AM hosts slam renters group's list of demands including drastic rent reductions, winter eviction ban

Calls for drastic changes to rental rules have been met with criticism from AM hosts on Thursday. 

Tenants Action Wellington is planning a protest outside property management company Quinovic's Kent Tce office on Thursday, claiming the company is profiting from the housing crisis.

The group is calling for Quinovic to implement a list of 10 demands aimed at improving conditions for the more than a third of Kiwis who are tenants. The demands include landlords providing evidence they are addressing repairs one week after being notified by tenants, all rents being permanently lowered to 25 percent of the lowest benefit, a minimum tenancy of five years with tenants able to exit earlier, abolishing flat inspections, one year notice before selling or reoccupying the house, a ban on evictions during winter months and emergencies and pets being allowed in all flats.  

Speaking with AM on Thursday, Anne Campbell from Tenants Action Wellington said the changes would ensure rental properties are up to scratch. 

"I think we are expecting a borderline base of ethics of making sure your product is safe. 

"We know in New Zealand every year people get sick and sometimes die from their rental properties which they are paying often half of their income. I really don't think it's too much to ask that people don't do that."

Campbell said cars require a regular warrant of fitnesses so it's not unreasonable to expect rental properties are properly maintained 

"If people want to be providing a good and service… I think they need to step up and actually do it."

While AM host Melissa Chan-Green said she could understand landlords being expected to maintain their properties, some of the group's more extreme demands caught her by surprise. 

"End evictions during winter but not only during winter during national disasters or pandemics? That's basically saying you can't evict someone at all this year," Chan-Green pointed out.  

But Campbell said similar clauses were already in effect in places such as France.

"So are you saying… if you're a landlord somebody can be in your house, tear it up and you can't get them out until the weather gets warmer?" Chan-Green asked.

"Well yes," Campbell responded. "In France, there are exceptions where you can have evictions in case of threats of violence or major property destruction but not for rent arrears…"

Chan-Green interrupted: "So someone can literally be destroying your house and, not only do you say you can't evict them during the cold months, but they have to have a minimum tenancy length of five years so you might have to wait five years?

"Landlords have to provide 365 days' notice before selling or reoccupying the house. So if you come into financial hardship yourself as a landlord and you want to sell your house you have to give a year's notice?" Chan-Green questioned. 

"Yes, I think this is the risk of making an investment," Campbell responded. "I think we have this completely screwed up view of property being more important than people.

"We are talking about people's lives. If you evict them during the cold winter months, maybe they've destroyed your property but you might be literally condemning them to death. 

"I mean what kind of evaluation is that?"

"There are other places they can go," Chan-Green pointed out. 

And Chan-Green wasn't alone in questioning the demands. After the interview, AM co-host Ryan Bridge and newsreader Bernadine Oliver-Kerby also took issue with them. 

"One of the demands is landlords not entering the property without notice, that seems totally reasonable to me. Flat inspections abolished? No, I think you have to be able to go in and check everything," Chan-Green said. 

The hosts also backed landlords providing evidence they are fixing issues but they were less supportive of the eviction bans, no references and abolishing bonds. 

"That just seems like it's overreaching, doesn't it?" Chan-Green asked.

"A little unreasonable," Bridge agreed. While Oliver-Kerby said it was "unrealistic and a little bit greedy if I am honest". 

Quinovic meanwhile said it hasn't been contacted by the group about the protest and only found out about it through the media. 

"As property managers, we do not make the tenancy laws but we are required to abide by them along with property owners and tenants," CEO Grant Sheridan told Newshub. 

"The '10 demands' set down by protest organisers would in general either require changes to current tenancy laws or the introduction of new legislation at a Government level.

"We care about our tenants and the property owners who trust us to manage their homes. We agree that an ongoing, constructive debate about both social and commercial housing regulations, availability of homes and housing affordability in New Zealand is needed."

Sheridan said Quinovic welcomes the opportunity to be part of that conversation. 

"We are in support of regulatory reforms and have been involved in recent submissions to regulate the property management industry."

Here's the full list of the group's demands 


  1. All rent prices are permanently lowered to 25 percent of the lowest benefit.
  2. Landlords must provide evidence they're addressing repairs, including accessibility issues, within one week of being notified by tenants.
  3. Tenants in substandard housing must be appropriately relocated at the landlord's expense during major repairs or renovations.
  4. Minimum tenancy length is five years. Tenants may exit at will.
  5. A permanent end to evictions during cold weather months (May to September), holiday periods, and emergencies such as natural disasters or pandemics.
  6. Abolish bond and all substitutes. Hand back all bonds from landlord to tenant regardless of contract. Costs of repairing any damages will be covered by existing rent payments.
  7. Pets are allowed in all flats, including dogs.
  8. No entering the property uninvited AT ALL. Flat inspections are abolished.
  9. Landlords cannot ask prospective tenants for credit checks, employment history or any other references.
  10.  Landlords must provide 365 days’ notice before selling or reoccupying the house.