The Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) has clarified their stance on applicant tenants completing applications before and after viewings at Alert Level 3 and Alert Level 2.
With Auckland set to remain at Alert Level 3 until at least August 27 and the rest of New Zealand currently in Alert Level 2 restrictions, the OPC has confirmed that their views fall in line with the property management guidelines set out by REINZ and the Government.
The Tenancy eBundle has been updated to inform tenants of the different processes at Alert Level 3 and Alert Level 2.
Alert Level 3
At Alert Level 3, open rental viewings are not possible. Viewings are by appointment only, and official advice is to limit viewings to two per day.
OPC Senior Policy Advisor Ewan Lincoln confirmed to tenancy.co.nz that does significantly reduce the number of people who can realistically view a property.
“Under those circumstances, we accept that the balance does shift in terms of what personal information it is reasonable and necessary to collect in the circumstances,” Lincoln told tenancy.co.nz
The OPC has outlined that the listings for rental properties in Auckland during Alert Level 3 (or any other region that may subsequently come under Alert Level 3) should state clearly that open homes are not taking place due to Alert Level 3 restrictions.
Therefore, any prospective tenants should carefully review the information in the listing and let the agent know if they have any questions. If they remain interested in the property, they could be advised:
- Due to Alert Level 3 viewing restrictions, viewings will be possible for only a small number of prospective tenants.
- Anyone who is interested in viewing the property should complete an application form and will be notified as to whether they will be able to view the property or not.
- Information from application forms will be deleted for any prospective tenants who are not successful in obtaining a viewing.
It is advised that credit and background checking should occur after the viewing at Alert Level 3.
Alert Level 2
Under Alert Level 2, open home viewings can still take place – they just need to be managed more carefully.
The OPC have confirmed that viewings should be allowed for all prospective tenants before they complete applications and are vetted.
“We can see no reason for requiring prospective tenants to complete a full tenancy application prior to viewing at (Alert) Level 2,” Lincoln said.
If you have any questions, please contact our office on 09-304-0853.