Tenants will live better than landlords if law changes - property manager group

New law changes could mean tenants get better houses than landlords themselves live in.

That's according to Stop the War on Tenancies, a group set up by property managers to oppose the Government's proposed changes to the rules around rental properties.

Spokesman Mike Butler told Stuff they mean renters' properties could end up being better than some home owner's houses.

"It's weird. The worst property I've ever seen was an owner-occupied one," he says.

The Government has opened consultation for new standards on rental homes, including a suggestion to make landlords provide an "appropriate heating device" inside rooms rented as bedrooms.

Current standards only require them to provide heating inside the main living room.

The Government is also working on revamping the Residential Tenancies Act, to give tenants more rights.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford says the new measures would allow families living in rental homes to be happier and healthier.

"Many rental homes are cold, damp, and mouldy which can contribute to a range of health issues including respiratory conditions, toxic reactions and allergies," he said.

"Such illnesses can affect people's employment and economic opportunities because they have to take more sick days, and affect children's educational outcomes because they are off school more."

But National Party leader Simon Bridges told The AM Show that while the changes are well-intentioned, they will ultimately hurt renters.

"The Government has already done a bunch of well-meaning things in terms of healthy things, taxes and the like on landlord," he explained.

"What do the landlords do? I'll tell you what they do - they pass the cost on to the poor old renter.

"So by being kind, they're being cruel."

Andrew King, head of the Property Investors Federation, agrees, saying tenants should be responsible.

"There are many reasons for a damp, mouldy home, and tenants should also be responsible for using heating, ventilating the property and adequately cleaning," he says.

"Landlords providing portable heaters in bedrooms is not cost-effective, removes choice for tenants and there is a real possibility for them to go missing."