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COVID-19: Changes to viewings and open homes during Alert Level 2

Photo by Nate Watson on Unsplash

NZ Landlords can now operate in a way that is much more like normal with the country returning to Level 2.

Open homes and private viewings are allowed at Alert Level 2, and you and your applicants can travel between regions to attend them. The health guidelines, physical distancing and hygiene etiquette, need to be followed.

Important information about viewings:

  • No more than 10 people to be in the property at one time(including the landlord/property manager)

  • 2-metre physical distancing needs to be maintained to the greatest extent possible

  • Records of who attends open homes and rental viewings (such as name, number, address, date, time) need to be kept for two months

What you should do BEFORE organising a viewing:

  • Consider discussing the listing by email, phone, or video call to reduce personal contact.

  • Get permission from your current tenants to schedule the viewing (ask the property's occupants to leave the premises during the open home or viewing if possible)

  • 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.

  • Consider offering private viewings or virtual viewing options for people at high risk of COVID-19 (for example people over 70)

  • Ask your applicants to complete an online application before viewing the property. 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.

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. Record the details (including names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses) of all professionals who visit the property for contact tracing purposes.

What you should do DURING a viewing:

  • Make sure no group attending an open home is more than 10 people (including you)

  • Ask people not to touch things. Where necessary, open kitchen cupboards, laundry doors before the viewing to minimise the touching of surfaces.

  • 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

Limit the number of people visiting a property to ensure physical distancing can be maintained inside and outside of the home. You will need to make sure there are measures in place to allow for 2-metre physical distancing considering the layout and size of a property, for example, staggering entry to the property and managing queues.

  • Minimise your time at a property

  • The details of all attendees (including names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses) must be recorded for contact tracing purposes.

To limit contact with pens, and tablets, landlords may wish to manage the open home register themselves.

What you should do AFTER a viewing:

  • Clean and sanitise all areas that may have been touched.

  • You can now meet your tenants in person to negotiate and sign tenancy documents as long as you adhere to the health requirements, maintain 2-metre physical distancing and ensure surfaces are sanitised. Parties should use their own pens. Record the details of everyone involved in signing the documents for contact tracing purposes.

Consider reducing personal contact by discussing agreement details by phone or email and using electronic signing. 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.

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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