Canterbury university students are outraged after the local residents association chair said student accommodation was turning the area into a slum.
Ilam is one of the city's wealthier suburbs and home to the University of Canterbury campus but Ilam and Upper Riccarton Residents Association's chair Phil McGoldrick, a real estate auctioneer, has said the state of student accommodation was turning the area into a slum.
Mr Goldrick said the area his family had lived in for 17 years had deteriorated recently.
"If we are not careful as residents in this area ... the area around the university could well start looking like the area around the university in Dunedin ... that is almost slum-like."
"I think you've got your head in the sand if you don't accept that. The area around the university in Dunedin is hardly desirable as a Christchurch perspective, or this area's perspective anyway."
Mr McGoldrick said landlords were partially responsible and needed to set higher standards for student tenants.
University of Canterbury student Josiah Tualamali'i called the comparison unfair.
"Actually likening our community to the mess you see in Dunedin is completely misguided," he said.
Mr Tualamali'i said it was not fair the residents association had made the slum comparison without first talking to students.
Mr McGoldrick said there was no youth representative in the residents association.
RNZ spoke to a landlord who asked to remain anonymous, due to fears of repercussion from his neighbours.
He employed a gardener to look after his property, which was rented by young adults, yet neighbours had complained about his property several times, demanded his phone number and pestered his tenants.
He said they were mainly concerned about how the street front looked.
"The type of grass seed is a major concern, and the type of plantings and rose bushes you should have."
"These are very big issues in Ilam and neighbours aren't afraid to come and tell you."
He said there was a palpable generational divide in the suburb.
Student association president James Addington said there was little contact between himself and the residents association.
He said having more student representatives in community groups could help solve any issues between older residents and students.
"The more we have, the more we can help with those relationships and social cohesion," he said.