Renting in Christchurch: helpful hint
I thought it could be helpful for anyone looking to rent in Chch if I relayed my own personal experience. After living in a house that my husband owned for 18 months, we finally settled our earthquake claim and elected to move into a rental. I was very disappointed in what was available in Chch at what I would consider "reasonable" rental prices; the conditions of many seemed only marginally average, and many fell below average (compared to what I am accustomed to in the US). But, we realized that there *is* a housing shortage, which made for less choice to pick from. We found by raising our 'willing to pay' price to $ Protected content per week, that the sample of rentals got better. At $450NZD pw we finally found 3 places we thought looked good enough to go to an open house for. The first open house had the property manager out front at Protected content people that the owners had changed their mind the night before about renting. We noted about 12 other people that had either walked to the property with us (from their cars), or were on their way in as we left. Our 2nd open house visit was led by the property owner himself (though we didn't know until we were leaving). Again, about 6 other people landed there on time (as we were) and more were coming as we were leaving; same for the 3rd property, 8 other viewers had seen the property. Before we started looking, I had been very concerned about setting our family apart from "all the rest" and decided to do something to increase our visibility and memorialize us to potential landlords. I composed a rental resume (CV), that gave background information on our prior living arrangements, historical information on our jobs, kids, hobbies, family pursuits. I included information on our pets: names, ages, looks, personalities. I kept it informative but light and quirky, added a family photo at the bottom, and included our contact information and reference names and numbers. In both places we looked at and liked, we gave this CV to the landlord within minutes onsite and chatted to expressing our interest. We were offered tenancy at both places the same night we viewed them. If you are looking to rent in Chch, I would recommend some sort of strategy like this--and, I don't believe it would matter if you are looking at lower rent places or not--the trick is standing out from the rest of the pack. I hope this advice helps anyone who might not know how to start or what to do to market themselves in the housing market!