After 102 days of no community transmission of Covid-19, Auckland is back at Alert Level 3 for three days; until midnight Friday 14th August - although the likelihood of it being extended is very high with worst case scenario being 7-weeks, as indicated by Epidemiologist Michael Baker in an interview with the NZ Herald.
While the lockdown does put a stop to some areas of operation in the Auckland rental market; Auckland property managers and landlords can continue operating with a focus on two areas:
- Getting tenants into new rental properties
- Dealing with emergencies only
Getting tenants into new homes:
Tenants are allowed to move into a new rental property during level 3 and can seek help from a moving company. Physical distancing rules must be adhered to with viewings limited to private viewings only - with a maximum of 2 per day! It is important to pre-vet applicants prior to carrying out a private viewing; this will help to avoid wasting your time and ensure that they a are suitable candidate in advance. This will also limit the disruption to the current tenants, since they will need to be out of the house while the viewing occurs, and your exposure to too many people! All surfaces must be disinfected after a viewing takes place and it is also recommended that professional cleaning takes place, between tenancies, to avoid the risk of transmission.
Dealing with emergencies only:
This is to avoid unnecessary contact - therefore routine inspections are off the cards. Tenants should still reach out if there’s maintenance issues, even small jobs should be logged to get them scheduled in sooner rather than later; if the last lockdown is anything to go by, there's likely to be a backlog once the restrictions are lifted. If this lockdown does get extended, it's also a good idea just to touch base with all your tenants to ensure they are doing ok and let them know you are available if there are any major issues!
Hopefully the Auckland lockdown doesn't last too long but, given the unpredictability of this year, we cannot be sure!
A full list of the guidelines we as owners and property managers should be operating within can be found here on the Tenancy Services website.