Renters in the Western Bay of Plenty are increasingly subletting rooms to help subsidise rapidly increasing rental prices.

In September, the average rent in Tauranga reached $440 according to Trade Me, a $190 increase from an average rent of $330 in 2012.

Katikati woman Jade Kohu, who is pregnant with her second child, said she, her partner and their toddler were sharing a house with her mother to reduce living costs.

"She can not afford a house by herself. She's on the pension, we can't afford a house by ourselves either, not when we are expecting another child.


"To be fair we have grazing with the property, we raise calves to sell, to try and earn some extra money."

Their rural Katikati 1950s brick home costs $480 per week.

After their year-long lease expires, she would move the whole family to either Manawatu or the South Island.

"Somewhere where we will be able to afford to save for a deposit. My mum is from Invercargill, houses are affordable there and my partner will get a job.

"Why stick around here paying into someone else's pocket? Paying that amount of rent plus all other bills, we will never own a house here.

"We need to do it for our kids, why set them up here when in 20 years time, when they want to buy a property, they won't be able to. May as well take them somewhere else while they're young so they can afford to get on the property ladder when they're older."

A Gate Pa renter, who did not want her name published, said she rented out one of the rooms in her three-bedroom home to help cover her bills.

With a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old and while studying part time, the $450 weekly rent was not affordable.


"I have a boarder. The landlord knows who lives here but I think he thinks the guy's my partner, but he's not," she told the Bay of Plenty Times.

He paid $200 a week towards the cost of the rental.

The 28-year-old said the boarder lived in a previous house with her as well.

Esther Atkins said her sister and her sister's fiance were renting a room in Mrs Atkins' five-bedroom The Lakes rental property.

They got the couple in to help with the cost of the $520 weekly rent. They paid $250 board which included food and utilities.

Tauranga Budget Advisory Service manager Diane Bruin said as rents have risen the service had a lot more people considering renting out a room to help support the household income.

"Sometimes this is other family members, however we don't recommend over-crowding as a result of what we have seen."

Mrs Bruin said rents were increasing faster than incomes and this was a real opportunity for additional income for the household when managed well.

Dan Lusby, owner of Tauranga Rentals, said when the agency placed a tenant in a property, they liked to know who would be living there.

"If we have a three-bedroom house, we don't want five adults living there. It's really important we get the numbers right."

Mr Lusby said if a couple moved into a three-bedroom home and the tenancy agreement said there should be no subletting, the tenants still could come to their property manager to ask permission.

"Generally we will check with the owners and they shouldn't have a problem with it. But if there is already four adults living in a three-bedroom house and they are asking for more, we will look long and hard at saying no to that."