People are "begging and pleading" for homes, while others are sharing properties with family or friends, as new figures show the average cost of renting in Rotorua has again jumped.
The cost, combined with a shortage of properties available, has seen renters struggling to find rentals in Rotorua, according to real estate agents.
Latest figures from the Trade Me rental price index show the average cost of renting in Rotorua in February was $320 a week compared to $300 at the same time last year, and up significantly on February 2014 when it was just $255.
Simon Anderson, chief executive of Realty Services which operates Eves and Bayleys, said there was "definitely a genuine shortage" of properties.
He said his agencies had about half the normal number of properties available and while there was new stock coming on to the market, it wasn't enough.
Mr Anderson said the increase in prices wasn't a surprise, and was driven by the market demand as well as an increase in property values which was leading investors to "protect their yield" and increase rents.
"It's obviously pretty good for the owner but not so good for the tenant."
Professionals McDowell Real Estate business development manager Stephanie Trainer said they had a huge shortage of three-bedroom plus properties.
She said those in the $200 - $350 price range was where they were seeing the biggest turnouts of potential renters.
Ms Trainer said because of values going up, and the demand, many landlords were requesting rent appraisals and reconsidering what they were charging.
"There is definitely still a huge shortage and we are still getting the CV and the whole life history of people applying, and people begging and pleading and you can only pick one."
She said landlords could now be pickier and it was becoming harder for those who had black marks against their name.
"An owner is much rather going to have someone who has paid their rent on time every time."
LJ Hooker Rotorua principal Malcolm Forsyth said it continued to be tough finding a rental in Rotorua.
Mr Forsyth said they were getting lots of inquiries and viewings on the properties they had available.
Not only was it difficult to find properties, but it was difficult for some people to pay the rents, he said.
"With rent prices going up that is on top of everything else that is going up and that is what is becoming more difficult.
"We have more people looking at what the options are, whether it's bunking in with others or staying at home a bit longer."
LJ Hooker had 10 properties available at the moment, but only three were under $300, he said.
Mr Forsyth said they carried out extensive checks and people who had made mistakes in the past were finding it much tougher to get properties.
"You have to keep the slate clean."
10 tips to help you get a rental
1.Bring along some form of photo ID.
2.Bring written copies of any references, (past landlords or employers) or credit files.
3.Fill in the application form on site, or ask for a copy and complete it before arriving.
4.Arrive early or on time.
5.Be well presented, clean and tidy.
6. Make sure your car is clean (many landlords will look at your car to see whether you are likely to keep a tidy house).
7. Stand out from the crowd.
8. Make sure your current rental looks tidy from the street. After a viewing landlords may do a drive by to see how you look after your current rental.
9. Keep any children or friends under control during your inspection of the home.
10. Talk to the property manager or landlord when you hand in your application - tell them why the should choose you.
Source: Debbie Van Den Broek, co-owner of Rent Assured Rotorua