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What do I need to know if I want to change my own home to a rental property?

January 26th 2024

If you are changing your owner-occupied home to a rental investment there are several key aspects that can be easily overlooked. To simplify things for you, we've compiled a list of the most common items to keep in mind.


Talk to your mortgage broker or bank, and find out if your payments will change once your home is rented.


Likewise, your insurer will need to be advised if the home is to be rented. Most insurers will amend the premium and impose a higher excess for a rental property. It’s a good idea to ring around for quotes, to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Check what each company will cover, and how quickly they are able to sort claims and pay out for any losses if needed.


Check with your accountant and lawyer if the property is held in the best entity to protect your investment.


Even near-new homes will need a Healthy Homes Compliance Certificate. If you’ve had building consents issued, or have carried out retrograde work on an older home, hunt this out to provide to the assessor. Much of the heating requirement component depends on the amount of insulation in the ceiling, walls and underfloor; the extent of double glazing; and any additional heating installed.


To attract quality tenants it’s a good idea to complete a full clean. When you’re ready to move out, work through a list yourself or book in a company to get the house sparkling again. This includes windows, washing down walls if needed, carpet shampoo, and cleaning out gutters and downpipes. Waterblast paths and the driveway if these are mossy, and this is a good time to give the deck a fresh coat of stain. Inside, use a specific shower glass product to remove any staining, and give special attention to the window joinery, to remove grime or mould. This can build up quickly if your home isn’t aired regularly and condensation removed. An easy one to miss is cleaning out the CCC waste bins. These will need to be empty before new occupants  move in, but should also be fully cleaned and sanitised for the new tenants' use. 


Have lawns mowed, gardens weeded, and complete any seasonal pruning just before you leave.


It’s helpful to copy the instruction pages of manuals for appliances or heating systems. Keep the originals, but tenants will appreciate a folder detailing how the house works.


Advise friends, family and all relevant agencies of your new address, and have mail redirected as well for about six months.


Take a final power reading, but keep power connected. If the property will be vacant for more than a couple of days, we will set up a temporary power account for viewings and until the new tenants move in.


As excess water usage is now charged in Christchurch, also take a final water reading on your last day.


Confirm arrangements with Ruby Housing for handing over keys, including garage remotes. In most cases we will already hold a front door key at the office, but will need other keys and remotes for the new tenants.


While you still own the property, it is no longer your home. Be aware there may be wear and tear between tenancies, and that tenants aren’t responsible for repairing the same things an owner would take care of. It will help your peace of mind if you’re able to take a step back emotionally, and be proud you’re giving a new family a lovely place to call home.

For more detail, and to chat about your particular situation, please get in touch with Kim Willems.  

Ruby Housing: 03-3795033 or office@rubyhousing.co.nz. 

Kim: 021385780 or kim@rubyhousing.co.nz