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

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 health and safety 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 mix 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 business.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 gbusiness.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.

RED

Red will be used if there is a need to protect both at-risk people and our health system from an unsustainable number of hospitalisations.

  • Record keeping and scanning is strongly encouraged at all activities
  • Agency office and property must display the NZ COVID tracer app QR code, and have an alternative way for people to create a record
  • Face coverings are mandatory in many places, including on flights, public transport, in taxis, retail, public facilities, and recommended whenever leaving your home
  • Face coverings should be worn in customer/client-facing real estate activities. If you are operating under the rules for gatherings, all workers (paid and unpaid) must wear face coverings
  • Workplaces are open, but working from home is encouraged
  • If My Vaccine Pass process is used, capacity limits of up to 100 people applies based on 1 metre physical distancing for indoor/outdoor events and gatherings (auctions/open homes)
  • If My Vaccine Pass process is not used, at Orange and Red real estate events operating under events rules cannot operate, gatherings are limited to 25
  • Regional boundary restrictions may apply.

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. You are strongly recommended to encourage record keeping/scanning for all visitors to the office to help with contact tracing

Face coverings are 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

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 (see WorkSafe) 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 must scan QR tracer codes or other record keeping must be used

Workplace must display the NZ COVID tracer app QR code.

Agency office can open but for those workers who can, working from home is encouraged

Agency office can open and My Vaccine Pass can be used for customers/ clients with no limits following a health and safety risk assessment

Workers and customers/clients must be told what the vaccine requirements are and whether it is for people with My Vaccine Pass or a mix of people with and without My Vaccine Pass

Face coverings are encouraged in the workplace and should be worn by customer/client facing workers

If My Vaccine Pass is used for customers/clients, workers in public-facing roles will also be required to be vaccinated. Your risk assessment will need to address whether other workers need to be vaccinated or whether other controls can be used 

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

Agency office can open, but for those workers who can, working from home is encouraged

Agency office may open to customers/clients and REA recommends a  capacity limit is applied based on 1m distancing

Face coverings are encouraged in the workplace and should be worn by customer/client facing workers

A health and safety risk assessment will determine whether vaccination is required for agency office workers and/or whether other controls for health and safety can be used (such as observing 1 metre physical distancing in the office).

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

Supervisor 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.

Restrictions are the same as those when My Vaccine Pass is not used.

Training can be held onsite in accordance with the workplace safety plan and in consultation with the training provider. Remote processes are encouraged

Face coverings are encouraged.

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 My Vaccine Pass

Event settings apply.

CPD training may be provided with up to 100 people based on 1m physical distancing. Face coverings are encouraged

Vaccinations are required for trainers and venue workers.

Online learning only.

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

You are strongly recommended to encourage record keeping/scanning for all attendees to help with contact tracing and records must be kept securely for 60 days

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

All health requirements must be met

Health requirements and any industry guidance for the service provider apply

In-home/onsite services should be pre-booked with all attendees known

Property must display the NZ COVID tracer app QR code.

In-home/onsite services can occur and My Vaccine Pass can be used for customers/clients following a health and safety risk assessment

Workers onsite will be required to be vaccinated

Face coverings are encouraged for all people onsite

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

REA recommends that capacity limits for gatherings be used and properties can have up to 100 people at any time based on 1-metre physical distancing.

If the service cannot be carried out remotely and if the vendor/tenant consents, to not operate with vaccine pass requirements, in-home/onsite real estate services can occur, but remote processes are encouraged

REA recommends that capacity limits for gatherings be used properties can have up to 25 people based on 1-metre physical distancing 

If a virtual appraisal is undertaken, the licensee should ensure every party knows that they have not physically inspected the property, and they (licensee) should get comprehensive full disclosure from the vendor by asking detailed questions about the condition of the property

The licensee needs to be satisfied that no consumer is adversely affected by the lack of physical appraisal or inspection

Face coverings are encouraged for all people onsite

Onsite services should be pre-booked and attendees known

REA recommends time between viewings/visits are allowed to ensure groups do not cross, and to allow for cleaning

Service should be contactless where possible, and cleaning/sanitation undertaken after each visit.

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 and In-home/onsite real estate services settings.

See Agency office and In-home/onsite real estate services settings depending on where this occurs.

See Agency office and In-home/onsite real estate services settings depending on where this occurs.

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 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 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 depending on where this occurs.

See Agency office and In-home/onsite real estate services settings depending on where this occurs.

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 open homes at a private dwelling

The rules for events apply to open homes at non-residential properties

Property must display the NZ COVID tracer app QR code

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

 

A residential open home is a gathering and may occur only with people with My Vaccine Pass there with up to 100 people and all workers must wear face coverings and everyone else is encouraged to wear face coverings

A non-residential open homes is an event and may occur only with people with My Vaccine Pass there with up to 100 people based on 1m physical distancing (whichever is the lesser)

All workers and attendees are encouraged to wear face coverings

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

Limit includes all attendees and applies to the property as a whole

You must check all workers and customers’ My Vaccine Passes at entry and it is strongly recommended that you verify every pass using the NZ Pass Verifier app

All health requirements apply (QR code scanning, record-keeping, and retention)

Regional boundaries may apply to restrict those who can attend

Discuss with your vendor arrangements for viewings and visits by potential purchasers who are unvaccinated.  If the vendor does not consent to visits by unvaccinated people, consider what remote processes can be used

You must treat all customers and clients fairly and must enable sufficient time for viewings, inspections to be undertaken without undue pressure.

If the licensee or property owner of a residential sale chooses not to operate with vaccine pass requirements the rules for gatherings apply and there can be up to 25 people at any time.  This can be a mix of people with and without My Vaccine Pass and all workers must wear a face covering

Non-residential open homes cannot occur (the rules for events apply)

A defined space is a single indoor or outdoor space separated from other spaces. A property is a defined space so 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.

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 in a farmhouse of a rural property)

Property must display the NZ COVID tracer app QR code

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

If My Vaccine Pass is used, all workers involved in the activity must be vaccinated. Sufficient workers must be onsite to scan and verify My Vaccine passes at the points 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 at non-residential venues are events and may occur with up to 100 people and based on 1 metre distancing. Face coverings are encouraged for workers and attendees

In-person auctions at residential properties are gatherings and may occur with up to 100 people and workers must wear face coverings and encouraged for other people

Limit includes all attendees and workers, and applies to each defined space

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

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.

Auctions at non-residential venues cannot occur in person. Remote processes may be used

Auctions at residential properties can occur with up to 25 people based on 1-metre physical distancing and workers must wear face masks and encouraged for other people.

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

Consider a sight unseen clause for those purchasers who do not view the property itself.

See Agency office and In-home/onsite real estate services settings depending on where this occurs.

See Agency office and In-home/onsite real estate services settings depending on where this occurs.

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 REINZ/ADLS 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 In-home/onsite real estate services settings

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

Regional boundaries may apply to restrict those who can attend.

Regional boundaries may apply to restrict those who can attend.

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.

You can move house at Red and use a moving company.

 

 

You can move house at Red and use a moving company.

 

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

You can travel between regions that are at different settings. Between 3 December and 17 January 2022 there are travel requirements if you are travelling into and out of Auckland – follow the travel advice on Unite against COVID website.

Regional boundary restrictions may apply

You can travel between regions that are at different settings. Between 3 December and 17 January 2022 there are travel requirements if you are travelling into and out of Auckland – follow the travel advice on Unite against COVID website.

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