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COVID-19: Changes to viewings and open homes during Alert Level 3

Photo by Kelly Lacy from Pexels

New Zealand has now moved to Level 3 – an alert level the country will be at for at least two more weeks. The Government has provided further guidance about current restrictions on open homes and face-to-face viewings.

NZ rental market is making a come back with plenty of properties and interest from the tenants. So we're back, and it's business as usual.. just with some additional precautions.

Open homes where multiple people view a property are unfortunately not allowed during the Alert Level 3 but the individual rental viewings can now be organised with necessary precautions developed by the Real Estate Authority to minimise exposure to, and the spread of, COVID-19.

Important information about viewings:

  • It is recommended where possible to use virtual methods of inspections instead of visiting the property. The expectation is that viewings should be carried out remotely in most cases.

  • If the property is currently tenanted, landlords should seek approval from the tenants and viewings can only occur when the tenants are not on the property.

  • Viewings should be limited to two per day to minimise the impact on the tenants and to allow time to clean all surfaces between viewings.


What you should do BEFORE organising a viewing:

  • As you're only allowed two in-person viewings per day, select people who are suitable and serious about the rental for the viewings.

  • Ask your applicants to complete an online application to rent the property before viewing it. This can be a great help for landlords as it gives them a huge amount of additional information to select who views the property and what follow up questions are required before the viewing. It also saves unsuitable applicants' time by not having to attend a viewing.

If your property is currently advertised on myRent, simply ask your tenants to complete an online application form available on your property listing page.

  • Get permission from your current tenants to schedule the viewing.

  • Arrange for the time when they're not at the property to conduct it.

  • Pre-register prospective tenants for private viewings. They must supply full contact details for possible COVID-19 contact tracing.

  • Ask everyone attending a viewing as well tenants currently living at the property if they have been overseas during the past two weeks, been in contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case or feel unwell.

  • Ask for no more than two people (who must be from the same extended bubble) to attend the viewing.

  • People at high risk of COVID-19 (for example people over 70), shouldn't attend a private viewing and private viewings should not take place in homes where the occupants are at high-risk.

Remember that prospective tenants cannot travel between regions for a private viewing.

  • Spread out your viewings throughout the day to limit the possibility of people crossing paths and crowding at the property.

If you're planning to use professional services (for example, photographers, videographers or home stagers), you still must comply with the health requirements. If the property is tenanted, the tenants' approval is required. It is recommended that the tenants are not present when the professionals visit.


What you should do DURING a viewing:

  • Ask people not to touch things. Where necessary, open kitchen cupboards, laundry doors before the viewing to minimise the touching of surfaces. Only landlords should be touching doors and surfaces in the home.

  • Ask the viewers to remove shoes at the door.

  • Use hand sanitiser and ask people to use it before and after the viewing.

  • Don't shake hands

  • Ensure you keep a respectful distance from each other to maintain a required 2-metre physical distancing

  • Minimise your time at a property


What you should do AFTER a viewing:

  • Clean all surfaces with a disinfectant that you or anyone else came into contact with after each viewing.

  • Minimise the need to see potential tenants again, continue all future conversations by phone, email or video call. Remember to follow up verbal conversations in writing.

  • Leverage a variety of technology tools at your disposal to continue conducting business.

Here at myRent, you can handle tenant checks as well as tenant onboarding, tenancy agreements and bond lodgement forms creation and signing online without the need to see your tenants. This option is available for free to all the new users with our 2-month free trial.


Moving house

People can move homes at Alert Level 3. This includes rental moves. They can travel between regions, including using domestic air services to move house.

Moving companies are allowed to operate and have to adhere to physical distancing rules and should keep records for contact tracing purposes. The movers may have limited availability, especially at 10 working days after the beginning of alert level 3. We recommend a later tenancy start date where possible if tenants need to use this service.

Under Alert Level 3, it is recommended landlords to use professional cleaners to clean a vacant rental property to get it ready for the new tenants. Using professional cleaners will help to ensure the relevant hygiene controls are being followed.


Remember that all these precautions should be in place to protect your health, your applicants and the wider public with respect to Covid-19.

The information contained in this article is exclusively for promotional purposes. It does not in any way constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as the basis for any legal action or contractual dealings. The information is not and does not attempt to be, a comprehensive account of the relevant law in New Zealand. If you require legal advice, you should seek independent legal counsel. myRent.co.nz does not accept any liability that may arise from the use of this information.


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