take out individual contents insurance.

Check with your insurance company that this includes a component for tenant liability. If this isn’t included in the policy, some insurance companies may sue you for any damage caused (fire etc) even though the property owner has house insurance. Take a look at the Department of Building and Housing suggestions: What insurance do I need?

Services & utilities

At the beginning of your tenancy, you’ll be responsible for arranging electricity, gas and telephone services to be connected and transferred to your name.

We can assist you with using our free utilities connection service.

When you leave, it’s your responsibility to arrange final meter readings, disconnection of these services and having your mail re-directed to your new address.

Lawn & garden maintenance

Unless stated as a special condition in your Tenancy Agreement, all lawns and gardens are your responsibility. We have some preferred contractors that we can recommend if you want a helping hand.

Maintenance

If your property has damage or issues that need attention, fill in the Repair Request form and we’ll organise the repairs.

Of course if you have an issue that’s urgent or is causing damage, call us right away – we have an after-hours service for emergencies.

If you arrange your own maintenance without our authorisation we can’t guarantee you will be refunded for the expense. It’s always best to contact us first so we can handle it for you.

How to arrange emergency repairs & maintenance

We are available 24/7 for emergencies. Phone 03 355 6686 and ask for the Property Manager on call. If you have a plumbing emergency and water is leaking inside the property, please turn the water off to minimise the damage to your personal items and the house.

Routine inspections

We inspect all the rental properties under our management every three to four months during a tenancy. This is a requirement of many insurance policies. You’ll be given written notice before a routine inspection and we will leave a receipt so you know the inspection has been completed.

Moving Out

Once you have agreed a moving out date with us, we will start to advertise your property – we work hard to minimise the time that it is vacant. We very much appreciate your help in allowing prospective tenants to view the property.

Contact your Property Management Team

If you have any concerns or questions about the property you’re renting with Cowdy & Co., please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Resources for tenants of Christchurch rental properties

Are you looking to rent a property? Check out our essential information for renting in Christchurch.