Rent in advance

If you’re moving into a private rental and don’t have enough money to pay rent in advance, we may be able to help.

You can only get a Rent in advance payment if you are not able to get an Advance Payment of Benefit or a Recoverable Assistance Payment to cover this cost.

  • Who can get it

    You may be able to get a Rent in Advance payment if you:

    • are in social housing, on the social housing register or have contacted us about your housing need, and
    • have a better chance of affording and managing long term in a private house with this help, and
    • are entering a tenancy that requires a rent in advance payment, and
    • are not able to get an Advance Payment of Benefit or a Recoverable Assistance Payment to cover this cost.

    We'll also take into account other factors, such as:

    • your situation
    • if this is the best help for you
    • what other help is available to you
    • if this payment would help you move into private housing.

    Residency

    You also need to meet one of these residency criteria:

    • you're a New Zealand citizen
    • you have a resident visa or permanent resident visa and have lived in New Zealand continuously for at least 2 years since getting it
    • you're recognised as a refugee by Immigration New Zealand
    • you're recognised as a protected person by Immigration New Zealand
    • you're getting a main benefit from us (eg, Jobseeker Support), or
    • you fit into one of these categories:
      • you have a Christchurch Response Visa
      • you get Christchurch Mosque Attack Assistance, or
      • you get a Special Needs Grant because you came to New Zealand on a temporary visa to be with your New Zealand partner and your relationship ended due to domestic violence.

    Income and assets

    Getting a Rent in Advance payment also depends on:

    • how much you and your partner earn
    • any money or assets you and your partner have.

    Income limits

    If you get NZ Super or Veteran's Pension from Work and Income, your income needs to be under these limits:

    If you're:

    Weekly income (before tax) is less than:

    Single

    $591.20

    Couple (with or without children)

    $858.72

    Sole parent 1 child

    $717.40

    Sole parent 2+ children

    $755.82


    Otherwise, your income needs to be under these limits:

    If you're:

    Weekly income (before tax) is less than:

    Single

    $1,190

    Couple (without children)

    $1,691

    Couple (with children)

    $2,011

    Sole parent 1 child

    $1,653

    Sole parent 2+ children

    $1,933

    Asset limits

    Assets include money in the bank, or things like a caravan or second property. Assets do not include the things you need for day-to-day living, like the home where you live or your car.

    If you're:

    Your assets are worth less than:

    Single

    $8,100

    A couple (with or without children) or sole parent

    $16,200

  • What you can get

    We can pay up to the lesser amount of either:

    • 2 weeks of rent, or
    • $1,000.

    You don’t have to pay this money back.

    You can only get one Rent in advance payment over 12 months.

  • How to apply

    Step 1 - Call us

    Call us on 0800 559 009

    If you get NZ Super or Veteran's Pension, call Senior Services on 0800 552 002

    Step 2 - Go to an appointment

    We’ll book you an appointment either to come in and see us, or a phone appointment.

    You need to provide proof of the amount of the rent in advance, like a tenancy agreement or letter signed by the landlord.

    We’ll also ask you to sign a ‘Hardship Application Summary’ form.

  • What happens next

    If your application is approved, we'll pay the rent in advance directly to your landlord.

    We’ll check if your landlord’s already a supplier with us. If they’re not, we’ll ask them to sign a ‘Supplier Payment Authorisation form’.