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How Auckland's Alert Level 3 rules will impact renters

Auckland's back in Alert Level 3, but what does it mean for renters in the city?

Source: 1 NEWS

Unlike when the country moved into Level 4, the Government hasn't yet put a ban on evictions under Level 3, with the previous ban having expired.

For the most part, under Level 3 tenants can still look at new properties and move to a new home, according to information published by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development yesterday.

As the lockdown is regional, people are only able to move and view properties within Auckland - so that move to Hamilton is off the table for now.

Those who live with suspected or confirmed cases of Covid-19 need to stay isolated in their current property until they've recovered, according to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

Open homes aren't allowed under Level 3 but people can do up to two in-person viewings per day with social distancing and public health measures in place, including cleaning and sanitising any surfaces.

Aucklanders are recommended to wear masks whenever they're in public.

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"The expectation is that viewings should be carried out remotely in most cases. But in-person viewings are possible at Alert Level 3 if necessary," the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development says.

While viewings are allowed, routine inspections are mostly blocked under the Level 3 rules.

Virtual inspections are possible with the agreement of the tenant, while end-of-tenancy inspections are replaced with tenants taking photos of the property's condition before leaving, before the landlord does their own final property inspection.

As for rent rises, the freeze from earlier this year is still in effect; landlords can't raise their tenants' rents until September 25.

But by the time that rolls around, the Residential Tenancies Act will be in force and rent increases will be limited to once every 12 months.

New rules forbidding evictions without cause don't come into effect until February 11, 2021, under that Act.