Breadcrumbs

Flatting and private rental

Rental Properties

If you have a family or prefer to live alone, renting a house or apartment is a great option. There are many rental properties available in Hamilton and Tauranga.


Accommodation for couples or families

Couples

The University of Waikato owns a set of eight PhD or postgraduate flats for couples. These are one bedroom, semi-furnished flats adjacent to the University with parking. Please email accom@waikato.ac.nz to be placed on the wait-list or for further enquiries.

Families

Families will be required to source a house or unit off-campus on arrival into Hamilton. Market rent in Hamilton can be found on the Tenancy Services website and will give you an idea of what you can expect to pay.

These are only base rates and do not differentiate between furnished or unfurnished or the condition of the property.


Costs

In New Zealand, rent is advertised as a weekly price. The costs of rental properties vary throughout New Zealand, depending on the location, size and quality of the property.

In addition to rent, you will also need to factor in your set up costs: bond, rent in advance, power, internet, and any other utilities you may want/need.


Suburbs close to the university

When looking for accommodation handy to the University, you should start your search on the eastern side of the city. The University is located in the suburbs of Hillcrest and Silverdale.

Suburbs within a 15-30 minute walk of the University campus:

  • Hillcrest
  • Silverdale
  • Hamilton East

Suburbs within a 30-45 minute walk or 15 minute bicycle ride of the University campus:

  • Claudelands
  • Enderley
  • Fairview Downs
  • Hamilton Central
  • Riverlea
  • Ruakura
  • South Victoria Street

Rental property search

You can search online for flats/houses to rent or available rooms to rent in Hamilton and Tauranga. We recommend you arrive 1-2 weeks before the semester starts in order to find suitable accommodation and to settle in!

Find your rental property online:

Or through a rental agency:

We recommend that you do not sign a contract or an agreement without personally viewing a property. Therefore, book temporary accommodation until you can view some properties and secure permanent accommodation.

Flat-sharing or 'Flatting'

The majority of Waikato University students living off-campus live together in private houses and apartments, commonly called “flats” in New Zealand. If you are “flatting” you will only rent a room in a house which is already lived in and share the facilities. Most vacant houses in New Zealand are unfurnished, so renting an entire house may not be practical for “study abroad” students who are only studying at Waikato for one semester. If you are only intending to be at the University of Waikato for a short time, it may be easier and less expensive to go flatting. In this case you may only have to get bedroom furniture.

For a flatting type accommodation in Hamilton you will need to budget for a minimum of $130 - $150 per week not including utilities and food.


Finding the Perfect Flatmate

You may want to consider:

  • Are they willing to share the responsibility of cooking/cleaning?
  • Do you have similar interests - music, sports
  • Are they social people or prefer to keep to themselves?
  • How messy is their room? - this maybe a good indicator on how they will keep the flat
  • Do they study in the same course as you?
  • Are they a young working professional?

Further information on flatting can be found on Tenancy Services NZ.


Flat search

You can search online for flats or available rooms to rent in Hamilton and Tauranga. We recommend you arrive 1-2 weeks before the semester starts in order to find suitable accommodation and to settle in!

Find your flat online:

Temporary/short-term accommodation in the Halls of Residence

The University of Waikato may be able to offer temporary on-campus accommodation depending on availability. The cost would include a single study bedroom, linen and all meals at a cost of $70 per night or $330 for a week. To check availability please email the Accommodation Office at accom@waikato.ac.nz.

We do not have any accommodation on-campus for couples or families.

If the Accommodation Office is unable to offer temporary on-campus accommodation they may be able to assist you to pre-arrange temporary accommodation before your arrival. This is particularly helpful if you are seeking accommodation; “flatting” in an already-established house or have not secured your permanent accommodation. This temporary accommodation will usually mean placement in a Backpackers’ Hostel or similar, costing from NZ$35 per night. Your initial reservation will be made for three (3) nights; however you should be able to extend this on your arrival.

Hostels and Backpackers
Hotels and Motels
Other useful places to search for temporary accommodation

Important information

There's a lot of important information you may need to consider before applying for a property or flat.


Cost of living

You will need to have sufficient money to cover your accommodation and living costs in addition to your tuition fees. Hamilton City is regarded as an affordable place to live compared to other New Zealand cities. This means that you have more spending money for social and leisure activities.

Further information and a cost of living in New Zealand calculator can be found online at New Zealand Immigration.


What do you need to consider before you start flat/property hunting?

  • How much can you afford?
  • How many people do you want to live with?
  • Does the property need to be furnished or partly furnished?
  • How far away from the University & campus life do you want to be?
  • What bus routes are available if you want to be further away from campus?
  • What size & type of property do you need? (Studio unit, apartment, house?)
  • Does the property have enough storage?
  • If you have a vehicle is there sufficient parking?
  • What sort of heating does the property have?
  • If you have children, where are the closest schools?

The Tenancy Agreement

There are two types of tenancy:

  1. Periodic - where there is no set time period and either tenant or landlord can give notice to end the tenancy.
  2. Fixed term - where the tenancy lasts a specific time, usually Jan/Feb to Jan/Feb the following year. You cannot give notice to end a fixed term tenancy. Most of the properties close to the campus are on a fixed tenancy.

As of the 1 December 1996, the law requires that all Tenancy Agreements be in writing. The landlord must provide you with a copy of the Tenancy Agreement. Read it carefully. If there is anything you do not understand, get advice from Tenancy Services before you sign it. You must be 18+ to sign a Tenancy Agreement, otherwise you will need a guarantor.

Most leases are for a fixed term tenancy (e.g. from 31st January to 1st February). If you agree to this type of lease you will be liable for the full rent for whatever period you have agreed on. Most houses and flats available to students are rented on a fixed term agreement.

If you move into a flat and sign a Tenancy Agreement along with several other people, you become a co-tenant, taking on responsibility for the whole tenancy. This means that if one of the flat mates causes damage to the property or gets behind in their rent, you will all be responsible.


Tenancy Services

Tenancy Services provide information on your rights and responsibilities as a landlord, tenant or a unit title owner. Tenancy Services has an in depth website with information and resources to help tenants and landlords act with confidence, build good relationships and solve any problems which may arise during your tenancy.

For any information, forms and/or enquiries, please refer to the Tenancy Services website: https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/


Bond

Bonds are an initial payment required to safeguard the landlord from any damage you may cause or rent you may fail to pay. Bonds are refundable if accounts are paid in full and premises (flats/rental properties) are well maintained and undamaged at the end of the tenancy.

The bond is not held by the landlord; it is sent to Tenancy Services in Wellington.

The bond amount varies from landlord to landlord. The maximum amount that a landlord can ask you for is the equivalent of 6 weeks rent.

For example: Bond equals four weeks rent plus two weeks rent in advance.


General tips

Never sign up to a property without a thorough inspection.

Never pay in cash.

Always get a receipt and use electronic banking so you can track everything.


Viewing a property - what are landlords/agents looking for?

Book a viewing time and make sure all tenants show up on time so that you have time to have a thorough look through the property and be presentable.

When you find a property which meets your location, size and space requirements, everyone who is going to live in the property needs to fill out a pre-tenancy application. Include a recent photo of each applicant, your referees and guarantor if you are under 18.

Before you sign any Tenancy Agreement make sure you do a thorough inspection of the property with the landlord or property manager.


Things to check for in a property

  • Working smoke detectors
  • Insulation
  • Good storage
  • Water pressure (how is the shower?)
  • What types of heating are in the property?
  • Are there curtains in all the rooms?
  • Are there any signs of mould growth?
  • How is hot water provided - hot water cylinder or gas? If the heating is gas is it flued to the outside? (Gas causes moisture and dampness in homes if it is not properly vented.)
  • Does the property get the sun?
  • Are there shops close by?
  • Is everything in the property in good working order and not damaged? (You don’t want to be liable for damage someone else has caused.)
  • Are there individual locks on bedroom doors?
  • Is the toilet separate to the shower/bath?
  • Are there lots of trees around that will make the house damp in winter?

Setting up your flat/rental property

Give thought to your utilities (power, internet, and phone) and purchasing furniture and appliances. There are many companies in Hamilton and New Zealand who provide these services and products, so make sure you shop around for the best deals.

Contents insurance is important - what happens if the landlord's property is accidentally damaged? If you cause a fire, you could be charged tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for the repair. A contents insurance policy can cover you for personal liability in a situation like that. We recommend that all students living in a rental/flat property have contents insurance.

Balance up the benefits and costs of purchasing used or new furniture and appliances. Check what chattels are included with the property as some landlords around the University supply their flats and houses with washing machines, dryers and fridges, so make sure you shop around and compare what is being offered.


End of your tenancy

  • Ensure you give the correct amount of notice to end your Tenancy Agreement
  • Clean the house inside and outside to a good standard, and dispose of any rubbish
  • Make sure anything provided by the landlord is left in good working order
  • Organise a Final Flat Inspection with the landlord and return all keys
  • Complete a Bond Refund form with landlord or agent
  • Do a final electricity reading  - ensure all utility accounts are paid up to date
  • Cancel any services such as internet, sky tv or electricity

Contact us

Accommodation Services
Gate 2, Knighton Road, Hillcrest, Hamilton
Phone: +64 7 838 4084
Email: accom@waikato.ac.nz