COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic light system) – Guidelines for real estate activities - GREEN

These guidelines have been prepared by REA in consultation with REINZ, sector representatives and Government officials to support licensed real estate professionals to meet their obligations under the COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic light system).
These guidelines have been prepared in line with COVID-19 Public Health Response (Protection Framework) Order 2021. These guidelines will be updated when further information is made available by Government.
PLEASE NOTE: These guidelines must be read alongside the guidelines provided on the Unite Against COVID-19 and business.govt.nz websites.  These websites provide critical information to licensees on use of the My Vaccine Pass requirements and health and safety risk assessments and must be read.
Information and advice on managing the impact of COVID-19 cases at your business is available on business.govt.nz
These guidelines apply from 11.59pm on 2 December 2021.
General information for all levels
  • At all levels:
    • QR code posters must be displayed in a prominent place and you must have an alternative method of recording details of people who enter
    • record keeping may be required and is always strongly encouraged e.g., scanning QR tracer codes or other record keeping of people on premises
    • face coverings are either encouraged, recommended or required at all levels depending on the activity
    • the capacity limits in the COVID-19 Protection Framework apply to the premises or defined space. Limits include all attendees including children, but not workers
    • workers include anyone required to operate the business or service, and therefore includes paid and unpaid people
    • Refer to the Unite Against Covid-19 website for guidance on travel around the country
  • The requirements of the COVID-19 Protection Framework apply by real estate activity (such as, but not limited to, open homes, auctions, private viewings and inspections). Businesses may need to operate under different rules depending on the activity they are undertaking or meet the more stringent requirements where activities cannot be separated
  • If you are selling a non-residential property or business you will need to comply with the COVID-19 Protection Framework settings for that sector - e.g., face coverings and vaccines may be mandatory in some cases (e.g health and education). You must discuss the requirements with your client
  • Please note that the settings for open homes and auctions may be different if there is no private dwelling
  • A defined space is a single indoor or outdoor space separated from other spaces. A property is treated as a single defined space and you should make sure that groups do not mingle, particularly at exits and entrance ways
  • You will need to assess each property. You should consider having separate entrances for shared areas, or staggered start times
  • Restrictions on movement may apply where localised lockdowns have been ordered. This may mean some services cannot be undertaken. For example, letterbox drops are unlikely to be permitted in lockdown areas. Specific rules of localised lockdown health orders will apply.

Health and safety risk assessments

  • Real estate is not required to use the My Vaccine Pass verification process for real estate activities, but may choose to. Generally, real estate operates at the general settings of the traffic light system. However, the rules for events apply to some activities such as auctions/open homes at commercial properties or in a rural paddock, the settings for gatherings apply where the activity occurs at a private dwelling
  • All agencies are expected to undertake risk assessments for the workplace to determine whether vaccination for workers is required, and/or what other health and safety controls are required at the workplace and for all real estate activities
  • Following discussion with the vendor agencies can choose whether to use the My Vaccine Pass process
  • For guidance on undertaking a risk assessment see Worksafe’s risk assessment guidance on their website or use of the risk assessment tool provided under COVID-19 legislation (due to be available in December 2021). Information about worker vaccination requirements is available here: Vaccines and the workplace » Employment New Zealand

Vaccination assessment tool

As real estate isn’t covered by a government mandate for COVID-19 vaccination, we encourage you to do a risk assessment to assess whether your business activities, including real estate agency work should be carried out by vaccinated workers on health and safety grounds. Read more about the Vaccination assessment tool and how it works at business.govt.nz | Vaccination assessment tool

My Vaccine Pass

  • My Vaccine Pass process may be used as an entry requirement for customers and clients, but there will be restrictions if they do not. If My Vaccine Pass is used all workers involved in the activity must be vaccinated, engagement and consultation with workers should be undertaken. Agencies will decide when to implement the My Vaccine Pass process
  • Businesses and services may switch between operating under My Vaccine Pass required/not required settings following the completion of a risk assessment, provided that the premise/space is cleaned between groups. You must clearly communicate the settings you are operating under and display required signage
  • Where My Vaccine Pass process is used:
    • at each point of entry customer/client My Vaccine Passes should be checked, and it is strongly recommended that they are verified
    • sufficient workers must be on site to oversee the process at the point of entry to the property, those workers will need to be vaccinated in order to work on site where My Vaccine Pass is used
    • non-licensed workers can assist in use of My Vaccine Pass at properties but they must not undertake licensed real estate agency work (they must also be vaccinated)
    • the NZ Pass Verifier is available to help businesses scan the My vaccine Pass to ensure it is valid
    • agencies must display posters advertising if they require people entering to have a My Vaccine Pass, it is recommended that use of My Vaccine Pass process be included in the listing information
    • if you use My Vaccine Pass you are expected to check My Vaccine Pass for people on the premises, including all workers assisting
    • if a customer/client refuses to or cannot present their My Vaccine Pass for verification they cannot be permitted on-site and should be invited to use remote processes to engage in the sales process
    • if you switch between using and not using of My Vaccine Pass at a real estate activity site:
      • there must be no mingling of groups
      • rooms should be well ventilated
      • high touch surfaces such as door handles, should be cleaned between groups
      • Everyone, both workers and visitors must be told what the vaccine pass requirements are, including whether the activity is for people with My Vaccine Pass only, or a mis of people with or without My Vaccine Pass
    • Agencies should read and be familiar with the information on requiring My Vaccine Passes for entry on businss.govt.nz
  • If My Vaccine Pass process is not used, restrictions apply to some real estate activities under Red and Orange.
  • For guidance on use of My Vaccine Pass and the NZ Pass Verifier app for businesses, see Unite against COVID-19 and business.govt.nz. It is critical that you refer to these resources.

For each level REA recommends licensees:

  • Undertake a risk assessment to understand the COVID-19 risks and controls required to reduce the risks at each real estate activity
  • Prepare a safety plan for each sale. If you do not know the vaccination status of the client/vendor then your plan should proceed on the basis that they are not vaccinated
  • Confirm with the client/vendor/tenant whether they consent to unvaccinated people coming onsite as part of the sales process or whether all onsite activities must be subject to My Vaccine Pass verification process. Allow for cleaning and other process and document in your plan. You will need to ensure that this is documented and a plan for meeting this requirement is prepared and followed
  • Document the safety plan and sales approach for signing by the vendor at the time the agency agreement is signed. The document can set out the health and safety controls to be used for the sales process, including whether My Vaccine Pass will be used, whether the vendor requires that face masks are to be worn, the processes to be used for unvaccinated people, and may include an acknowledgement/waiver if the vendor has refused to allow unvaccinated people through the property
  • Agree a marketing plan with the vendor that addresses the issue of whether unvaccinated people can visit the property, and the steps that will be taken to address any health and safety risks
  • Have a plan to enable unvaccinated people to participate in the real estate process, subject to the vendor’s consent e.g. allowing time for unvaccinated people to view, cleaning between visits/viewings, and undertaking inspections including using remote processes
  • Inform unvaccinated potential purchasers who do not physically visit the property of the risks of purchasing sight unseen. You could suggest they nominate someone vaccinated to physically view the property for them
  • Agree on a marketing plan with the client/vendor that ensures your fiduciary obligations are met and all potential purchasers and parties are treated fairly.

General health requirements for all levels

  • Minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission as per your health and safety obligations
  • Display QR codes, contact tracing, use of face coverings and physical distancing
  • Follow Government hygiene protocols
  • Encourage all people entering/leaving the workplace to sanitise their hands, use contactless processes where possible

No one should attend the office or a property or engage in real estate activities if they have cold/flu like symptoms, are self-isolating, are awaiting a COVID-19 test or have been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case

GREEN 

COVID-19 cases in the community, and some imported cases. Limited community transmission, and COVID-19 hospitalisations at a manageable level.

  • Record keeping and scanning strongly encouraged or required at all activities
  • Face coverings mandatory on flights, encouraged indoors
  • Agency office and property must display the NZ COVID tracer app QR code
  • Workplaces are open to workers
  • Agency office can open to customers/clients
  • If My Vaccine Pass is used, there are no limits for indoor/outdoor events or gatherings
  • If My Vaccine Pass is not used, events are limited to 100 people based on 1 metre physical distancing seated and separated
  • See below for guidance on other activities.

Agency office

General Information

If My Vaccine Pass verification is used

If My Vaccine Pass verification is not used, the following restrictions apply

Workplace settings apply: record keeping, and scanning strongly encouraged, and records must be kept securely for 60 days, face coverings recommended

All agencies will need to undertake their own business health and safety risk assessment which will determine whether vaccination is required for some or all workers based on their roles

The workplace safety plan will determine what controls are in place for each activity that occurs in the agency office

All agencies should have a safety plan in place to respond to a situation where someone who has been in the office contracts COVID-19

Workplaces may open at all levels, provided they are not undertaking activities that are otherwise restricted

All workers and customers/clients are strongly encouraged to scan QR tracer codes or other record keeping must be used

Property must display the NZ COVID tracer app QR code.

Workplaces can open.

Workplaces can open.

Face coverings encouraged indoors.

 

 

 

Supervision

General Information

If My Vaccine Pass verification is used

If My Vaccine Pass verification is not used, the following restrictions apply

Supervision must be carried out at all levels, remote process may be used. Supervisors’ plans should reflect workplace safety plans to ensure that supervision continues safely. See REA Supervision Standard for guidance.

Supervisors play a key role in ensuring that salespeople are aware of their obligations and complying with COVID-19 guidelines.

See General information.

See General information.

CPD training (in agency with agency workers)

General Information

If My Vaccine Pass verification is used

If My Vaccine Pass verification is not used, the following restrictions apply

Workplace settings apply, agency office protocols for visitors apply.

Training may be held on site.

Face coverings are encouraged indoors.

Training may be held on site.

Face coverings are encouraged indoors.

CPD training (at venue with external provider and people outside of your workplace)

General Information

If My Vaccine Pass verification is used

If My Vaccine Pass verification is not used, the following restrictions apply

CPD providers and/or the venue may require use of the CVC process

Event settings apply.

In-person training may be provided

Face coverings encouraged indoors

Capacity limited to 100 people and based on 1m distancing (whichever is the lesser). Limit includes all attendees and workers, and applies to each defined space.

In-person training may be provided

Face coverings are encouraged indoors 

Capacity limited to 100 people and based on 1m distancing (whichever is the lesser). Limit includes all attendees and workers, and applies to each defined space.

In-home/onsite real estate services i.e. appraisals, property visits, private viewings, pre-settlement inspections, building inspections, valuation assessments, professional services (eg photography, staging)

General Information

If My Vaccine Pass verification is used

If My Vaccine Pass verification is not used, the following restrictions apply

In-home/onsite settings apply. You must have systems and processes to keep contact records of workers

All workers and customers/clients are strongly encouraged to scan QR tracer codes or other record keeping must be used

Agencies must undertake a risk assessment and as part of that determine whether My Vaccine Pass should be used for onsite activities

All health requirements must be met

Health requirements and any industry guidance for the service provider apply

Property must display the NZ COVID tracer app QR code.

In-home/onsite services can be provided

Face coverings are encouraged indoors.

 

In-home/onsite services can be provided

Face coverings are encouraged indoors.

Meeting clients

General Information

If My Vaccine Pass verification is used

If My Vaccine Pass verification is not used, the following restrictions apply

See Agency office settings and In-home/onsite services.

See Agency office and In-home/onsite real estate services settings.

See Agency office and In-home/onsite real estate services settings.

Marketing a property (letterbox drops/cold calling)

General Information

If My Vaccine Pass verification is used

If My Vaccine Pass verification is not used, the following restrictions apply

Agency safety plans should address the steps required to meet the COVID-19 Protection Framework requirements for marketing activities such as cold calling and door knocking.

There are no limits on letterbox drops.

There are no limits on letterbox drops.

Signing the agency agreement

General Information

If My Vaccine Pass verification is used

If My Vaccine Pass verification is not used, the following restrictions apply

Ensure the client/vendor receives and has time to read the Agency Agreement Guide before signing the agreement.

Contracts may be signed electronically. Contactless pickup and delivery of the contract may be used.

Allow time for your client/vendor to seek legal and other professional advice as necessary about the agency agreement and transaction.

Agree a safety plan and sales approach with the vendor at this time.

See Agency office and In-home/onsite real estate services settings.

See Agency office and In-home/onsite real estate services settings.

Open homes

General Information

If My Vaccine Pass verification is used

If My Vaccine Pass verification is not used, the following restrictions apply

The rules for gatherings apply to residential open homes

The rules for events apply to non-residential open homes

You are strongly recommended to encourage record keeping/scanning for all attendees to help with contact tracing

Property must display the NZ COVID tracer app QR code.

Residential and non-residential open homes can be held without number limits

Vaccination for all workers is required (and includes staff, volunteers, contractors, professionals and semi- professional workers)

Face coverings are encouraged indoors

You must check all customers’ My Vaccine Passes and it is strongly recommended that you verify.

A residential and non-residential open homes may occur with capacity limited to up to 100 people  

Limit includes all attendees

Face coverings are encouraged.

Real estate auctions - in person

General Information

If My Vaccine Pass verification is used

If My Vaccine Pass verification is not used, the following restrictions apply

The rules for events  apply to auctions held at non-residential properties (eg auction room, agency office, venue or paddock)

The rules for gatherings apply to auctions at residential properties (including a farmhouse of a rural property)

Property must display the NZ COVID tracer app QR code

Record keeping for contact tracing is strongly encouraged (i.e. all those on premises must scan QR tracer codes or other record keeping must be used)

Real estate is not required to use My Vaccine Pass for real estate activities. However, My Vaccine Pass may be used as an entry requirement for customers and clients where a risk assessment has been completed, resulting in My Vaccine Pass being identified as an appropriate control.  The risk assessment process will need to include engagement and consultation with workers, given that workers will need to be vaccinated

If My Vaccine Pass is used, all workers involved in the activity must be vaccinated. Sufficient workers must be on site to scan and verify My Vaccine Passes at point of entry to the property. If My Vaccine Pass is not used, restrictions may apply to some real estate activity under Red and Orange.

In-person auctions may take place without number limits

Vaccination for all workers is required (and includes staff, volunteers, contractors, professionals and semi-professional workers).  A health and safety risk assessment must have been undertaken

Face coverings are encouraged indoors

You must check all customers’ My Vaccine Passes and it is strongly recommended that you verify

Remote processes (phone/online bidding) can also be used to enable unvaccinated people to participate in the auction.

In-person auctions may occur with capacity limited to up to 100 people, based on 1 metre distancing

Limit includes all attendees (excluding workers)

Face coverings are encouraged

Remote processes (phone/online bidding) can also be used to enable unvaccinated people to participate in the auction.

Signing the sale and purchase agreement

General Information

If My Vaccine Pass verification is used

If My Vaccine Pass verification is not used, the following restrictions apply

Contracts may be signed electronically.

Contactless pickup and delivery of the contract may be used.

See Agency office and In-home/onsite real estate services settings.

See Agency office and In-home/onsite real estate services settings.

Settlement

General Information

If My Vaccine Pass verification is used

If My Vaccine Pass verification is not used, the following restrictions apply

Allow time for your client to seek legal and other professional advice as necessary about the agency agreement and transaction.

Consider use of COVID-19 clauses, given risk of regional boundary changes and/or localised lockdowns.

See General information.

See General information.

Pre-settlement inspection

General Information

If My Vaccine Pass verification is used

If My Vaccine Pass verification is not used, the following restrictions apply

See Agency office and In-home/onsite real estate services settings. 

Consider use of COVID-19 clauses, given risk of regional boundary changes and/or localised lockdowns.

Pre-settlement inspections can occur. 

Face coverings are encouraged indoors.

Pre-settlement inspections can occur.

Face coverings are encouraged indoors.

 

Moving house

General Information

If My Vaccine Pass verification is used

If My Vaccine Pass verification is not used, the following restrictions apply

See business.govt.nz for freight and moving services and see above onsite services.

See COVID19.govt.nz for travel restrictions.

Regional boundary restrictions may apply if localised lockdowns are in place.

See General information.

See General information.

Travel between Regions

General Information

If My Vaccine Pass verification is used

If My Vaccine Pass verification is not used, the following restrictions apply

 

Regional boundary restrictions may apply.

Regional boundary restrictions may apply.

Tribunal/CAC

General Information

If My Vaccine Pass verification is used

If My Vaccine Pass verification is not used, the following restrictions apply

Tribunal and CAC continue to operate under all settings.

Parties expected to provide documentation, meet process obligations in accordance with directions from Tribunal and REA.

See General information.

See General information.

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Last updated 1 December 2021