My Dunedin Itinerary


This page contains information on buying and renting a house, your responsibilities when purchasing or renting.

In this section

In this section

Buying a house

Where can I find homes to buy?

Homes for sale are advertised in several places:

  • Real estate agents are located about the city. Most major real estate firms have websites that advertise houses nationwide. Almost all real estate agents put their listings on
  • The Otago Daily Times advertises houses for sale on Wednesday and Saturday, many of which have 'open homes' during which you can visit a home without a real estate agent.
  • The Property Press, a weekly magazine advertising homes, can be found at most supermarkets, some garages and outside most real estate agents offices.
  • Some homes will be available to buy privately.
  • TradeMe has both houses advertised by real estate agents plus some private listings.

What are my rights and responsibilities?

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand offers a buyer's checklist.

Do I need a lawyer and what will they do for me?

Although you do not have to have a lawyer, it is highly recommended you employ one as negotiating your way through the legal process unaided can be very difficult. The lawyer will advise you on the legal aspects of buying a home. This may include checking titles, valuations, mortgage agreements and finance arrangements.

Where can I get finance for buying a house?

Banks and mortgage lenders offer finance for houses at varying rates and conditions, and of varying amounts depending on your income and the amount of your deposit. Remember to shop around to find the best deal for you.

What pre-purchase information is available?

We hold a wide variety of information on homes in the city:

  • It is recommended that a Land Information Memorandum, is purchased for a property. A LIM contains all information we hold in relation to a property or any issues that may affect it.
  • A search of our rates register will give information on the amount of rates for a property, plus a selection of aerial photographs and maps for each house.
  • The District Plan is also available online.

You can also obtain useful pre-purchase information from professionals such as a builder or independent valuer.

What appliances/fittings come with the property?

Most New Zealand houses are unfurnished, however some come with chattels. Check with your real estate agent before purchasing.

Where can I learn more about home ownership?

There is a free Home Ownership Education Course sponsored by Housing New Zealand and run through the Otago Chamber of Commerce. Phone Kerry Phillips - (03) 479 0181.


Dunedin's rental properties are spread all over the city. However, much of the housing immediately surrounding the city's tertiary area, in North Dunedin, is predominantly rented by tertiary students, and may not be suitable for families. Independent site Emigrate New Zealand, linked below in the related information section, gives average rentals for Dunedin.

A number of real estate firms in Dunedin offer rental accommodation lists. has rental accommodation from a range of real estate firms.

What will I have to pay in advance to rent a house?

Usually rent is paid two weeks in advance and there is a bond, which is held by the independent Tenancy Services department of the Department of Building and Housing. For further information on the bond process, visit the Department's website, linked below in the related information section.

What are my rights/responsibilities as a tenant?

The independent Tenancy Services department of Department of Building and Housing New Zealand offers free advice on your rights. Their website is linked below in the related information section.

Who can help me if I have issues with my landlord?

Tenancy Services, an independent Government department, will assist you if you have difficulties with your landlord and are unable to fix the problem by yourself.

Related information