Two Whanganui flatmates fear they will have to live in their cars with their pets as they struggle to find new rental accommodation.

Tracy Torrey and Andy McKay, "kindred spirits" in a platonic relationship, have lived in their Hinau St rental property for 10 years but that will come to an end on Friday, October 26.

"Our landlord died suddenly so our landlady is now his daughter who lives in Australia," Torrey said.

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"She is only 23 and is the most superb person you could ever meet. She has had to sell the house. It's all been a big strain on her.

"We have to be out on Friday. The land agent asked the new owner if they would give us an extension but we didn't get one.

"We've tried Housing New Zealand, private rentals, every land agent. We've never missed a rent payment in 10 years. We're looking for a long-term tenancy and Andy could do some work on the property. He's a painter and has painted nearly all of this house, inside and out."

Torrey, a former nurse, and McKay, pay $190 a week for the four-bedroom house which has a double garage and large section and say they cannot afford most of the rental properties available in Whanganui.

Complicating the search for somewhere to live are the elderly greyhound and six cats that help Torrey manage her depression and anxiety.

Investors seem to be buying up houses in Whanganui and doing them up and then renting them for $400 a week

"They're all old and can't be rehomed but they're not sick enough to be put down," Torrey said.

"We want somewhere long term and where we can have the animals with us. We would rather live in our vehicles than give up our animals if we can't find somewhere to go."

McKay said it had been a difficult time, with the death of Torrey's father Rangi Lockett after they had received 42 days' notice to vacate the property and the subsequent unsuccessful search for a new rental.

"Investors seem to be buying up houses in Whanganui and doing them up and then renting them for $400 a week," Torrey said.

"It seems to be targeting people on benefits and families - people who can't afford to buy their own houses."

Torrey, 57, and McKay, 61, have flatted together for 15 years and say going their separate ways is not an option. Both had health issues and relied on each other for support.

They hoped further discussions with Work and Income would help find a solution or that they could find someone willing to rent them a property.