A change in the law means that lease terminations can now be suspended in closings.
Auckland property management company Crockers says all of its property managers will need to be fully vaccinated.
The company, which manages residential investment properties for homeowners, would also require contractors such as plumbers, cleaners and glaziers it sends to homes it manages to also be fully vaccinated.
Chief Executive Helen O’Sullivan said her vaccination mandate was being introduced after a risk assessment.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said businesses that require vaccination certificates to enter will now have to have a fully vaccinated workforce.
“We have people coming into houses, and it’s kind of a sacrosanct gig,” O’Sullivan said.
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But tenants of houses in which open houses were held also had legal rights, including asking only fully vaccinated people to pass through their homes while they lived there.
“When we show occupied homes, tenants have the right to impose reasonable terms of access,” O’Sullivan said.
“In my opinion, asking that everyone who comes into their home be vaccinated would be a reasonable condition that tenants could ask of contractors, property managers and potential tenants of this house,” she said.
That could limit opportunities for unvaccinated people to see homes for rent, O’Sullivan said.
It was the latest in a series of signals that unvaccinated people would face costs not borne by fully vaccinated people, which national leader Judith Collins said would lead to a ‘two-class society’ of the vaccinated. and unvaccinated.
Government vaccination mandates covered a growing number of workplaces, and a recent survey of employers found that only 9% of employers would not think badly of a job applicant who was not vaccinated compared to one. it was.
On Friday, the country’s largest insurance company, IAG, announced a vaccination mandate for its staff.
Some landlords had begun to show a preference for renting their accommodation only to vaccinated people, although the legality of this remained in question.
O’Sullivan said she had seen legal advice, which said vaccination status was not a legal reason not to rent someone a house.
O’Sullivan, who has been fully vaccinated, said Crockers was not running open houses at Alert Level 3.
Crockers property managers could visit multiple homes in a single day and the company had an obligation to take reasonably practicable steps to ensure their safety, she said.
The company had health and safety obligations to its staff and those it worked with, she said.
“This includes contractors who come to our sites to work, and of course the people who live in our homes.”
Some tenants were vulnerable, including the elderly and those who were immunocompromised, O’Sullivan said.
“That means asking our frontline staff to be double-vaccinated,” she said.
It was inevitable that some tenants would not be vaccinated, she said.
There may also be new processes ahead of open home and property inspections, she said.
Contractors would need to know if a tenant has been vaccinated, so they can take precautions before working on a property, she said.
Properties should be advertised before inspections, which would force tenants to leave for a period of time beforehand.
And vaccination passports would be required to attend open houses at rental properties under the orange and red settings of the new traffic light system, O’Sullivan said.