New rules affect all New Zealand landlords and tenants and apply to all residential tenancies.
So here are the most common questions we are asked about staring new tenancies to clarify the situation for everyone:
Can my tenants move-in during the lockdown?
No. Moving house is deemed ''non-essential'' during the four-week lockdown period.
But the paperwork has already been signed. Can they move-in?
The main message is for the tenants to stay in their current rental place if possible. You can negotiate a new move-in date at a later date when the Level 4 restrictions are downgraded to Level 3.
But they have given notice to their current landlord and have nowhere to go?
If your tenants have given the notice to leave their current property, they can now legally withdraw their notice and remain in their existing home. If their current landlord had already given a termination notice, it is of no effect.
My tenants managed to move-in before the lockdown, but we haven't finalised all the paperwork.
You can't interact with people outside of your self-isolation group. If you still need to sign a tenancy agreement, you should do so digitally.
Inspections will have to be postponed until a later date when the Level 4 restrictions are downgraded to Level 3.
Moves can occur in very limited circumstances while not violating any Alert Level rules or Ministry of Health guidelines.
If a tenant is returning home from overseas, given they have their own vehicle, can pick up keys contactlessly and go straight to the new premises, they are permitted to move in.
Tenants are not allowed to hire a moving service during this time or ask other people for assistance.
Tenants must not look for a new rental property during the lockdown. The move can only occur in very exceptional circumstances and when the tenant would otherwise have nowhere else to live.
Will my property remain vacant for 4 weeks? Can I look for tenants now?
Yes, you can still advertise, but there will be no open homes or private viewings during the four-week lockdown. You can use virtual tours, pre-recorded videos and photos to replace face-to-face viewings.