UPDATED 7.06PM: A property manager says the warning signs of Christchurch becoming a renter's market were there 18 months ago.
Landlords are having to drop their rents, and some are even offering free rent for the first week - with an oversupply of houses on the market.
Brazier's Property Management owner Tony Brazier said houses in new subdivisions are being bought as rentals - and that's having a filter down effect right through the market.
LISTEN ABOVE: Tony Brazier speaks with Rachel Smalley
"Coming down from that, if you're [looking for] a two bedroom flat and you can actually get a three bedroom house for the same price, then that's what happens.
Brazier believes it's a much fairer market now - with landlords having to provide better maintained, warmer and dryer homes as they compete for tenants.
He said already landlords are struggling to keep up with things like insulation, and that will get harder later on down the track.
With rents dropping around the city, it could all prove too much.
"If they haven't kept up through the years then the costs of having to catch up may be too much for some of them."
"That's what we have to be careful of, is that the landlords actually do provide a very good service."
However, a rental housing warrant of fitness is one of the top priorities for a group aiming to become the majority party at Christchurch City Council.
The People's Choice launched its campaign policies yesterday afternoon.
Among the numerous pledges are vows to oppose state asset sales, encourage Maori and Pasifika economic development, and affordable housing.
Peoples Choice party caucus leader Andrew Turner said he knows of rental properties that are damp and cold, and this is a way of addressing it.
"A rental register is one way that we can know what properties that are out there that are rented, and what we'd then see is moving towards a rental warrant of fitness."
Andrew Turner said that will require cooperation between local councils and the government.