Coronavirus: REINZ issues information to help real estate sector

by Roxanne Libatique27 Mar 2020

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) has issued information to help the real estate sector thrive amid the Covid-19 pandemic, following the government’s announcement that New Zealand is now under Alert Level 4 lockdown.

The government has identified the financial services sector as one of the essential services to Kiwis. However, the REINZ reminded the real estate sector that it is not an essential service, so open homes, private viewings, auctions, rental viewings, and re-settlement inspections cannot take place in person.

“They could take place via online virtual tours or video conferencing type software, where people aren't required to leave their homes and no in-person contact occurs,” REINZ said.

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The government also did not consider routine inspections and maintenance, settlements, and moving as essential to Kiwis during the lockdown. Therefore, the REINZ recommended the sector to defer the services.

“In a lockdown, vendors and purchasers will not be able to move in and out of their houses. For this reason, the Auckland District Law Society is recommending that settlements be deferred until after the Alert Level 4 restriction is lifted. The party's lawyers will make appropriate amendments to the contract to facilitate this,” REINZ explained.

“[Routine inspection and maintenance] are not essential services, so [they] should be deferred until after the lockdown period consultation with the landlord and their insurer.”

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