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Big demand for room by room rentals in Christchurch

Big demand for room by room rentals in Christchurch

4 February 2014 - High demand for rental accommodation in Christchurch is prompting a growing number of ‘room by room’ rentals.

Under this scenario, people rent a bedroom and share common areas and facilities in the house with other tenants who they haven’t previously met.

Caroline Register, Manager of Harcourts Holmwood Property Management Group, says the room by room rentals are keenly sought by contractors in the city for the rebuild, in particular, and students seeking accommodation.

“Before the earthquake it was international students, students, people on working visas and contractors /workers from other parts of New Zealand. Since the earthquake, demand is very much dominated by contractors and workers.”

Average rents range between $180 and $240 a room, including all services and Register says that tenants usually stay six to 12 months.

“But if they have to leave earlier than the originally contracted time, they can opt for the notice period of 48 hours after the initial 28 day term. This flexibility is very attractive as an alternative to a fixed term tenancy that binds them to contractually stay. “

She says Holmwood actively manages the houses if problems arise but problems are rare.

“When friendships are established, often the house functions as it would with normal flatmates. We rarely have any issues as we are selective in the first instance to put people together we believe will get along well. Many often move on to flat together.”

Holmwood currently manages just under 200 room by rooms. Register says some residential investors are actively looking for this type of property while others have changed to room by room due to the demand.

“There is a high demand for this accommodation and, managed correctly, they achieve good returns for owners. There are always investors who will look outside the norm to accommodate niche markets. As a result, they may make better returns.”


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