Property Transactions at Level 3

Whether you are in the middle of a residential property transaction or have just entered into a sale and purchase agreement, your transaction is likely to be impacted by the COVID-19 Alert Level restrictions. Now that the Government has announced Level 4 will be reduced to Level 3 at 11.59 pm Monday 27 April 2020, residential property transactions may commence provided proper precautions are in place.

While New Zealand was at Alert Level 4 most residential property settlements were put on hold for a number of reasons:

  1. Sellers may have been unable to provide vacant possession and buyers were unable to move into the property.
  2. Buyers who made a conditional offer may not have been able to obtain specialist reports from non-essential services meaning they could not fulfill various conditions.
  3. Sellers who were required to complete necessary repairs before settlement could not hire a trades person before settlement.
  4. Pre-settlement inspections could not take place.

The Government announced that people can move homes at Level 3. This means people can travel between different regions and use domestic air services provided it is for the purpose of moving house. Moving companies can also operate around New Zealand at Level 3 provided they can do so safely.

Buyers may be able to enter the property to complete a pre settlement inspection at Level 3 provided that the appropriate social distancing and public health measures are taken by the parties.

The Government has also announced that building inspectors and trades people can enter into properties at Level 3. This will assist buyers who have made a conditional offer and allow sellers to carry out any repairs required before settlement.

If your residential property transaction is affected by the COVID-19 Alert Level restrictions we recommend you contact us in order to determine what risks you face and how best to proceed.