Anyone moving into a rental property should consider the new guidelines issued by the Director General of Health on the 3rd of April, 2020, under Section 70 of the Health Act. This notice aims to provide guidance for movement during the COVID-19 lockdown Alert Level 4.
Tenants should read the notice before making any plans for moving during Alert Level 4. Specifically, keep in mind the following guidelines:
- If possible, tenants should not vacate the rental properties they currently occupy.
- People are permitted to move homes only under limited circumstances. If steps are not taken to document these circumstances, the move will be considered a violation of the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and the rules of the Alert level.
A move is classified as essential in both of the following conditions:
- There is domestic abuse, making it necessary for the person to leave.
- The current rental property is suffering from damage, such as a plumbing leak, that makes it uninhabitable.
Landlords and property managers must work with the tenants to plan the move in accordance with the Alert Level 4 rules or else the move will be considered a violation. Moreover, all social distancing measures must be followed during this time. Tenancy agreements should be signed digitally if possible. Keys should be sanitized before and after they are physically transferred.
Additionally, property managers do not classify as essential service providers, so they are prohibited from going into their office to pick up any keys during the Alert Level 4. Tenants must move all property with private vehicles and the help of members from their own household. They may not hire a moving service at this time.
If you have any problems, you should not ask your landlord or property manager to visit your rental property as they are not permitted to do so.
While the level 4 alert rules are designed to reduce movement between properties wherever possible, tenants retain the right to continue their tenancy at the current rental property they are occupying and they may still move into a new rental property if they need to as long as they follow the Ministry of Health guidelines and the Alert System rules when moving.
If you are experiencing issues, discuss it with your landlord or your tenant until an agreement is reached. If you cannot find a solution, reach out to the police during an emergency or apply for help from the Tenancy Tribunal.
- Regulations for rent freezing and tenancy termination during the COVID-19 pandemic: www.tenancy.govt.nz/about-tenancy-services/news/covid-19-coronavirus-rent-freeze-tenancy-terminations/
- General information regarding COVID-19: Please visit the central website of the government. https://covid19.govt.nz/
- Full information regarding these new measures and their effect on tenants and landlords: Please visit the information page for COVID-19 by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.
- Work and Income – Covid-19 Wages Subsidy : https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/products/a-z-benefits/covid-19-support.html