LPM is dedicated to ensuring that our staff, tenants, and applicants are kept as safe as possible from the current COVID-19 crisis. By ensuring that strict social distancing is practiced and following the Ministry of Health guidelines on PPE, as well as minimising all non-essential contact, we believe that our services can continue in the face of the continued threat of illness.
Some measures that we have taken may be inconvenient, but we firmly believe that they bring the greatest level of safety to all those involved. These measures include:
We understand how difficult this unprecedented time is for all New Zealanders, including our overseas visitors. We would like to help in any way we can.
First of all, take care of yourselves and your family - We want you to be healthy and happy during this time, not panicking, stressed and fatigued. Make sure you have bought good, healthy foods and have paid for heating and other necessities.
Rent payments - If you are having trouble with your rent payments at the moment please contact us as soon as possible and we will work with you to work it out.
If you have lost work and are not being paid - First ask your employer to check if they are eligible for the government’s wage subsidy. If they have lost a substantial amount of income they will be able to claim this subsidy from the government to help pay your wages. Additionally, ask about using holiday or sick leave if you have exhausted other options. Further information: WINZ Wage Subsidy Declaration
Information for employers: Workplace response to coronavirus (COVID-19)
If you are a freelancer or private contractor- You may be eligible for government assistance. WINZ Emergency Assistance
If you are still having trouble covering your expenses - You may be eligible for further assistance from Work and Income. Even if you think you do not fit the criteria they may be able to point you in the right direction. Give them a call on 0800 559 009 (you may experience delays getting through due to high call volumes). More information here: Emergency Assistance - WINZ
If you were already receiving payments from Work and Income - Your benefit will not be reduced. Your Winter Energy Payment will be doubled this year. From April 1st 2020 all main benefits will increase by $25 per week. WINZ Response to Covid-19
The most important thing is to keep communicating with LPM if you are struggling. Most property owners are willing to come to an arrangement during this time and would rather work out a rent plan with a good long-term tenant than have them go through hardship.
Important things you should know
Rent Freeze- This means that we cannot issue a rent increase notice after March 26th 2020. If the rent increase notice was issued before the Covid-19 lock down then the rent will still increase. It does not mean you do not have to pay your rent.
Evictions - Evictions will not go ahead during this time. There are exceptions for specific reasons outlined by Tenancy Services, but an Order of the Tenancy Tribunal will be required to proceed with any eviction. If tenants have not paid rent for a period longer than 60 days, the Tribunal will evaluate whether the tenant is making reasonable endeavours to pay rent, and balance the interests of the tenant and landlord in deciding whether termination is justified. Tenants refusing to pay rent could be liable for eviction if that Tribunal found the tenant was not making reasonable endeavours to pay rent. If a landlord cannot terminate a tenancy, a tenant is nonetheless liable for rent arrears.
Moving House- If you have already received notice to vacate and that notice expires after March 26th, it is no longer in effect and will be readdressed after the lockdown. If you were planning to move out during this time you may withdraw that notice as well. It is recommended that you do not move house at all unless you have nowhere else to go.
Boarding Houses- If you live in a boarding house or other shared accommodation you may be worried or confused about how to isolate effectively. The following link has tips for keeping safe in shared dwellings, whether you are with family or not. Covid-19 Isolation Guidelines
Maintenance- We are able to send some contractors to urgent jobs only, where there is a risk to human health and safety. If you are not sure if your maintenance request is considered urgent, please call LPM to discuss it further.
Disputes with your flatmates - It isn’t easy being stuck in a house with people, even people you like, for an extended period of time and it is understandable if it all becomes too much. If you would like help resolving disputes or arguments that come up during this stressful time we recommend asking for a mediator via the New Zealand Disputes Resolution Centre. They are able to do phone appointments. Mediation
Stay home, stay safe and stay in your bubble.
Most importantly, look after yourself- Your mental and physical wellbeing is the most important thing right now. Below are some helpful links for staying healthy during isolation.
If you have any queries, please drop us a line and we will see if we can help, or point you in the right direction. Call 04 8050599 or email firstname.lastname@example.org