What would a hero be without his nemesis? Batman without his Joker?
Superman without his Lex Luthor? Tenant without their landlord?
Or more fittingly, a landlord without their tenant.
But in this scenario – who is the protagonist and who is the antagonist?
If you ask some landlords, it is the tenants who are the villains. They are loud, they don't pay their rent on time, or at all, they have destructive parties/children/pets/hobbies.
They can be abusive, belligerent, combative, filthy – we've all heard the horror stories.
On the other hand, some tenants will tell you their own nightmares. They may say some landlords don't maintain their properties to a decent standard – houses are cold, damp, mouldy or badly in need of repairs. They charge too much, have been known to instigate bidding wars between prospective tenants, no pets, no groups, young professionals only - you know the drill.
They can evict people. However, in February, a 90-day notice rule comes into force, which means a landlord cannot ask a tenant to leave without reason. But a "reason" could mean they intend to sell, move in themselves or have family members move in.
Tenants are always living in limbo - your home is not yours if you are renting, which makes it hard for people to feel settled.
But this new rule does not give landlords much wriggle-room. They are complaining it would be "impossible" to remove bad tenants.
I feel for them – the good ones – they just want to protect their investment.
We reported this week that in Rotorua landlords lodged 532 grievances with the Tenancy Tribunal in 2019. In Tauranga, 575 complaints were lodged.
That's a lot of raruraru.
Rotorua Property Investors Association president Debbie Van Den Broek says it took her almost 12 months to evict a tenant who was abusing neighbours.
The ordeal played out in the Tenancy Tribunal, the district court and the high court.
But luckily Van Den Broek had her ducks in a row and was able to provide evidence that led to the eviction.
Twelve months is such a long time – and that's when you're prepared to fight. Was the rent being paid during that time? Landlords risk so much when they try to evict tenants from their properties.
While the new tenancy laws go some way to keeping people housed for longer - which is why, I suspect, the changes were made - there must be an equal weighting.
Landlords must feel they have the tools at hand to get rid of bad apples, and quickly.
The landlord-tenant relationship need not be combative, in fact, it should be symbiotic, to the benefit of both parties.
I'll give you somewhere decent and affordable to live and you protect my investment.
If only it were that easy.