Covid-19, Can property viewings be completed during Alert Level 3 lockdown?

With the government’s announcement that New Zealand will move to Alert Level 3 lockdown from Tuesday 28 April there is conflicting advice as to whether we are able to show potential tenants through properties.

The REINZ has been working with Industry Leaders and have presented material to the Real Estate Authority (REA), Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment (MBIE) Work Safe and a number of different government ministers to demonstrate what real estate activity could take place during Covid-19 Alert Level 3.

The Covid-19 government information for businesses website states that: open homes cannot take place in person, but they can happen remotely. One on one viewings and pre-settlement inspections may be possible.

In contrast to this, the Covid-19 website says: A real estate agent can open, but people should work from home if they can. The agent can enter peoples homes, but not have customers in the office. You cannot run an open home.

The Real Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) view is that private viewings could take place in a safe manner for both real estate professionals and customers, clients or tenants.

Conflicting with that though is the REA who are advocating for private viewings NOT to be allowed under Alert Level 3.

For us, as property managers we are hoping that private viewings could be a possibility as long as all applicable safety precautions are adhered to and that viewings for groups of people won’t be allowed until Alert Level 2.

Where properties are already tenanted we would continue with virtual viewings for these properties.

With this in mind we will take the following precautions to ensure the safety of everyone when doing private viewings.

  • Viewings will be strictly by appointment only
  • All people wanting to view the property will have to pre-register. We will obtain the attendee’s address and phone number to assist with contact tracing.
  • Only two people from a ‘bubble will be able to attend the viewing at a time
  • Viewings will be spaced appropriately to reduce risk of contact with the next attendee
  • Online viewings (video walkthrough tours) will be completed for all properties where there currently tenants residing
  • Covid-19 information and hygiene notices will be sent to all attendees prior to the viewing
  • Every attendee will be requested to use the hand sanitiser provided by the agent before entering the property
  • All attendees will be requested not to touch anything or open any cupboards or door

In the words of Judith Collins will ‘Lockdown 3 be like Lockdown 4 with KFC?’ Watch this space and we will update you as soon as we know.

Do you have a property coming up for rent?

Renthub offer virtual appointments for tenants so they can talk potential tenants through a virtual viewing just as they would if they met in person at the property.

With some properties, we already have walkthrough videos and for others, we can talk you through how to take them, send them to us and leave the rest to us.

In the last few days, we have rented two properties using this method. The owners were happy as it has reduced the amount of time the property will sit vacant.

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