Landlords who hiked rents in the wake of last month's Christchurch earthquake are just "looting by another name", according to Mayor Bob Parker.

There have been reports that some rents have risen 150 per cent in a city where many have been left homeless by the magnitude 6.3 quake on February 22.

"I think that's looting by another name. I just think that's appalling," Mr Parker told TVNZ this morning.

"Sure, there will be market moves and shifts, but there are clearly cases of people ramping up rents to an unnecessarily high degree. It's destructive to our community and ultimately it's destructive to those people who engage in activities of that nature."

Mr Parker said there was not much the council could do about it but the Government might be able to look at some form of control though even that could create new distortions.

"The first appeal is just to the people who are doing it. Come on, you're in our community, This is looting by another name. You can't put this in a polite way. It shouldn't be happening. We're not going to get through this if people take that approach."

Meanwhile Chrischurch residents fleeing the city are expected to push up rental prices in other cities.

David Whitburn, president of the Auckland Property Investors' Association, and Andrew King, vice-president of the NZ Property Investors Federation, predict Auckland rents will increase by $100 to $150 a week in the next year.

About 10,000 Christchurch people are thought to have moved to Auckland so far.

- NZPA, NZ Herald staff