Rents on Christchurch properties may increase as demand far exceeds supply, according to the Real Estate Institute.
At least 2000 residential properties are uninhabitable following a 7.1-magnitude earthquake which hit Canterbury on 4 September.
The institute's Christchurch director says there was a slight surplus of rental properties in the South Island city before the quake, but that has dramatically changed and prospective tenants need to act quickly.
David Rankin says while some landlords may ask for more rent, the situation is likely to balance out reasonably quickly once people are able to return to repaired homes.
Mr Rankin says he hopes real estate agents letting properties act responsibly but the decision on rent is dictated by the property owner.
Real estate agents say at the moment bans on pets, which are common in tenancy agreements, are being waived.