How you can operate under Alert Level 2

Covid-19 has certainly changed the way we work and communicate. Console turned to our good friends at tenancy.co.nz who have created a set of guidelines in conjunction with Ray White Head of Property Management Zac Snelling to help prepare real estate and property management agencies in New Zealand, maintain their health and safety during the new alert levels.

There are a number of changes for the property management industry, but the two main changes are that routine inspections can resume and that property viewings can occur with much more flexibility.

Property managers can essentially perform all aspects of their role but in consideration of the safety precautions that all parties involved in the tenancy process should adhere to.

A quick snapshot of what you need to know is highlighted below. For a comprehensive list of Alert Level 2 Guidelines, take a look at the tenancy.co.nz resource.

General Safety Precautions for Alert Level 2

Common sense plays a big part here, ensure you adhere to 2 metre physical distancing inside and outside, follow safe hygiene practices including the use of hand sanitiser when exiting and entering a tenancy premises or office. Sanitise all areas that have been touched. Open doors and cupboards if practical so that viewings or inspections can remain as contactless as possible.

Back in the office, minimise the time parties spend at the property or office. Queue management measures need to be in place to ensure attendees waiting to enter, maintain physical distancing at rental premises or office.

Ensure you supply the COVID-19 Registration Form to all parties (applicants, contractors, current tenants) if they attend a property or office for the purpose of contact tracing.

Importantly, If any party has been sick in the past 14 days, cancel or postpone the intended activity. And retain records of your visit for at least two months in case they are requested by WorkSafe or Ministry of Health.

What other guidelines are in place for Alert Level 2?

  • Guidelines for routine inspections | the good news is routine inspections can take place provided all of the Alert Level 2 General Safety precautions are adhered to.
  • Guidelines for property viewings attendees – advertising, registration & declining
  • Guidelines for property viewings | these can now take place, the number of people in the home at one time must be limited to no more than 10 people, including the property manager, to ensure physical distancing (2m minimum between different bubbles) can be maintained at all times.
  • Guidelines for Property Maintenance | providing general safety precautions are adhered to, maintenance can proceed. Tradespeople must comply with health requirements and any Government guidance issued in respect of their industry
  • Guidelines for rental appraisals and listings | property managers may visit properties to carry out appraisals and listings in accordance with the Alert Level 2 General Safety precautions
  • Guidelines for property cleaning and moving tenants | Tenants can move to a new house under Alert Level 2, including between regions. It is recommended that landlords arrange for professional cleaners to clean a vacant rental property ready for the new tenants.

Visit tenancy.co.nz for the the comprehensive list of guidelines for each of these activities

Can new Tenancy and Management Agreements be created at Alert Level 2?

They certainly can, agreements can be negotiated and executed in person provided all of the Alert Level 2 General Safety precautions are adhered to. Property managers should consider holding discussions by phone or video call, to reduce personal contact and should consider using digital forms of signing, if available.

Can agencies open during Alert Level 2?

Offices can open to the public, staff and property managers provided that all of the Alert Level 2 General Safety precautions are adhered to. But where possible businesses are encouraged to work from home. Agencies must display signage outside and in the window advising people who have been unwell with flu-like symptoms, self-isolating or in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the previous 14 days must not enter.

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Console are providers of trust accounting software and end-to-end property management solutions, for property managers and agents in Australia and New Zealand.