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REINZ Seeks Urgent Clarification Around COVID-19 Changes To RTA Announced This Afternoon

Bindi Norwell Chief Executive at REINZ says: “We welcome the Government’s announcement this afternoon that there is a freeze on rental increases for the next 6 months. This will allow tenants a degree of certainty in these uncertain times and allow them to plan for the future. The last thing we need over the coming weeks is people being made homeless as a result of COVID-19.

“We also welcome the clarity the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has provided property managers and landlords with regards to how to handle rent increases already in motion – this will provide answers to some of the many questions we have received over the last few days.

“However, we have read the HUD frequently asked questions sheet for tenants and landlords and it seems to suggest that if tenants must move during the Level 4 Alert lockdown period, that they should follow the Ministry of Health guidelines and ensure they do not have physical contact with anyone outside their ‘bubble’. This seems to contradict the Level 4 Alert guidance instructing people to stay home and severely limit travel.

“We seek urgent clarification as to whether the same applies for purchasers who wish to move into their new house and vendors who wish to move out as this will of course impact both real estate agencies and lawyers in the coming weeks.

“With regards to removing the 90-day notice, we are disappointed that this has been announced given the wider property industry has made its views quite clear over the past few months, however, we understand they are trying to do their best by tenants in these trying circumstances during the Alert Level 4 lockdown period,” she concludes.

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