Inspections in Vacant and Occupied Properties:
We have received further advice from the Office of the Minister for Consumer Affairs regarding the restrictions on inspections.
Restrictions on indoor gatherings
The Stay at Home Directions (No 3) dated 7 April 2020 (SAHD) restrict the number of people who may gather in indoor spaces to two people, providing that, unless an exception applies, a person must not enter a residence unless:
no other person is in that space; or
only one other person is in that space; or
more than one other person is in the space, but all of those persons ordinarily reside at the same premises as the person.
Inspections for lease and sale
Clause 11(3)(c) of the Stay at Home Direction (SAHD) allows a person to permit another person to enter their place of residence if it is necessary for the second person to enter the premises for the purpose of their work. Therefore, a person may permit an estate agent to enter the person’s place of residence to allow the estate agent to undertake their work related to the place of residence.
Clause 11(3)(c) of the SAHD also allows a person to permit another person to enter their place of residence if the second person is entering for the purposes of attending a private inspection of the premises for the purposes of a prospective sale or rental of the property.
Inspections of occupied properties
Private inspections of an occupied/tenanted residential property are permitted to be organised. An inspection is only permitted where an estate agent and one other person (the person for whom the inspection is organised by private appointment) are present at the premises.
An inspection where an estate agent, the prospective tenant/purchaser and a resident of the premises are all present is not permitted. In this case the resident of the premises will have to leave the premises, and should do so for a reason permitted under the SAHD, namely, to obtain necessary goods or services, for care and other compassionate reasons, to attend work or education or to exercise.
Those in isolation or quarantine should not leave their homes.
Inspections of vacant properties
Private inspections of a vacant residential property are permitted to be organised. An inspection is only permitted where an estate agent and one other person (the person for whom the inspection is organised by private appointment) are present at the premises.
Inspections of tenanted properties
Inspections by vendors or landlords
A vendor or a landlord wanting to enter a property to inspect it is permitted to do so if they have served a valid notice to enter the premises under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.
Inspections by estate agents
An estate agent is permitted to enter residential premises to exercise lawful duties as part of the exercise of their occupation, including to inspect a property on behalf of a landlord or vendor.
Restrictions on indoor gatherings do not apply to an estate agent entering an indoor space where it is necessary to enter a property in the exercise of their occupation. Accordingly, an estate agent may enter premises to conduct an inspection on behalf of a landlord or vendor irrespective of the number of residents of the property present at the time.
Estate agents, vendors or landlords conducting any inspection should ensure compliance and high levels of hygiene. See the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) information on appropriate cleaning and disinfecting.
Source: REIV Updated 13 April 2020