Moving, buying and selling your home

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

Latest update — 28 September 2021

  • The Government has announced changes to the permitted personal reasons for crossing the Alert Level boundary.
  • From 11:59pm on 28 September 2021, you can travel out of Auckland to an Alert Level 2 region if you are moving or relocating home permanently. This includes moving to a different town or city to start a new job, or to move into student accomodation.
  • You will need evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result administered no more than 72 hours before your travel, and you will also need to carry evidence of your reason to travel.

Moving, buying and selling your home at Alert Level 1

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 you, your whānau and community 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

At Alert Level 2, you can move house, including between different Alert Level areas.  If you are moving to an area with the same Alert Level settings, you can:

  • ask your friends or whānau to help you move
  • use a moving company.

Movers will need to follow physical distancing guidelines and keep a record of where they have been to help with contact tracing.

If anyone is unwell or has symptoms of COVID-19, they should stay home and get tested. 

Moving from an Alert Level 2 to an Alert Level 3 region

You can move house from an Alert Level 2 to an Alert Level 3 region. You must 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.

Moving from an Alert Level 3 to an Alert Level 2 region

You can move home from an Alert Level 3 to an Alert Level 2 area. Everyone aged 12 and over must have evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result administered no more than 72 hours before travel. You will also need to carry evidence of your reason to travel — for example a tenancy agreement, or proof of address. 

Travel between an Alert Level 3 and Alert Level 2 area

Buying or selling your home

At Alert Level 2, 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. 

Open homes, auctions and viewings are limited to 100 people. If you go to an open home, 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 legally must display the NZ COVID Tracer QR code. Remember to sign in wherever you go, or record your details on the contact tracing register.

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

Property inspection and maintenance

At Alert Level 2, 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

At Alert Level 3 you can move house within the Alert Level 3 region 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 from an Alert Level 2 to an Alert Level 3 region

You can move house from an Alert Level 2 to an Alert Level 3 region. You must 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.

Moving from an Alert Level 3 to an Alert Level 2 region

You can move home from an Alert Level 3 to an Alert Level 2 area. Everyone aged 12 and over must have evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result administered no more than 72 hours before travel. You will also need to carry evidence of your reason to travel — for example a tenancy agreement, or proof of address. 

Travel between an Alert Level 3 and Alert Level 2 area

Buying or selling your home

You can buy or sell a property at Alert Level 3, but we recommend you delay settlement until Alert Levels 1 or 2. We encourage you to view a property online where possible, rather than in person. 

One-on-one viewings and pre-settlement inspections may be possible. If you do need to view a property in person, try to organise a time to do this when the residents are not at home to minimise physical contact with others. You must wear a face covering when going to view a property, and scan in using the NZ COVID Tracer app.

You cannot travel to other regions 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 cannot carry out any property inspections. You can do virtual inspections if the tenant agrees. 

At the end of the tenancy, the landlord and tenant should not do the final property inspection together as would be usual practice. We recommend tenants take photos of the property’s condition before leaving instead.

Resolving tenancy disputes

At Alert Level 3, there will be no face to face hearings. Hearings can happen virtually.

Information for landlords and tenants | Tenancy Services (external link)

Moving, buying and selling your home at Alert Level 4

Moving house 

At Alert Level 4, everyone must stay in their current home or accomodation. 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 do have to move, you must follow all Alert Level 4 rules.

You cannot hire a removal service. 

If your tenancy is ending during Alert Level 4, talk to your landlord about getting an extension. 

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

Buying or selling your home 

If you have sold or purchased a property, and settlement was due to occur during 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.  

Open homes and auctions cannot take place in person, 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

At Alert Level 4, 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

At Alert Level 4, there will be no face to face hearings. Hearings can happen virtually.

Information for landlords and tenants | Tenancy Services (external link)

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