To determine how much rent you can charge for your property, you will need to assess the market rent - in other words, how much money similar properties in your area are renting for.
A good place to start is to carry out some research online. It is important to pay attention to the requested prices, as well as how long the properties stay on the market at those rates. Your local LJ Hooker agent can provide you with plenty of useful information on comparative rentals in the area.
In New Zealand, standard lease periods are generally either six or 12 months. While longer lease terms are possible, you are likely to find a smaller number of tenants who are willing to commit to this time.
You may wish to speak to your LJ Hooker agent about the different advantages of each lease length and help you determine how to maximise your return most effectively.
Current rent rates must remain in place for the remainder of the lease term - but if you then want to increase the rent, you should give your tenant the required notice that you intend to change their rates at the end of their current lease.
If you are outside of New Zealand for more than 21 days, an agent must be appointed.