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  • Zoe Mills

How to Survive the Renting Rat Race

Words by Maia Ingoe (she/her) and Zoe Mills (they/she) 


It’s that time of year again: hordes of freshers perform the annual ritual of scurrying to find a flat before the next academic year begins. The difficulty to even be offered a flat as a first-time renter has forced our news intern to accept a flat in the ditch of Devon Street in Aro Valley (pray for him). 


To save you from the same fate, we’ve put together our top tips on finding a flat. Hit up the VUWSA Advocates, Brie Keatley and Erica Schouten (advocate@vuwsa.org.nz), for more free advice and support. 


Make a flat CV 


Just like for a job application, put together a CV showcasing your flatting group. Print it out and bring it with you to viewings—it’s a sure way to prove you are interested, organised, and memorable. A good flat CV should have photos of everyone—not your drunk pics from Shady Lady though, thanks. Include your current occupation (Student or working? Full time or part time?) as well as any renting history. Include a phone number for references from the halls, as well as a character reference and employment reference. Property managed tenancies will likely need you to fill this info out on an online form, so it’s a good idea to have it organised before applying. 


Facebook is your bestie 


Act like a boomer and spend all your spare scrolling minutes on Facebook. TradeMe is good, but Facebook is where the most rentals are. Most flats have filled up all their viewing slots within minutes of being posted, so get in quick. Comment that you’ve messaged, so you don’t get lost in requests. 


Pin these groups to the top of your feed so that you don’t miss a post: Wellington - Rooms/Flats/Apartments/Flatmates, Flats and Rooms for Rent Wellington NZ, Flats & Flatmates - Wellington, Wellington Flatmates & Rentals, Flatmates Wanted Wellington, and of course, Vic Deals. There’s Facebook groups for all your specific needs, such as Wellington Pet Friendly Rentals, or Queer Housing Network NZ - Wellington. 

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