Call for clearer tenancy laws post-quake

7:37 pm on 22 March 2011

Calls are being made for clearer tenancy laws following a devastating earthquake in Christchurch.

Some renters are having disagreements with landlords about whether their homes are badly enough damaged to allow them to get out of their tenancy agreements without losing out financially.

Jasmine, who does not want to reveal her surname, has been paying full rent since the quake on 22 February, but is staying in a hotel because she does not feel safe at home.

The Tenants Protection Association says it is getting many calls from people who can not come to an agreement with their landlord.

Under the Residential Tenancies Act, a person can end a tenancy quickly if the place is uninhabitable.

But Kevin Campbell from Community Law Canterbury says people have different views of what makes a property uninhabitable, so clarification of the term is needed.