Decision 17: Labour takes the side of renters

Labour will ban letting fees, increase the notice period landlords have to give to kick tenants out and limit rent increases to once a year.

It'll also abolish "no cause" terminations of rental tenancies, and require homes to be "warm, dry and healthy for families to live in".

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern made the announcement at a home in Auckland on Sunday morning.

"For most people, renting used to be a short stage of their life before they bought a house and started a family. Now, it is becoming the norm."

Labour says renters' rights are "still designed around the assumption renting is a short-term arrangement for people without children".

The party says good landlords have nothing to worry about from the changes.

"Most landlords operate with integrity and seek to provide decent accommodation at a fair price. These reforms will not affect them.

"What they will do is stop exploitative behaviour by a minority that is blemishing the reputation of landlords as a whole."

Landlords will have to give tenants 90 days' notice to terminate a tenancy.

"Labour is committed to restoring the Kiwi dream of owning your own place. We also recognise that long-term renting has become a reality for more families, but the current law creates instability and insecurity for many," said Ms Ardern.

"It is not uncommon for renters to be forced to move as often as once a year. Families are living with a level of stress and anxiety, with often very little notice that they have to move on and find a home in a tough rental market.

"Cold, damp homes are also a huge problem. It's vital we improve the quality of rentals so our children no longer get sick or die from living in cold, damp and mouldy houses.

"We're going to fix this. We want our rental system to be fair, and take away stress for both tenants, and landlords."