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Red traffic light - information for landlords and tenants

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Tuesday, 07 December 2021


What does the red traffic light setting mean for landlords and tenants?

Ending tenancies and moving house

Tenants can move to a new house as long as they follow appropriate public health guidance, such as physical distancing, mask wearing and contact tracing.

The Minister can apply restrictions to tenancy terminations if there are COVID-19 public health requirements to stay at home. These restrictions do not currently apply.

Self-isolation

Everyone who tests positive for COVID-19 and everyone who lives with them, and close contacts need to isolate from the community to help stop the spread of the virus.

Do not invite people to your home if you or anyone in your household is unwell or self-isolating.

Tenants are under no obligation to tell their landlord if they are self-isolating (eg if they have been to a location of interest) or sick with COVID-19.

If a tradesperson is required to go to the property to do repairs while the tenant is self-isolating, tenants should advise the landlord or tradesperson that they are self-isolating or unwell.

Tenants should also make sure any other tenants or flatmates are aware of the situation.

Follow the guidelines on the Ministry of Health's website.

Property inspections, maintenance and viewings

Property inspections

In-person inspections of rental properties can take place as long as records are kept for contact tracing purposes. It is recommended everyone follows public health guidance of physical distancing and mask wearing.

Landlords and tenants should discuss and agree on whether in-person inspections are necessary. Tenants, who have genuine concerns about access into their home during this time, should talk to their landlord. If the inspection is not urgent, landlords and tenants may agree to postpone the inspection to a later date.

Virtual inspections are an option if the tenants agree.

At the end of the tenancy, the landlord and tenant can do the final property inspection together following public health guidance on physical distancing, record keeping and mask wearing. Alternatively, the tenants can take photos of the property’s condition before leaving.

Maintenance

Landlords can enter the property to do any necessary repairs or maintenance. If the repairs or maintenance is not necessary then landlords will need to get the tenants' consent. Records must be kept for contact tracing purposes.

Tradespeople may enter people’s homes to do any necessary repair or maintenance work, as long as records are kept for contact tracing purposes.  It is recommended everyone follows public health guidance such as physical distancing and mask wearing.

Landlords and tenants should discuss and agree on access requirements for any repair or construction work Landlords need to give appropriate notice.

Tenants who have genuine concerns about access into their home during this time should talk to their landlord. For example, if they or someone they care for are at higher risk from COVID-19.

If the maintenance or repairs are not urgent, landlords and tenants may agree to have the work completed at a later date.

Do not invite people to your home for maintenance or repairs if you or anyone in your household is unwell or self-isolating. Let the landlord know if they are organising maintenance.

Property viewings

In-person viewings can happen as long as public health measures are followed, such as physical distancing, record keeping and mask wearing. If the property being viewed is tenanted, landlords will need consent from the tenants. At property viewings, a QR code must be prominently displayed by or near the main entrance so people can record their visit. 

Open homes can take place with the tenants’ consent. If My Vaccine Pass is used then they must be limited to 100 people with 1 metre physical distancing. If My Vaccine Pass is not used, then they must be limited to 25 people with 1 metre physical distancing.

At open homes, a QR code must be prominently displayed near the main entrance so people can record their visit.

Open homes can take place remotely, but if an agent needs to be at the property then they will need the tenants’ consent. 

Auctions are an event and therefore must follow event rules, unless they take place at a private dwelling / home, in which case gatherings rules apply.

Disputes

Tenants and landlords are encouraged to talk to each other and to try to come up with a solution together. Where this is not possible, Tenancy Services will continue to accept and process applications for the Tenancy Tribunal or mediations.

Mediations will take place either face-to-face or by teleconference. If you have a face-to-face mediation scheduled, we will contact you to make sure all the appropriate public health measures can be followed.

The Tenancy Tribunal may hold hearings in person and by phone, dependent on what restrictions are in place. If you have a hearing scheduled, you will be notified via the Notice of Hearing to let you know how it will be held and what it means for you.

If there are any changes made after the hearing has been scheduled, you will be contacted by phone, email or text to let you know about the changes.

You will be required to wear a face covering when at the Tenancy Tribunal. A judicial officer may use their discretion regarding the use of face coverings in the room where the hearing is held.

Rent

Due to loss of employment income, some tenants may experience issues paying their rent. Landlords should discuss any planned rent increases with their tenants and consider postponing rent increases if possible.

Tenancy Services has developed guidance for talking to your landlord/tenant about rent payment difficulties.

Tenants who can’t pay their rent should let their landlord know straight away. Be honest about the situation. Landlords and tenants may agree to a temporary rent reduction if tenants are having difficulty paying rent during COVID-19 restrictions.

If you are likely to continue having trouble, think about other options:


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McDonald Property Management Ltd

Address: 376 Great South Rd, Papatoetoe

Postal address: P.O.Box 39393 Howick 2145

Since 2011