The REIV has received a number of calls from Members citing examples where their clients are being turned around at ‘check points’ as they endeavour to attend a private inspection of a residential property, outside Melbourne Metro and Mitchell Shire, organised in accordance with the Restricted Activity Directions (Restricted Areas) (No 2) and the Restricted Activity Directions (No 13), pursuant to the Stay at Home Directions (Restricted Areas)(No 3).
CEO Gil King has written to the Chief Commissioner of Police asking him to address the incorrect interpretation of the Directions by Victoria Police.
As per our earlier communications, a person from a restricted area may inspect a property in an un-restricted area by private appointment only.
The REIV strongly supports and encourages the preventive measures required for safety of all Victorians. However, shelter is an essential requirement and where people need to move across Victoria for the genuine purpose of buying/ leasing/ selling property, that continues to be permissible albeit with certain limitations.
Please refer below for clarification regarding some of the common questions on conducting inspections under Stage 3 Restrictions.
Open For Inspections are not allowed however can advertise a block of time for private inspections and take people through one at a time?
No. Although private inspection is not defined in the government’s directions the proposed advertisement creates the risk of a public gathering of more than two people outside the property, which would be a breach of the directions. The time for a private appointment should only be shared between the agent, the prospective buyer or tenant, and the occupant of the property, to avoid a member of the public turning up unannounced.
Can people from the same household inspect the property at the same time?
No. The Stay at Home Directions (Restricted Areas) say that a person who normally resides in a restricted area may leave home to attend a private inspection of a residential property. The Directions do not say “a person or people from the same household”, so the agent should take only one person at a time into the property.
Although it is not stated in the directions, a one on one inspection enables the agent to observe everything the consumer does and touches in the property, so there can be more reliable sanitisation action at the end of the inspection. If two or more people are inspecting at the same time this may not be possible and the sanitisation task becomes much greater.
Can people from restricted areas (Melbourne metro & Mitchell Shire) inspect properties in non-restricted areas?
Yes, but with the following considerations:
- A person normally residing in a restricted area may enter a non-restricted area for one of the purposes in the stay at home directions, including to inspect a residential property for sale or for rent.
- The restrictions on activities are based on where a person normally resides, not the location of the property being inspected, therefore a person from a restricted area can only inspect by private appointment.
- The person should not undertake any other activity, e.g. stopping for a restaurant meal, that is not be permitted under the Directions.
- With the appropriate direction from their client (vendor or landlord) agents may deny access to a person from a restricted area. This is to minimise the risk of infection spreading into non-restricted areas and endangering vulnerable occupants of properties for sale or rent.
The team at TG Newton & Co. are well informed on the restrictions in place. Any home buyers or home sellers are welcome to contact us at 03 9568 8000 to discuss any questions about inspecting properties during these restrictions.