A woman who was served an eviction notice for putting an iron bath outside her Auckland home successfully overturned the order in the Tenancy Tribunal.
But just days later the landlord served her with a second notice, forcing her from her Royal Oak rental about a week before Christmas.
Pipi Reisch, 55, has spoken to the Herald to highlight the power imbalance and uncertainty faced by thousands of Kiwi renters.
"Being a tenant is pretty precarious at the best of times. You don't have any stability, which always leaves you feeling quite anxious."
Her comments come a day after the Government unveiled a suite of measures to give tenants more rights and security of tenure.
The reforms will ban landlords from issuing no-cause 90-day eviction notices, limit rent increases to once a year and ban prospective tenants from bidding for rents and driving up prices.
Landlords say the changes will make it harder to evict anti-social tenants and punish anyone living next door.
Reisch said she had been living at her one-bedroom Royal Oak home for about a year in 2009 when she decided to create an outdoor garden area featuring shell pathway, planting and an iron bath.
But her landlord arrived on the property unannounced and told her the work looked like a "junk yard", ordering her to remove it.
"I told him to bugger off and make an appointment in 48 hours to discuss it."
Two days later she received a 90-day eviction notice, she said. But she challenged this in the Tenancy Tribunal, providing before and after photos of her outdoor garden area, and successfully overturning her eviction.
"Luckily the adjudicator said I had done a lovely job and could I come around and do it at her place."
However, the victory was short lived. Just days later Reisch said she received another eviction notice, this one claiming the landlord now needed the property for his family.
The notice period was just days before Christmas.
Reisch said she burst into tears, due to the financial stress of being forced to move again and find a new home in the lead up to the holidays.
She considered challenging the second notice as retaliatory, but couldn't face another mediation process and gave up.
"Just the idea of having to move again because of the vagaries of a landlord did me in emotionally.
"Often with tenants, if they're having a problem with their landlord they just get out.
"You find a new place, you move in and you say, 'I just want to get rid of all that bad stuff'."
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Reisch welcomed the new tenancy reforms, especially allowing tenants to make minor alterations to properties and banning rent bidding - a "terrible practice" which was driven by desperation to secure a home.
Property Investors Federation president Andrew King said 90-day notices were not used often by landlords, but were an important tool to get rid of bad tenants.
"We know that most tenants are really good but some are not.
"It's being portrayed that we are somehow kicking people out for no reason. There are always reasons."
He welcomed rules allowing tenants to add smoke alarms and fittings to ensure properties were earthquake and baby safe, provided they were removed when the tenancy ended.
Real Estate Institute chief Bindi Norwell said she broadly backed the reforms package, which would help make the rental market fairer for tenants.
"The difference between a house and a home is the ability for tenants to make changes to their rental property such as adding a dishwasher, washing machine or curtains. Of particular importance is the ability for tenants to make changes in relation to health and safety issues such as adding brackets to secure furniture against earthquake risk, baby proofing a property or adding visual fire alarms."
But changes to the 90-day notice could incur new costs, and deter landlords from leasing out their investment properties, Norwell said.