Renter given notice during lockdown as landlord ignores 'be kind' message

Source: 1News

The Government has been asking landlords to “be kind” to renters this lockdown, but little is being done to ensure they follow that advice. 

In the Level 4 lockdown at the start of the pandemic in 2020 renters were protected by a rent freeze and eviction ban.

However, little has been done to ensure landlords live up to the Government’s “be kind” motto without the same protections in place. 

Waikanae renter Tanya Lees - a single mother - was given two months to move out and find a new home after her landlord sent her an email last week.

“You feel like you’re sitting on your hands, a week’s gone by already, and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

She noted that under heavy Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, it would make finding a new place to rent close to “impossible”. 

“You can’t rent anything, you can’t rent a truck and if you ask anyone to help you, you’ll be breaking somebody else’s bubble.”

In the past week, Lees says there’s only been three homes listed on Trade Me for her area. 

All were over $600 in rent per week, with no pets allowed. 

With no certainty on when the country’s Delta variant outbreak will ease, she’s already “preparing for the worst".

“I’ll probably have no choice but to put everything in storage, which will mean putting everything in the back of the Honda.”

Renters United has seen several landlords issuing eviction notices despite the Government urging Kiwis to be kind during this lockdown.

Union spokesperson Geordie Rodgers wants permanent rules enforced so that renters aren’t kicked out during lockdowns.

He said that renters should have some certainty about know when Covid-19 outbreaks happen that they won’t have to face the risk of having to move out. 

“Renters are no different to homeowners; if you’re doing your bit as a team of five million, you should be able to stay in your bubble and keep your home.”

Tanya Lees has just over 60 days to move, despite lockdown restrictions making it near "impossible".

Rodgers also noted that renters couldn’t be forced to submit to a virtual viewing by their landlords under lockdown either.