Here are some of our frequently asked questions regarding rental properties & covid-19

We will continue to advertise your property and respond to enquiries.

We are not allowed to conduct viewings during Alert Level 4, but will arrange viewings as soon as it is practical after lockdown. All tenants who have enquired will receive an automatic notification of viewing times, and we will also contact them directly to arrange a time for them to view. Where possible, we have taken videos of properties for rent prior to the lockdown and are able to send these to prospective tenants before they are able to view.

Yes (unless under extreme circumstances).

Restrictions on termination of tenancies will apply for an initial period of 3 months from the 26th March. The Government may extend the period once, for another 3 months, if they believe it is necessary to contain or mitigate the outbreak of Covid-19.

During the lockdown the tenant can remain in the premises (even if notice to vacate had been given prior to the 26th March by the landlord or tenant).

Tenancies can only be terminated in very limited circumstances, such as:

  • The tenant gives notice in accordance with RTA (Residential Tenancies Act)
  • There is mutual agreement between the landlord and tenant
  • Following the death of sole tenant
  • The tenant is at least 60 days behind in rent instead of 21 days in arrears
  • The tenant has caused, permitted or threatened to cause substantial damage to the premises
  • The tenant assaults or threatens to assault the landlord, their family, property manager or neighbours
  • The premises is uninhabitable or abandoned


Fixed Term Tenancies will convert to periodic tenancies when the fixed term expires unless both landlord and tenant agree otherwise, or the tenant gives notice. This applies for an initial period of 3 months from the 26th March. We are actively approaching our tenants to discuss a new Fixed Term Tenancy where appropriate.

Only under extreme circumstances.

The measures under the new legislation are designed to reduce movement between properties at this time wherever possible for the 3-month period. Tenants retain their existing rights under the Act and may still be able to move into a new rental property under extreme circumstances, but they must follow the Ministry of Health and the Alert System guidelines when moving.

Situations that may be deemed an extreme circumstance:

  • A New Zealander returning to the country needing accommodation
  • Family violence may create an essential need to move
  • A tenants’ current rental property may become uninhabitable e.g. if there was a catastrophic plumbing leak.

As soon as possible after the lockdown is lifted.

Under Covid-19 restrictions, property management is not considered an ‘essential service’. This means we cannot visit homes, even to do final inspections, until the lockdown is lifted. We will complete the inspection as soon as possible once we are permitted to do so.


Under the new legislation, issuing 90-days’ notice is an unlawful act and punishable by a fine of $6,500. Your tenant, however, can still give you notice to end the tenancy.


If the Tribunal made an order prior to the 26th March terminating a tenancy on a date during the lockdown, and the tenant is still residing in the premises, the order is suspended until 15 days after the final period of lockdown (unless it is covered by the limited circumstances noted under FAQ 2).


Tenants are still liable to pay their rent as usual. The “rent freeze” means that there can be no rent increases for an initial period of 6 months. Rent increases that were due to come into effect after the 26th March are no longer valid.  Any increases during this time is an unlawful act and punishable with a $6,500 fine.

Only if they are at least 60 days in arrears.

Under the new legislation, an application to the Tenancy Tribunal can be made if the tenant is at least 60 days in arrears (previously 21 days). In determining an application to terminate a tenancy due to rent arrears, the tribunal may refuse to make an order if:

  • it is satisfied the tenant is making reasonable endeavours to pay the rent
  • after balancing the interests of the tenant and landlord, the Tribunal considers that terminating the tenancy is not justified.


Landlords are under no obligation to waive or reduce rent. According to the Privacy Commissioner, if a tenant asks for rent relief, the landlord can ask for evidence of hardship. This could be in the form of a letter from an employer showing reduced hours, or other proof of reduced income.

Only urgent repairs can be completed.

Any non-essential repairs will be logged and completed as soon as practical after the lockdown is lifted. If you complete your own maintenance, you are unable to visit the property to carry out any repairs, but are able to hire a tradesperson for urgent repairs only. We are all working remotely during our usual business hours, and our after-hours service is still active to ensure urgent repairs can be attended to.

Most insurers are being lenient.

As our routine maintenance inspections are not permitted during Alert Level 4, we recommend contacting your insurer. If your property is vacant, it is important to advise your insurer of this as well.

The Insurance Council New Zealand (ICNZ) has issued the following statement in regards to routine inspections.

“The wellbeing of customers is a top priority for insurers. ICNZ’s members are taking the current Covid-19 situation very seriously and wouldn’t want to impose any requirements that would expose anyone to the risk of infection, or play a part in spreading the Covid-19 virus. 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.”

We are keeping thorough notes regarding inspections that cannot be completed in accordance with ICNZ’s recommendation and will re-schedule the inspection for as soon as possible after the lockdown. We are also contacting tenants to check that they are OK and whether they have noticed any maintenance required.