23 September 2008

Renting a place in New Zealand

A week in Wellington, New Zealand! I wish we can celebrate our one-week anniversary but we still got lots to do. A lot has happened though in the past week. We stayed with our host for a couple of nights, then moved to our new place.

Apartments here are similar with what we have in the Philippines. You basically get a space, and the rate is directly proportional to proximity to amenities. The good thing here is, apartments and houses available for lease are available on the internet! Visit trademe (www.trademe.co.nz) for example. There are other sites out there but trademe is one of the more popular ones. If sharing facilities is fine with you, you can go through the "flatmates wanted" category as well.

Apartments here usually come with a stove. You are lucky if part of the lease includes washer and dryer, ref, bed, heater. Otherwise you have to buy these.

The Filipino community here in Wellington is quite solid, and some give things they don't already need to the newcomers. So it pays to be sociable. :-)

The rent here though is paid either by the week or fortnightly! And it's quite expensive too, if you consider having no work yet and relying on your savings. But when you enter the work force and start earning, I guess it pretty much equalizes things.

You also have to post a bond which will be refunded to you when your contract with your landlord ends and you no longer want to renew and move on. It's usually two-week's worth of the rent.

The tenant and the landlord enter into an agreement with the tenancy and the council is notified of the contract. The council also gets hold of the bond. This is to protect the rights of the tenant and the landlord. There is a checklist as well of the things included with the rent, as well as some probihitions such as pets and smoking which both parties will agree to.

Some new words I learned for my first week:
Kindie - kindergarten, start of school for kids 5 years and below

Wag - a verb, meaning to cut classes. Kids' attendance here are monitored, and it is the parent's responsibility to alert the school if their kid will be absent. So kids who wag usually get caught. Kids not in school but wandering about are also asked what they are doing out.

Whiteware - basically refers to the appliance included in the place you are renting. In our place, all the appliances are colored white; must be why they're called whiteware.

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