COVID-19: Traffic light system - Information for landlords and tenants

15 December 2021

Photo by Liam Shaw on Unsplash

As we move away from the alert level system, the COVID-19 Protection Framework is setting in. So what restrictions apply to different traffic light settings, and what do they mean to landlords and tenants?

Here's a breakdown of what real estate activity is permitted under various traffic light settings.

Property viewings and open homes

In-person viewings are permitted under all traffic light settings as long as public health guidelines are followed.

Masks must be worn during viewings if the light is Red or Orange.

If the property is tenanted, landlords require the tenant's permission to run private viewings if the light is Red or Orange.

The tenant's consent is required to run open homes at all times. Limits on gatherings apply depending on if My Vaccine Pass is used or not.

Image Description

A QR code must be displayed near the main entrance during both private viewings and open homes under all conditions.

Creating your official QR poster is easy. Click this link to create one online, print as many copies as you need and display them in places where your visitors can scan them easily.

Moving houses

Moving houses is allowed under all traffic light settings.

Regular property inspections

In-person property inspections under all traffic light settings are allowed as long as public health guidelines are followed. It is recommended that landlords and tenants discuss if an in-person inspection is necessary. If the inspection is not urgent, required, or the tenant has genuine health concerns, both parties can agree to postpone the inspection to a later date.

Landlords can choose to run virtual inspection instead if their tenants agree (The ordinary notice periods required before an inspection also still apply). Best to contact your insurer about specific requirements.

Rent increases

No restrictions on rent increases currently apply. However, some tenants may be experiencing hardship and loss of employment due to COVID-19 conditions. In these circumstances, landlords are encouraged to postpone rent increases if possible.

Maintenance

Landlords and tradespeople can enter rental properties to perform necessary repairs and maintenance. If the repairs are not urgent, the tenant's consent is required.

People are encouraged to follow hygiene standards, physical distancing rules and keep records for contact tracing purposes.

If tenants have serious health concerns (e.g. are more at risk from COVID-19), they should talk to their landlord and see if the work can be done later.

Ending tenancies

The legislation has passed to allow restrictions against residential tenancy terminations to be turned on and off by Ministerial order in response if there are COVID-19 public health requirements to stay at home. Similarly to the rule introduced in 2020, landlords would not be able to terminate tenancies if the restrictions were turned on.

These restrictions do not currently apply.

At the end of the tenancy, landlords and tenants can choose to conduct a final inspection together following required public health guidelines or complete the inspection report separately.

If you're using myRent to manage your tenancy, you can complete your final inspection report digitally through the platform either together with your tenants present or by completing it separately. With both parties given an opportunity to add notes and upload photos and videos (if necessary)

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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