Quake residents not keen on some rentals

10:23 pm on 7 June 2011

Some earthquake-affected residents do not want to rent in eastern parts of Christchurch, even if undamaged properties are available.

The Department of Building and Housing is constructing temporary villages at a number of locations around Christchurch and the Waimakariri region for people to move into while their homes are repaired or rebuilt following February's quake.

Rental agents are questioning the need for the temporary villages when there are hundreds of empty rental properties. They say a quick check would have made it clear that most displaced people can be accommodated in the private market.

Professionals Kennard Real Estate says there is a large number of good quality rentals available, especially in the eastern and northern suburbs of Christchurch.

Managing director Philip Kennard says many landlords are happy to offer short-term leases when required and believes more research should have been done before going ahead with the temporary villages.

However, a group representing quake-affected residents says displaced people do not want to rent in badly-damaged parts of the city - even if the houses are available.

CANCERN spokesperson Leanne Curtis says just because rentals are available it does not mean they suit the needs of people forced out of their homes.

Ms Curtis says the best option would be to speed up the emergency repairs and allow people to stay in their own homes.

Maria Robertson from the Department of Building and Housing says its preference is to help people find homes in the private rental market.

However, landlords need to be upfront about any quake damage and be flexible about conditions, she says.