Northland residents struggling to find rental accommodation believe landlords are turfing them out ahead of new tenancy laws that come into effect next month.
One Whangārei resident recently received 90 days' notice from her landlord after living in the house for 10 years.
She has until April 12 to find a place, but the soaring cost of rentals and a lack of available houses is making it difficult.
The heavy machine operator, who doesn't want to be named, believes laws that come into effect on February 11 could be to blame.
Her neighbour also recently received notice and she's spoken with several others in the same boat.
The changes to the Residential Tenancies Agreement Act – the biggest tenancy law overhaul in 35 years - were passed by the previous coalition Government in a bid to strengthen the rights of renters.
The woman said she doesn't blame her landlord and respects their decision. She realises they could easily get $550 a week for the house once it's renovated.
"I can understand they want us out; they want to renovate and put the rent up," the woman said.
"I've got no qualms about it, that's their decision, it's their house.
"But I also think it's ironic so many people, after I put up the [social media] post, have commented saying 'I've got notice too'."
The woman pays $300 a week for the three-bedroom home, which she shares with her daughter, son and their partners, all aged between 16 and 21. She also has two dogs and a cat.
She can't afford to buy a house and she has a bad credit rating from a previous relationship. Her kids have only just started working.
"It's just after Christmas, I don't have any money, where am I going to get $3500 to get a deposit?"
She posted her plight on House Rentals Whangārei Facebook page asking for help to find a new place.
John Moriaty, from Whangārei, commented that he was given notice recently after living in his rental for 12 years, and another resident said he was given notice about a month ago.
The new changes mean landlords can't terminate a tenancy without specific legal grounds, whereas previously landlords didn't need to give a reason.
These now include the sale of a property, the landlord or their family moving in, or a tenant's anti-social behaviour.
Rent can now only rise every year, not every six months, and landlords must give 90 days' notice to sell instead of 42.
Tenancy Tribunal fines will rise from $50,000 to $100,000.
According to Tenancy Services, the median rent in central Whangārei suburbs is between $470 and $530.
Residents can expect to shell out around $450 a week for a rental in Kerikeri, $348 in Kaikohe, $340 in Paihia, $495 in Waipu, $365 in Dargaville and $330 in Kaitaia.
The New Zealand Property Investors' Federation has 19 property investor associations throughout the country including one in Northland.
Chief executive Sharon Cullwick said the main changes are around how difficult it will be for landlords to remove tenants.
This means landlords will be "very choosy" about who they put into the property, she said.
"Marginal tenants" - who may be out of work, solo parents, young people and those with a bad credit history - will find it really tough, she said.
This could lead to an increase in the need for emergency and state housing.
"They will find it very hard to find a rental," Cullwick said.
"It will make it really hard for these people.
"Marginal tenants won't be able to find a place to rent because no landlord will want to take the risk because they'll find it harder to remove them from the property."
But Cullwick said the law change won't necessarily put people off becoming landlords.
With a combination of low interest rates and overseas holidays being out of bounds because of Covid-19 restrictions, a new wave of people was coming into the property investor market, she said.
"But long term that will change.
"If things go wrong or the economy changes, those people who have one investment property will exit the market."