As you will be well aware, the Coronavirus pandemic has escalated and continues to impact all facets of society.
From a property management perspective, there are both economic and social ramifications that could impact your rental property.
As this situation continues to unfold, we believe it is important to take steps to mitigate the risk associated with this virus.
Over the coming weeks, many tenants could have their work hours cut back significantly or even lose their jobs. Other tenants may be forced to self-isolate. The Government has announced that businesses can apply for wage subsidies to help affected businesses. There is more information here:
We have sent an email to all tenants to advise them of this scheme and suggested that if they are struggling to pay their rent during this time, please let us know before going into arrears..
Unfortunately, in the current climate, there could be rent arrears, but we will keep you updated and follow routine procedures if there is.
Some countries have already put legislation into place to ban evictions and/or implement a rent freeze. Let's hope that doesn't happen here.
SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, sore throat, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, says the World Health Organisation.
To slow the spread of Coronavirus, social contact should be avoided if possible. However, many insurance policies require three monthly inspections to fulfil insurance requirements.
The Insurance Council of New Zealand has advised that:
“Periodic inspections should remain a business as usual response for any property owner, but if a tenant at a property is self-isolating or sick with COVID-19, the inspection should take place as soon as is practical after health clearances. If in any doubt ICNZ recommends that landlords check with their own insurer about their specific requirements and how they are treating it."
So, with this in mind, your property will fit into one of the following categories:
a) We arranged your landlord insurance policy and will know if we have to complete periodic inspections for insurance purposes.
b) You arranged your landlord insurance policy. If you did, please let me know if there is a requirement to complete them in a specific time period.
c) You don't have a landlord insurance policy. Therefore, we may postpone the routine inspection until a later date
If a routine inspection does need to go ahead for insurance purposes, we will take the following precautionary measures:
a) Send an email to the tenant asking if they are showing symptoms or in self-isolation. If they are, the inspection will be postponed until further notice. Files notes will be taken, and the insurer advised.
b) Use gloves or hand sanitiser during the inspection.
Viewings to rent out properties will still need to go ahead. But to mitigate the risk, we will do the following:
a) Ask the prospective tenant if they are unwell or showing symptoms before the viewing. If they are, the viewing will be cancelled.
b) Arrange for smaller groups or single applicants to view the property, instead of larger group viewings.
c) Use gloves or hand sanitiser during the viewing.
If possible, I will postpone all non-urgent contracting work until further notice. However, if emergency work needs to be done, we will take the following precautionary measures:
a) Ask the contractor before they do the work if they are showing symptoms. If they are, an alternative contractor will be contacted.
b) Ask the prospective tenant if they are showing symptoms or in self-isolation before the contracting work. If they are, the contracting work will be postponed.
c) Ask the tenant to ensure all relevant surfaces and door handles are wiped down before the contracting work.
d) Recommend that the contractor use gloves or hand sanitiser while completing the work.
This is difficult time for all businesses. If we take precautionary measures, we can do our bit in limiting the spread of Covid-19. It remains an ever-changing landscape and we will update you with new developments as they come to hand.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
Hamilton Property Management