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Covid-19 and your property; what you need to know

As New Zealand was placed into an Alert Level 4 lockdown last week due to the spread of COVID-19, our salespeople and property management team endeavoured to reach all of our clients, landlords and tenants who had questions about the effects of the isolation period. 

We understand that many of you are in unique situations and now feel stuck in limbo. Our team is working hard every day and we are getting inventive with our processes to ensure the best outcome for all. 

The below FAQ references are not meant as legal advice, but rather Cambridge Real Estate’s understanding of the current rules and regulations. Please refer to a salesperson or property manager for more information. 

  

General questions: 

Is your office open?  

Our office is closed during the Alert level 4 isolation period for the safety of our staff and the public. While you won’t be able to wander in to talk real estate (something that we welcome at any other time!) our entire sales and property management teams are working from home. Our marketing and finance teams are also ensuring that the day-to-day running of the business continues behind the scenes. 

  

How can I get in touch with a salesperson or property manager? 

Visit our contact page. If you cannot contact your salesperson, contact Angela Jones our Branch Manager, for any selling and buying advice. If you are a landlord or tenant contact our property manager, Renee Beard. 

  

Angela Jones 

021 022 17625 

angela@cambridgerealestate.co.nz 

  

Renee Beard 

022 435 5708 

Renee@cambridgerealestate.co.nz 

  

When will you re-open your office to the public? 

While the Government issued Level 4 Alert is in place, our office will not reopen. We are constantly monitoring advice from the Ministry of Health to assess how we will proceed should the Alert Level change. 

  

Residential and lifestyle sales: 

Can I move house or settle a sale during lockdown? 

No, you cannot physically move house during the isolation period. It is important that you or your salesperson contact your solicitor before the set settlement date. Your solicitor should be able to give you clarity on how to move forward. In some cases where a move in/out is not physically necessary, the sale may be able to be settled remotely. However, it is important to note that your salesperson cannot deliver keys to you, conduct pre-settlement inspections, or meet face-to-face with you should there be any issues. 

I’m looking at buying a house, what should I do? 

Buyers are one group who can use this lockdown period to get their ducks in a row. Banks are being counted as an essential service, meaning you can sort finance remotely during lockdown. Most mortgage brokers are also active, working from home and in a position to prepare your application remotely. If you have your eye on a property, or viewed a property before the Level 4 Alert, speak to a salesperson and see what your options are. You may be able to submit an offer with a conditional period lasting until the end of the lockdown, meaning you could undertake building inspections, viewings and the like once you are free to interact with others. We have seen several unique offers being submitted, and agreed upon, since the lockdown commenced. 

Will there still be auctions? 

Auctions are postponed until further notice. Some vendors have elected to re-start the auction marketing of their home as soon as viewings are possible. If you were interested in a property which was priced as an auction, contact the salesperson. The vendor may be comfortable withdrawing from the auction process and selling by another method. 

Can I view a property? 

Viewings and open homes will not be conducted until further notice. Browse our current properties for sale at by visiting www.cambridgerealestate.co.nz/listings and contact a salesperson for any extra information. The salesperson may be able to help you figure out which properties would best suit your needs before physically viewing the property. This may well save you time when property viewing is permitted. 

Should I withdraw my property from the market? 

We do not recommend withdrawing your property from the market. During the isolation period millions of New Zealanders will be spending more time than ever online. We suggest using this to your advantage and getting creative with your marketing. Speak to your salesperson about social media marketing and other forms of digital marketing. 

 

Renting and property management: 

 The REINZ resource regarding COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Act 2020 can be found here.  

  

Can I view a property during lockdown? 

Viewings will not be conducted until further notice. You can view our current available properties at here. Feel free to contact the property manager for more information. 

What should I do if I can’t pay my rent? 

If your work situation has changed and has left you unable to pay your rent, please contact our property manager urgently. If you do not have their contact details handy, you can find them here. 

How do I make my rent payment? 

All internet banking services are still active during the lockdown period. In some instances, you may be able to make a cash payment through your bank, however many banks are reducing their opening hours. Visit your bank’s website to see if they have altered their hours. If you are unable to make a cash payment and this is your only option, please contact your property manager. 

Can my landlord increase my rent during Lockdown? 

The Government has announced that rents are to be frozen for a minimum of six months. If a rent increase took place before Thursday 26th March 2020 it is valid. Any increases after this date are illegal and will not be pursued by your property manager. 

  

Can I be evicted during the Lockdown? 

You cannot be evicted during the Level 4 Alert lockdown unless it is agreed to by both you and your landlord, or under other limited circumstances. Tenants will still have the right to terminate their tenancy as normal. Tenants will have the ability to revoke termination notices that they have already given, in case they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period.   

Will Cambridge Real Estate continue marketing my property? 

Yes, your property will continue to be marketed during the Lockdown period. We can also conduct necessary checks on prospective tenants remotely, and prepare for a move-in after the Level 4 Alert is lifted. 

Will repairs be done at my property? 

Health and safety works and emergency repairs will continue. Property Managers will organise contractors or tradespeople but tenants must stay in isolation in a different part of the property while they are on-site. The contractors will be made aware of this on their work order and they must adhere to this protocol. Routine maintenance will not proceed during Alert Level 4.  

For more information on Government announcements concerning landlords and tenants visit this Ministry of Housing Resource. 

Please feel free to contact any of our team at any stage for any information or just to chat. Never has home felt so important to us all, and we will continue to help people buy, sell and rent theirs as best we can during this time. Stay safe! 

 

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