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Covid-19 Pandemic Alert Plan

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Property Brokers 26 Mar 2020

141126512_lOur doors may be closed, but our team is still hard at work. On Monday the 23rd of March the NZ Government announced that New Zealand would be escalated to Level 3 and that it would move into Level 4 of the Covid-19 Pandemic Alert Plan within 48 hours. 

At Property Brokers, we are thankful for the swift, decisive actions of our Government, and while we acknowledge these are trying and difficult circumstances for all, we do believe they are in the absolute best interests of our communities. We will support these actions in whatever way we can. The health and wellbeing of our team members and our community are so important to us.

And, while our offices have closed, we have not stopped working for you. 

We have simply shifted our desks, and are working from our safe havens, our homes. Rest assured that throughout this lockdown our Property Managers will still be working behind the scenes to manage rental properties and support landlords and tenants, our support centre is working from home to ensure that financial and legal requirements are still met, and our sales teams are still taking enquiries and doing the best they can to support vendors and buyers.

What is Property Brokers doing to keep our people, clients and communities safe during these challenging times?

We're following the advice from the Ministry of Health as well as the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand. For more information on COVID-19, please refer to the Ministry of Health website.

We have the following procedures in place to give buyers and sellers as much confidence as possible in the current climate:

Our comprehensive response plan in relation to COVID-19 will help protect our clients, people, family, communities and friends. This covers residential sales, property management, commercial, body corporate, as well as all of our support services. This plan has now come into effect. You will see these changes in how we manage open homes, viewings, auctions and property inspections.

Level 4 restriction

We are responsibly adhering to the Ministry of Health (MOH) guidelines as we go into level 4 restrictions. In addition to this, we have proactively planned around how we can continue to support our clients with great real estate service and solutions throughout this period of uncertainty.

Where do I go to get current updates?

We are updating our website regularly and will be sending email updates to our customers as appropriate. We encourage customers to contact their salesperson, property manager or branch should they have any concerns or questions that they need to discuss. For up to date COVID-19 updates, please refer to the Ministry of Health's website health.govt.nz

Are you aware of the rules? Residential Sales, Rural and Lifestyle Sales

Open homes and property viewings

How are open homes being managed now?

All non-essential face-to-face services must cease under Level 4. Open homes can be completed online via virtual tours and video conferencing software - which means that people aren't required to leave their homes so that no in-person contact occurs. Have a look at the listing you are interested in on our website to see high-quality photographs, floor plans as well as interactive tools and virtual tours. Speak to the salesperson by phone for more information and guidance.

Auctions

These can only take place via phone or online bidding methods. Phone bidding is available as a usual option with all our auctions. Speak to your salesperson to make arrangements. If vendors' don't want to sell by auction, there are other sale methods available; these include negotiation and tender - talk to us about how we can meet your needs.

Settlements

In a lockdown, purchasers and vendors won't be able to move in or out of their houses. The Auckland District Law Society has recommended that settlements be deferred until after the Level 4 alert restriction is lifted. The party's lawyers should make appropriate amendments to the contract to facilitate this.

What happens if a property settles during a lockdown

Travel during a level 4 restriction is restricted to essential travel only, including, pharmacy and supermarket trips. Settlements and moving house should be deferred until the restriction is lifted. All of the parties' lawyers will make appropriate contract amendments to facilitate this.

Tenanted and rural property sales

At a level 4 alert restriction, physical property inspections cannot occur, sales may not include people leaving their home, or include any in-person contact. While settlement can occur, vendors and purchasers may encounter difficulties when trying to get mortgage instruction, Authority & Instruction as well as other legal forms signed and issued. Deferring settlement may still be the safest option. It would be advisable for all parties to seek and follow the advice of their lawyers.

Bridging finance

Vendors and purchasers should talk to their financial services provider or bank in the first instance.

Conditional contracts

These still can be confirmed during a lockdown, provided that there is no travel or face-to-face meeting required. If the condition(s) can't be met during the level 4 alert, both buyers and sellers should take legal advice. The condition could be extended until after the lockdown period or cancel the contract. All of the party's lawyers will ensure that appropriate contract amendments are made to facilitate this.

Pre-settlement inspections

While pre-settlement inspections are not able to take place in person; these can, in fact, take place via video conferencing.

Anti Money Laundering

The Department of Internal Affairs is working on guidance as to if, and how, customer due diligence verification can occur during the lockdown. We will let you know as soon as this guidance is released, which we understand will be tomorrow.

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Need to talk to someone to get some more information? Get in touch with us on 0800 367 5263 or contact us here.