Choosing a Landlord

What is a landlord?

The landlord is the person who manages the tenancy. If the owner does – they are the landlord. If there is an agent or property manager – they are the landlord.


they own the property available for rent.

Property managers

they are contracted / paid by the owner to act as landlord.

Letting agents

they find the tenant and grant the tenancy. They normally carry on as the property manager during the tenancy.


someone nominated by the owner to manage the property, for example a friend or a member of the owners family.

Finding somewhere to live is not just about finding the right property, but the right landlord too.  You are going to have a relationship with them and your dealings with them have a big impact on your tenancy.

Making your choice:

Sometime tenants choose the property first, and accept the landlord that comes with it.   Others like to rent off a certain type of landlord eg directly off the owner or through a property manager.   Some tenants who have had a bad experience with one type of landlord refuse to use that type again, however it is not the type of landlord that is the problem, rather the way that they run their business.  If you love the house but don’t trust the landlord – trust your instincts and consider looking for a different property.


It can be good to have a direct relationship with the person who has the power to spend money on the property. When they do their property inspections they can see for themselves any damage or concerns you might have. Sometimes owners feel they can be more casual in their behaviour.  Friendly is good, but not as important as being professional.

Property Managers:

Ask about their history in the business – how long they have been property managers for? Are they affiliated with any professional organisations? A professional landlord should not be offended by being asked this question. If they have a website don’t just look at their information for tenants, look at their information for landlords too, it might give you a broader picture of the company.

When things go wrong:

Just like in any industry, there are those that give it a bad name. Just like the landlord is checking you out, check them out to. You can look at ‘Tenancy Tribunal Orders on-line’ to see how many times that landlord has been involved in a hearing resulting in an Order of The Tribunal. Be wary though, this does not necessarily mean that the landlord behaves badly, most Orders of the Tenancy Tribunal are about rent arrears.

Contact Details

Tenants Protection Association (ChCh) Inc
Te Tōpū Tiaki-ā-Kainoho
Room 3, 301 Tuam Street, Christchurch 8011
Ph.(03) 379-2297

info [at] tpa [dot] org [dot] nz (subject: Enquiry%20from%20Website)