Four kids and living in a tent due to rising rental prices in South Taranaki

Kelly Smith*, her partner and four kids were lined up for a rental property closer to work and school but the home owner pulled out at the last minute, leaving the family homeless and living day to day in a tent on the back of a relatives property.

Their baby was only 5 months old at the time and that was seven months ago but the family still doesn’t have a permanent place to call home.

With all their belongings in storage, the Smith* family are feeling the rental drought and the ability to afford a warm, suitable home is becoming impossible with rising rent costs.

We have searched everywhere for an available rental with no such luck. Prices are sky high that seriously how can family’s survive.


Selwyn Metcalfe, property manager, Remmy Borrie said there’s multiple reasons South Taranaki is experiencing a shortage and she believes its partially because of the changes made by both the previous and current governments.

She said the sale of state housing and and the changes to legislation have a big part to play in the scheme of things. The changing of the banks lending criteria has also affected the market.

There’s been an influx of people to the district as it attracts those looking for cheaper and easier living.

Some years ago we had a number of foreign and local investors purchasing 2-3 rental properties at a time so there was always something new coming up to rent, she said.

Now with the higher bank deposit of 30% being required for investors it has become more difficult to purchase in the rental market.

Borrie says they have a large number of good tenants living in good homes and the owners are happy to undertake regular maintenance and keep up with regulations with only small rent increases.

I have some landlords that have not increased the rent in many years in fear of losing their good tenants .

There are also many owners that treat the investment game like a business and provide good quality homes at relevant market rent and will only take on good quality tenants.

This is how we approach our business because if we have quality owners with quality properties we have quality tenants and less issues she said.

For any property that Selwyn Metcalfe Real Estate have listed under $300 per week, they are dealing with 10-15 applicants.

I have been in this industry for eight years and have seen the changes and it is difficult for tenants, however many tenants are homeless for a reason, she said and that is something that the Government needs to be addressing rather than the average property investor.

South Taranaki Digest would like to hear from anyone that may be currently seeking a rental property to discuss the difficulties they’ve faced. Please email us at

*Names changed for anonymity

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