What does Level 3 mean for Property Management?1 May 2020

The response from New Zealanders to the level 4 restrictions has been tremendous, with most Kiwis doing as instructed and staying home. We have seen lots of people on the news and social media inside their bubbles learning new skills, spending time with their families and making the most of the extra time during lockdown. Our property managers, however, have been busier than ever responding to enquiries and concerns from landlords and tenants, and navigating the COVID-19 Response {Urgent Management Measures) Amendment Act passed in March 2020.

The change from level 4 to level 3 restrictions does not dramatically change what our property management teams are able to
as our property managers are working from home and will remain there during level 3 restrictions. We remain able to address urgent maintenance and in level 3 we can also address other maintenance, with the tenant's consent. However, in the interests of not bursting bubbles, we will only address urgent or important maintenance during level 3.

Property managers cannot physically perform routine inspections during level 3. Property managers will continue to engage with tenants and discuss any concerns with them until such times as the restrictions are lifted, and property managers can physically attend the property.

Tenants will be able to move into rental properties during level 3, however, it may not be easy for
the property manager or tenant to facilitate a move. Property managers are not able to conduct open homes, and viewings of vacant properties can be done by appointment only. Private viewings are limited to two viewings per day per property, with only two people from the same bubble able to attend. Viewings of tenanted properties can only be done with the written consent of the tenant. Where possible, contactless moves may be performed and Harcourts has adopted technology that enables tenancy agreements to be signed electronically.

One lesson that we have learned over the past four weeks is that we must approach matters on a case by case basis, and that good communication with both landlords and tenants has been incredibly important during these difficult times.

Harcourts property managers remain committed to maintaining the same excellent service, albeit using different methods.

This article is featured in Harcourts' Property Management Focus Newsletter Issue 4, 2020