Moving, buying and selling your home

Information on moving house, home maintenance, and buying or selling a property.

Moving, buying and selling your home at Alert Level 1

You can move house, sell your home, go to open homes and auctions and carry out maintenance and inspections on a property.

There are no restrictions on travel.

To keep everyone safe, we encourage you to:

  • stay home and get tested if you feel unwell
  • keep a record of the people you see and the properties you visit
  • wash or sanitise your hands before and after you leave home.

If you are a property manager or landlord, you should not visit your tenant's home if they are sick or are self-isolating.

Moving, buying and selling your home at Alert Level 2

Moving house

You can move house, including between different Alert Level areas. If you are moving to an area at Alert Level 1 or 2, friends or whānau can help you move or you can use a moving company.

Movers need to follow physical distancing guidelines and record where they have been.

If you are unwell or have symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and get tested. 

Moving across Alert Level boundaries

You can move house permanently or long-term across an Alert Level boundary if:

  • you are starting a new job
  • you are attending tertiary education, or
  • you have bought or are renting a new home.

You can use a moving company to help you move. You will need to check if friends or whanau can help you.

You must carry documents that show you are moving house to help explain your travel. This could be a tenancy or sales agreement or proof of address. You may also need to carry evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result administered no more than 72 hours before travel.

You may also need to carry evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result administered no more than 72 hours before travel.

Personal travel across an Alert Level boundary

Buying or selling your home

You can hold and go to open homes, auctions and private viewings.

  • You can travel to another region that is in Alert Level 1 or 2 to view a property.
  • You can also travel across the Alert Level boundary to another Alert Level 2 area to go to an open home or property viewing as long as you do not stop in the Alert Level 3 area.

Open homes, auctions and viewings are limited to 100 people. Try to keep at least 2 metres away from people you do not know. The agent organising the open home may limit numbers to help with physical distancing.

Open homes must display the NZ COVID Tracer QR code — remember to sign in or record your details on the alternative system like a paper register.

Do not go to an open home if you are feeling unwell. 

Property inspection and maintenance

Property inspectors, property valuers, engineers, tradespeople and cleaners can visit your home. If you are a landlord, make sure you get your tenant's consent first.

Anyone inspecting or carrying out maintenance on a property needs to follow physical distancing guidelines and keep 2 metres apart from people they do not know. They also must wear a face covering.

Try to limit the number of people visiting your property at the same time to help with physical distancing. We recommend keeping a record of the people who visit your home to help with contact tracing.

People should not visit your property if you or any of the occupants are unwell or are self-isolating.

Moving, buying and selling your home at Alert Level 3

Moving house

Moving house within an Alert Level 3 area

You can move house within the Alert Level 3 area if you are moving or relocating home permanently. You should carry documents with you to show that you are moving house to help explain your travel. This could be a tenancy or sales agreement or proof of address.

You can use a moving company. Movers will need to keep 2 metres apart from you. We encourage you to wear a face covering if physical distancing is difficult.

Friends and whānau cannot help you move at Alert Level 3, unless they are already part of your bubble.

Moving across Alert Level boundaries

You can move house permanently or long-term across an Alert Level boundary if:

  • you are starting a new job
  • you are attending tertiary education, or
  • you have bought or are renting a new home.

You can use a moving company to help you move. You will need to check if friends or whānau can help you move.

You must carry documents that show you are moving house to help explain your travel. This could be a tenancy or sales agreement or proof of address. You may also need to carry evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result administered no more than 72 hours before travel.

Personal travel across an Alert Level boundary

Buying or selling your home

You can buy or sell a property, but we recommend you delay settlement until Alert Levels 1 or 2. We encourage you to view a property online where possible. 

One-on-one viewings and pre-settlement inspections may be possible. You can go to open homes but they will have physical distancing requirements and restrictions on how many people can be present. They may operate with a one-in, one-out policy. 

If you need to view a property in person, try to organise a time when the residents are not at home. You must wear a face covering and sign in using the NZ COVID Tracer app or another method.

You cannot travel from an Alert Level 3 area to an Alert Level 2 area (or in the other direction) to view a property. 

Buying a home at Alert Level 3 | settled.govt.nz(external link) (external link)

Selling your home at Alert Level 3 | settled.govt.nz (external link)

Property inspection and maintenance

You can have a tradesperson come to your house to do maintenance. This includes electricians, plumbers and builders. However, we recommend you limit this to urgent repairs.

Tradespeople and other workers must wear a face covering when they come into your house. We recommend you move to a different room while they are working to help with physical distancing.

Do not invite people to your home for maintenance if you or anyone in your household is unwell.

If you are a landlord, you can carry out any property inspections if you can do it safely. Try to keep 2 metres away from your tenant, and wear a face covering when carrying out an inspection. We encourage you to do virtual inspections if the tenant agrees. 

At the end of the tenancy, the landlord and tenant can do the final property inspection together, if both the landlord and the tenant agree. Alternatively, tenants can also take photos of the property’s condition before leaving.

Information for landlords and tenants | tenancy.govt.nz (external link)

Resolving tenancy disputes

There will be no face-to-face hearings, but they can happen virtually.

Moving, buying and selling your home at Alert Level 4

Moving house 

Everyone must stay in their current home or accommodation. You can only move house if you:

  • have a court order, or
  • you need to use a temporary or emergency home — for example if you need care while sick or to seek refuge in a women’s refuge accommodation.  

If you have to move, you must follow all Alert Level 4 rules.

You cannot hire a moving company. 

If your tenancy is ending, talk to your landlord about getting an extension. 

If you have signed a new tenancy agreement and you are due to move in at Alert Level 4, talk to your landlord about postponing the start date.

Buying or selling your home 

If you have bought or sold a property and settlement was due to occur at Alert Level 4, we encourage you to contact the other party and come to an agreement.  

You can only move house under extreme circumstances, for example for care while sick or to seek refuge in a women’s refuge accommodation.  

For any new sale and purchase agreements, we recommend that lawyers insert a clause into the agreement to delay settlement until after the Alert Level is reduced to 2 or lower.  

You cannot go to open homes and auctions, but they can happen virtually. You can contact a real estate agent by phone, video conference or email, but you cannot meet with them face to face.  

Property inspection and maintenance

Property inspections cannot take place in person. If you are a landlord, we recommend you wait until Alert Level 1 or 2 to inspect your property or do a virtual inspection if the tenant agrees.

You can have a tradesperson come to your home for urgent maintenance or repairs. Non urgent repairs and maintenance cannot happen.

Resolving tenancy disputes

There will be no face-to-face hearings, but they can happen virtually.

Information for landlords and tenants | tenancy.govt.nz (external link)

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