Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's warning to landlords playing hardball with tenants amid COVID-19 lockdown

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has condemned landlords who are attempting to evict their tenants amid the coronavirus lockdown.

In a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Ardern spoke out against property management companies playing hardball with vulnerable tenants.

When asked by Newshub about reports of some landlords threatening to kick tenants out after the lockdown, Ardern had her own question.

"Can you pass on the names?" she asked.

"Ultimately we are changing the law here to ensure people act compassionately and respond to the environment we're in," she said.

Ardern added she knew of plenty of stories of landlords who had gone above and beyond to keep their tenants safe in extraordinary times, but admitted this may not always be the case.

"When they are acting outside the law I want to know about it."

The warning follows reports of multiple property management companies telling their tenants they will have a zero tolerance policy for late rent throughout the lockdown period. 

The Government has previously announced a total freeze on rent increases for the next three months and has made it illegal to evict tenants while the lockdown is in place.