Landlords rejecting families in favour of childless couples - report

Landlords in Tauranga have reportedly been refusing to let to families with children.

Property management professionals told the Bay of Plenty Times some landlords don't want to have to deal with the wear-and-tear kids can cause.

Dan Lusby of property agency Tauranga Rentals said he's heard from 10 landlords in the last week who did not want children living in their properties.  

"They all said they wanted a professional couple with no kids, with three people at the most living in the house - due to wear and tear," he said.

Tauranga Property Investors Association president Juli Tolley told the Bay of Plenty Times most landlords have safety reasons for declining children, but sometimes they do have preconceived ideas about the damage kids can cause.

She said landlords should always make it clear in a listing if children are not suitable for the living space.

The Human Rights Commission says landlord and property managers cannot discriminate based on having children, and it's up to parents to decide if the property is unsuitable.

"Applicants should be allowed to make their own decision on whether a steep drive or a busy road might be an issue rather than an agent ruling them out because of the makeup of their family or their age," the commission says on its website.

Also, criteria for an ideal tenant should focus on personal qualities like reliability, not stereotypes or preconceived ideas.

"Vague images such as 'professional couple' may run the risk of being discriminatory on the grounds of employment and marital status," the commission's website says.

"You should outline the actual qualities you would prefer, rather than make assumptions based on stereotypes.

"The Human Rights Act also makes it unlawful to advertise in a way that demonstrates an intention to discriminate on any of the prohibited grounds."

On Friday Statistics NZ revealed rents have gone up more than twice the rate of inflation over the past year.