EXPLAINER

Can unvaccinated people attend open for inspections in NSW? New COVID-19 real estate rules explained

In-person property auctions are now permitted in NSW, with vaccination requirements varying according to the premises. Photo: Shutterstock
In-person property auctions are now permitted in NSW, with vaccination requirements varying according to the premises. Photo: Shutterstock

In-person auctions and open for inspections for residential real estate are now permitted throughout NSW following the end of that state's lockdown restrictions, with unvaccinated residents able to participate in most cases.

We've spoken to the NSW Department of Customer Service and put together a brief explainer of what's permitted this week under the new rules.

Can in-person auctions take place?

In-person auctions are now permitted throughout NSW, with no cap on attendees for auctions.

Do I have to check-in if I'm attending an auction?

Agents must develop a COVID-19 Safety Plan for a sale or leasing event, according to a NSW Government spokesperson, though COVID-10 Safe Check-Ins are not mandatory.

Can open for inspections take place?

Open for inspections can take place for both residential and commercial property.

There is no capacity limit for how many people can inspect a home for sale or lease, according to a NSW Government spokesperson, but it may be different for commercial properties, depending on the type of premises being sold.

Some commercial properties may have a capacity limit of one person per four square metres of space for indoor inspections and one person per two square metres of space for outdoor areas, according to the spokesperson.

Do I need to be vaccinated to attend an auction or open for inspection?

You do not need to be vaccinated to attend an open for inspection or auction of residential properties.

"The updated Public Health Order currently in force does not require agents or buyers to be fully vaccinated to attend on-site real estate auctions or open homes for places of residence," the spokesperson said.

It's a different story if you're planning on attending an inspection for a commercial property, such as a cafe, for example, where vaccination requirements are in place. In that instance you will be subject to the vaccination rules for the type of premises in question.

"If the premises being auctioned fall into one of the categories listed in clause 2.18 of the PHO, then vaccination requirements apply," the spokesperson said.

Auctions taking place in a dedicated auction house - not including a real estate agent's office - require attendees to be vaccinated under the public health order.

"An 'auction house' is generally taken to mean a business that specialises in conducting auctions. Their premises are the place where property, including both goods as well as real property, are auctioned. However, this should not be confused for a real estate agent conducting an auction on-site at a property being sold, or in the agent's office or another similar indoor space," the spokesperson said.

Can I leave Greater Sydney to inspect property?

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated Sydneysiders can enter the regions to move to a new place of residence, between their residences, or to inspect property without having to apply for a permit or exemption, according to the latest health order.

I'm a renter and my agent wants to conduct a routine inspection of my home. Is that allowed?

Routine inspections of rental properties can take place throughout NSW.

"Agents do not need to be vaccinated if the rented property is a place of residence. Agents conducting inspections of rented commercial properties must abide by the vaccination rules relating to the premises they are entering," the spokesperson said.

"Residents of rented properties where an agent is undertaking an inspection do not need to be vaccinated in order for the inspection to go ahead."

This story Can the unvaccinated attend open homes? NSW's COVID real estate rules explained first appeared on Newcastle Herald.