It has been suggested by some other commentators in the sector that rental property inspections should be suspected for 90 days. Although we applaud the efforts to keep staff safe, the question we ask is, what happens after 90 days is up?
Nowhere has the Ministry of Health ever set a time frame of 90 days. The only timeframe we can be certain about is that nothing can go back to how it was until we have a vaccine for Coronavirus. Best estimates are saying this will be 18-24 months away.
Currently in New Zealand, in order for certain insurance claims to be eligible, we must inspect the rental property every three months. The current inspections process, however, may not be safe for property managers.
There are possibly many solutions to this challenge including technology for inspecting the home or tenant self-inspection systems. The most practical approach, that would be easy to implement, would be adding a pre-inspection risk analysis to every inspection and then improving the safety of the inspection itself.
For example, this might mean conducting a pre-inspection phone survey with the tenant to assess the current risk within the rental property. If the risk is low then the inspection will go ahead as scheduled. If not, then it will be rescheduled for 14 days from now.
For the inspection itself, the tenants would be required to be out of the house at the time of inspection, the property manager would wear appropriate protective clothing (e.g. gloves & mask), and would take extra precautions such as avoiding touching surfaces. Upon completing the inspection the property manager would discard their protective clothing and clean their hands with hand sanitiser.
Rueben is a consultant at Hamish Turner & Associates. He is an entrepreneur with 20 years of business experience in a number of sectors. In the past decade, Rueben has worked in a handful of technology startups (e.g. Timely) in the area of digital sales and marketing. In addition, he has run a social media marketing agency since 2013 providing social media services and digital marketing services to small businesses across NZ.
You can check out more about his background and follow his VLOG on his Linkedin profile.