The landlords are still reminded to "play it safe", and that means physical distancing remains critical. When conducting any real estate activity, you're required to maintain physical distancing at all times. Additionally, landlords will need to keep attendance records for all property viewings (for contact tracing purposes) and maintain hygiene standards by cleaning all high-touch areas regularly.
Each property will have a unique application of these guidelines depending on their layout. Still, the aim is to implement widespread procedures that ensure the highest standard of safety and hygiene are met.
Viewings and open homes
Under Alert Level 3, there was a limit of 2 private viewings at each property per day. With Alert Level 2 restrictions are easing, the viewings will now run at a faster pace.
Open homes and rental viewings are back on the cards - with no more than 10 people to be in the property at one time (including the landlord) and subject to conditions on contact tracing and physical distancing requirements.
In-person routine rental inspections are happening now as long as they can be carried out safely within health guidelines. Tenants cannot unreasonably refuse an inspection. But landlords have to make sure that no one is unwell at the house with flu-like symptoms or has been in contact with a COVID-19 case.
Inspections that were due be undertaken during the period of restrictive travel should be scheduled now or as soon as it is safe and practicable to do so.
Inspections by professionals (eg: building inspectors, valuers) can take place in person.
Pre-settlement inspections can also occur.
Both urgent and routine maintenance visits to homes are allowed. The landlords can get tradespeople to come in and conduct repair work at Alert Levels 2 as long as the relevant public health measures are met. This includes physical distancing requirements.
Physical distancing and hygiene guidance should be followed when inside homes, including surface cleaning on the area that is being worked on. Records should be kept for contact tracing
Tenants may move house during alert level 2, including travel between regions.
Tenants are able to move to a new rental property. Removal companies can assist with moving, as long as they comply with physical distancing, personal hygiene, surface cleaning guidance and keep records for contact tracing purposes.
Friends and family can help tenants move. If they are well known to the tenant, physical distancing procedures are not required. However, personal hygiene and surface cleaning procedures are still recommended to be followed, the names and contact details of people who helped moving should be kept.
The rent freeze still applies until 26 September 2020 (unless extended). Learn more about these measures here
The protections against tenancy terminations still apply until 26 June 2020 (unless extended). Learn more about these measures here
Selling a tenanted property
Tenancies cannot be terminated unless there are special circumstances. This applies for three months from 26 March, although the Government may choose to extend this. The tenancy continues, and the buyer becomes the landlord.
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.