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Tauranga mum unable to find rental says she's being discriminated against over her children

A Tauranga mother of four says she will be homeless in several weeks and claims she's being discriminated against in the rental market because she has children.

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Rental agencies in the city say finding a home is the hardest it's been in decades and tenancy reforms are compounding the issue. Source: 1 NEWS

Rental agencies in the city say finding a home is the hardest it's been in decades and tenancy reforms are compounding the issue.

"I've had moments where I've felt I've failed as mother because I couldn't provide a roof over my children’s head,” Stephanie Peeni said.

She says she has good references and is willing to pay $750 a week but while applying for numerous properties over the last few weeks, she was shocked to discover an email from an agent.

"The email said, 'Sorry, your application was unsuccessful. They don't want a family’ and I just cried."

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Tauranga Rentals owner Dan Lusby has helped thousands of people into new homes, but he says he's never seen the competition this bad.

"We've probably only had half a dozen properties available, two are gone - the rest will be gone by tomorrow afternoon so very hard for tenants finding places," he said.

He says the Government's new tenancy rules - which eliminated 90-day 'no cause' evictions - could lead to landlords cherry picking the perfect tenant.

“There's a lot out there that are struggling and they're not given a chance where they deserve a chance,” Lusby said.

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Renters United’s Georgie Rogers says with the current climate, landlords “have been handed the power to be extremely picky about who they choose”.

“Unfortunately, that does lead to discrimination and it's something that we shouldn't see in something like an essential service as housing,” Rogers said.

Peeni says she’s received hundreds of messages from people with similar stories after sharing her story online.

“I never thought I'd be in this situation,” she said.