Following the news that Victoria’s fifth lockdown would be extended by a further seven days, the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) has urged the government to allow one-on-one property inspections.
By allowing these inspections with an agent, Victorians would be able to continue to buy, sell or lease properties with ease — all while remaining in compliance with COVIDSafe guidelines, according to the REIV.
“It’s unfathomable to expect people to lease or buy a property without seeing it,” REIV president Leah Calnan said.
She argued that “the removal of this key component of real estate due diligence is making things extremely difficult for everyday Victorians”.
The absence of inspections could easily keep many Victorians out of appropriate housing, according to REIV CEO Gil King.
“We are seeing first-hand the mounting stress for people who are unable to find appropriate accommodation during an already difficult time,” Mr King said.
“Vendors and rental providers are being pushed to the brink despite the sector having tried and tested procedures in place for inspections by appointment.
“We understand and respect that the larger gatherings with public auctions and open houses may cause concern, but private, one-on-one inspections are free from significant risk.”
The REIV has outlined “proven protocols” that have been in place since Victoria’s lockdowns began in 2020 that would ensure the safety of agents and potential purchasers and tenants, including:
- detailed record keeping for contact tracing
- masks and sanitisers on location
- no touching of surfaces during inspection
- disinfection and cleaning before and after inspection
Victoria is set to remain in lockdown until 11.59pm on 27 July following an outbreak of the Delta strain of COVID-19.