Frequently Asked Questions

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What happens if my tenant doesn’t pay the rent?

This is unlikely - but it can happen and we are on the case immediately.

We conduct daily monitoring of rental payments and we contact the tenant without delay. This usually sorts things out quickly. If it doesn’t, we will use the Tenancy Tribunal at the earliest opportunity, no messing around.

What happens if the property needs a repair?

There are two kinds of repairs, urgent and non-urgent. 

Urgent repairs involve water and power, we need to limit damage so we hire skilled and reputable contractors to sort things out.

Non-urgent repairs are discussed with you, after all it’s your money and we don’t spend it for you.

Who pays the utility bills?

The law says metered utilities can be charged to the tenant.

The options here are:

  • Tenants can sort out their own water and/or power
  • Utility bills can be issued to City Sales and we will invoice the tenants
  • You can cover these bills yourself if you wish

Non-metered services, which sometimes includes water, cannot be charged to the tenant and must be paid by you. This is something we will discuss with you when we set the rental price.

Can you help me with furnishing the apartment?

Furnished apartments can be rented at a higher price and can reduce damage caused to the apartment when tenants move their belongings in and out.

Our Property Managers can organise the purchase and installation of furnishings for you and will discuss your needs with you.

How often are inspections carried out?

Because we screen tenants extensively we carry out routine inspections every 6 months in addition to our initial and final inspection. We want to know exactly what is going on with your investment.

What if I want to move into the property?

If you want to move into your property the law states you need to give 42 days’ notice, or you can wait for the Tenancy Agreement to end.

Who should I contact to find out more?

Head over to our Property Management page or email

When buying an Apartment, what do I have to look out for?

Future developments - check adjacent potential sites. Ask about tenancies and owner occupier rates in the building. Is there an onsite manager? What facilities are included? Check car parking if that is included. What security there is and how does it work. Who runs the Body Corporate (for Unit Title property) and what other buildings do they administer. What are the Annual Body Corporate levies. Ask for copies of recent Body Corporate Meeting minutes. If in a Hotel/Management Lease, check thoroughly the Lease contract. If Leasehold – the terms of the lease including when rent renewals are due. Check what chattels, if any, are included. IMPORTANT: Should the Unit be a part of a Unit (Stratum) Title development, the selling process is subject to Disclosure obligations under the Unit Titles Act 2010. Under the Act, a Pre-Contract Disclosure Statement must be provided to you BEFORE you enter into an offer. The Statement explains terms and definitions relating to Unit Title property. It will further disclose annual levies and other information specific to the complex itself. 

How do I know I am not buying a leaky Apartment?

The Agent dealing with the property is required to disclose to you any information he/she is in possession of which you should know about. In addition, we strongly advise you to request a copy of the latest (and perhaps earlier) Body Corporate meeting minutes. You will be provided with a Pre-Contract Disclosure Statement prior to entering into an offer. The Statement will disclose any existing or prior claims under the Weathertight Homes Resolution Service or any other Civil proceedings.

How can I get to know and understand the Apartment market?

Speak to someone who specialises in the City Apartment market. It is a neighbourhood of its own and does not behave or react as other markets do.

Are tenants easy to get?

There will, in our opinion, always be a demand for inner city living, whether it be for convenience, lifestyle and/or employment/education related reasons. The demand will fluctuate depending on supply parameters at any point in time - please seek advice from experts in the market.

Can I have my Investment managed for me?

Yes, most definitely. Here in NZ, there is increasing interest regarding professionally managed property, following overseas trends. With today's busy lifestyle, more investors are now seeking expert advice and management of their properties. At City Sales we take full responsibility for all aspects of managing your investment for you. We operate a fully audited Trust Account and are a Licensed Agent. We strongly recommend using a Licensed Agent when trusting your investment to a 3rd party. Read more about our Property Management specialists.

How do I work out the return on my Investment?

To work out the Gross Return - Divide the expected Gross Annual income by the Purchase price and multiply by 100. A more realistic assessment is to calculate your NET return. To do this, subtract the annual outgoings (Rates, Bodycorp, Ground rent etc), from the expected Gross Annual income and use this in the calculation.

Should I buy ‘Off Plans’ and what should I be wary of?

Off-plan developments are again gathering some momentum. Be wary of ‘gimmicks’ such as $1,000 deposits - they may not be what they seem. Be wary also of ‘Guaranteed Returns’ although these are not as prevalent as in the past. Beware of Display Suites - ensure these are built to scale and check thoroughly the dimensions of the unit you are interested in, in comparison. Clarify what the floor area quoted encompasses - balconies and outdoor areas are sometimes included. Check surrounding areas for future developments that may affect your purchase. The City Council will provide relevant information. Ask for information regarding the Developer, Architect, Construction company - their track records and any warranties that may be associated with the building. Ask who the Body Corporate is going to be and what other buildings they currently manage.
ALWAYS seek legal advice before signing contracts.
ALWAYS deal with a Licensed Real Estate Agent.

How do I select the best Real Estate representative?

It is most important that you feel comfortable with the knowledge of your chosen representative, look for someone with an intimate knowledge of the Auckland CBD apartment market as well as knowledge of the history of sales in your building and those similar. As the city apartment market is complex and unique it requires specialist local and legal knowledge. Beware of common seduction techniques such as reduced fees; they often result in a lack of support by colleagues which can leave a ‘lone ranger’ trying to sell your property. Fees after all can be negotiable, what’s most important is achieving the best possible sale price for your property.

Can I sell privately?

Yes, certainly. However you risk exposing your property to a limited market. The right real estate professional will have tools for marketing, negotiation and networks that are instrumental in achieving the best possible sale price.

What else do I need to consider before putting my Apartment on the market?

Access to your property is perhaps one of the most important considerations, should your property be tenanted your may consider a temporary rent reduction to assist with (and as compensation for) access and presentation. If your property is Unit Title, there are also necessary Body Corporate documents that must be provided. Under the Unit Titles Act 2010 it is necessary to provide all interested parties with a Pre-Contract Disclosure Statement. Refer to your Body Corporate for costs pertaining to this. In the event of a successful sale there will also be legal conveyancing costs to consider. 

What is the difference between General and Sole Agency?

General Agency: An arrangement to sell your property with usually two or more Real Estate Agencies. You can invite additional Agencies to help you sell at any time and you are also able to sell your property privately without incurring any agency fees.

Sole Agency: The most common type of Agreement. It is an exclusive, binding contract for a designated period of time with a single Real Estate Agency to market and sell the property on your behalf.

What are the advantages and otherwise of both?

General Agency: With more than one agency working your property there is a perception of an extended pool of buyers. You can also sell it yourself without paying a fee. It is likely however, your property will not receive the focus and dedicated effort it deserves in order to get you the best possible result. There is less accountability to you and there may be a temptation for the agent to achieve a quick sale – before someone else does.

Sole Agency: Trusted with the responsibility of being a Sole Agent for the sale of your property, your elected Agent has a very important responsibility to you. At City Sales we take this responsibility seriously. A Sole Agency with City Sales results in not just your Broker working for you, you engage the entire Company.

Should I pay for marketing and if so how much should I expect to contribute?

A major component of any marketing campaign, for any product, is EXPOSURE. This is most definitely true in the CBD Apartment environment. In this mainly investor driven community of prospective purchasers, it is essential your Apartment is elevated and promoted 'up front' in what is fundamentally a commodity market. The chances of an excellent result are enhanced substantially by a planned and tailored marketing programme. City Sales standard Auction marketing plans start from just $950.

Should I Auction my Apartment and why?

'Sale by Auction' provides you, the Vendor with significant benefits. These include: Major exposure for your property by way of a professional, tailored marketing programme. Your unit becomes the 'focus' in the complex and often essentially halts other activity. Interest generated creates competition and an urgency to act, amongst buyers. Auction day creates a focal point and sense of finality for buyers and promotes decision making. The result for you is an unconditional contract, peace of mind that your property has sold. You should expect the Real Estate Agency to provide you with evidence of their proficiency to conduct an Auction programme, in this market specifically, as well as provide you with a comprehensive Auction record of past performance.

If I don't choose Auction - how long will it take to sell?

The time it will take to sell depends on three main factors:

  1. Access to the property
  2. How realistically it is priced

  3. Exposure/marketing

If the property is positioned accurately in regards to each of the above, we would expect your Apartment to sell well within the term of a standard Sole Agency tenure.

What is a Serviced Apartment?

Serviced apartments usually refer to those in Hotel operated complexes. These apartments are privately owned, but are typically leased back to the Hotel which provides the owners with income based on the hotel’s yield. Some serviced apartments are also operated privately under a serviced arrangement.

Are there Managers on site?

Building managers are not legally required, however it is most common that the Body Corporate will have elected someone to act as a Building Manager who will oversee the day to day running of the complex. They may live on-site within the building or attend to the complex on a regular basis.

Do I pay extra for these facilities?

Most commonly there will be no additional charges for the use of building facilities, however there are exceptions and advice is recommended.

What facilities do Apartment complexes have?

Facilities, like car parks, vary from building to building and can range from none to a gymnasium and/or swimming pool. Higher tiered apartment complexes offer additional facilities such as tennis courts, spas and saunas while some buildings popular with students offer communal laundry and cooking facilities.

Will I get a car park with an Apartment?

This varies from building to building, but apartments may come with one or more (sometimes in tandem configuration) car park/s. Car parks are available for separate purchase in some buildings. Your Broker will be able to advise on availability.

What does Freehold/Leasehold mean?

A freehold tenure means that the land which the apartment building occupies is commonly owned by all owners in the building.
A leasehold tenure means that this land is owned by a third party to whom the owners must pay an Annual Ground Rent. This is a cost associated with renting the land. There are several different types of leasehold property in Auckland and independent legal advice regarding term, conditions, reviews and rent is advised.

What are City Council Rates?

Every property owner in New Zealand pays an annual amount to their City Council, this goes towards maintenance of streets, parks and safety of the city. The cost is calculated from a valuation of the property owned. More information is available at the Auckland City Council website.

What is a Body Corporate levy?

This is the apportioned share that each apartment is calculated to contribute to the cost of running the complex. Typically this will include building insurance, maintenance of lifts, facilities and common areas (often providing for future works). As this varies from building to building it can also take into account the cost of water and Sky television. As your Broker for clarification.

How big is the Auckland apartment market?

Presently we estimate that there are 460 buildings comprising 26,000 apartments in the CBD alone. Auckland however is set for great development and there is a rush of new developments underway to accommodate the ever growing population.

What is a Body Corporate?

A Body Corporate is the management body of a building, every owner of a Unit Title apartment is automatically invited to be a member of their particular building’s Body Corporate. The Body Corporate usually meets annually to discuss administrative matters, finance and maintenance of a building. The responsibilities of the Body Corporate are further defined in the Unit Titles Act 2010

What can I expect the outgoings to be on an Apartment?

Aside from the expected annual council rates and monthly consumable costs, each apartment owner shares the cost of running and maintaining their complex, this is known as the Body Corporate Levy and is invoiced annually. If your apartment is a leasehold property an annual Ground Rent may also be applicable.