- Protocols for home viewings promulgated by the Estate Agency Affairs Board remain in place following President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement of stricter lockdown regulations.
- The new regulations do not prevent prospective home buyers and tenants from viewing properties.
- But physical property viewings can only be arranged after a definite interest has been expressed, and Prospective buyers or tenants may not travel to the property in the agent's vehicle.
New lockdown regulations announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa evening do not prevent prospective home buyers and tenants from viewing properties for sale or to let, provided they follow certain protocols designed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Ramaphosa announced new lockdown regulations to curb the rapid increase in the spread of infections on Monday evening. The regulations include a curfew from 21:00 to 06:00; a ban on alcohol sales and distribution, and the closure of beaches in hotspots.
"These new rules do not affect the continued operation of estate agencies, mortgage originators, property attorneys or the Deeds Office, provided everyone involved adheres to the general provisions regarding wearing a mask at all times, sanitising their hands and maintaining social distancing," says Gerhard Kotzé, managing director of the RealNet estate agency group.
"There is no reason now that property buyers should not continue to use the opportunity presented by historically low interest rates and wide choice of inventory to acquire a home of their own. In addition, tenants often want to relocate during January or February for work or other reasons."
In June the Estate Agency Affairs Board implemented certain protocols for home viewings, in compliance with the Disaster Management Act as well as the new Covid-19 regulations. These protocols still remain in place even after the latest lockdown announcement.
- Physical property viewings should only be arranged after a buyer or tenant has expressed definite interest in the property and should be kept brief;
- Everyone involved must be advised of the safety protocols ahead of the viewing and must agree in writing to adhere to these;
- Prospective buyers or tenants may not travel to the property in the agent's vehicle – they can only meet on site;
- Only two people at a time may view the property, and any current occupants need to vacate the property while they are there;
- Everyone on site must wear a mask at all times (and under the new regulations it is now illegal not to wear one anywhere in public);
- If there is more than one viewing scheduled on the same day, the agent must ensure that the property is ventilated and that all surfaces are sanitised in between viewings;
- Visitors to the property who refuse to have their temperature checked or sanitise their hands must be refused entry;
- Visitors must confirm in writing that they have not to their knowledge been in contact with anyone who has Covid-19 for at least 14 days before the viewing and do not themselves have any symptoms of the virus, including a cough, a sore throat, red eyes, shortness of breath or weakness;
- Viewings may not be conducted if any resident of the property has contracted Covid-19 within the past 14 days or been in contact with anyone else who has tested positive for the virus;
- Agents must as far as possible ensure that no surfaces, handles or objects are touched during the viewing, and must immediately afterwards sanitise any that are.
* Compiled by Carin Smith