As most will be aware, a state of local emergency was declared at 9.27pm last night, Friday, by the Mayor of Auckland. This declaration of emergency came into force immediately and expires in seven days.
Such an action reflects the extent of damage, displacement and disruption caused by the severe weather event that has hit Auckland, and “enables emergency services and response agencies to draw on resources, and enact additional powers, to assist affected Aucklanders”, says Mayor Brown. Infrastructure and emergency services alike have been overwhelmed by the impacts of the storm.
Goodwins’ primary concern naturally focused, in the first instance, on the safety of your tenant/s.
Diligently, at-pace, we have since been working to establish the scale of damage across our portfolio. This has included many personal attendances on affected homes and, thereafter, working alongside both tenants, contractors, and a number of locally based landlord-clients to mitigate further loss whilst kicking-in to remediate the damage unfolding.
In addition to many personal telephone calls to tenants in areas that we know to have been the worst affected, we have also issued a comprehensive e-mail to make very sure that Goodwins’ tenants will reach out to your property manager, immediately, if damage has been suffered. Thus, allowing we co-ordinate all necessary works as soon as we possibly can. You will, of-course, also be personally notified in the event of such notification.
As a part of which, we have also advised those tenants whose homes have been damaged to proceed as follows:
- To clearly document damage with photographs and video (where appropriate). This will be critical to future insurance claims.
- If a tenant is/was required to leave the property, they have been asked to share their personal plan with your property manager, in order we can maintain support contact.
- Wherever practical, before leaving the property, we have notified tenants to please turn off gas, water, and electricity; and secure the property by locking all doors, windows, and gates. We, of-course, appreciate if this has not been possible in the case of emergency evacuations. But have then asked that they please highlight this to us.
Special Note: If we do not hold a copy of your property’s current insurance policy and/or you have not previously nominated Goodwin Realty as your Agent, we will not have authority to speak with your insurer on your behalf. You can be assured however, of all possible assistance to provide supporting information/documentation.
Aucklanders were advised today, Saturday, to stay home and avoid non-essential travel. You will appreciate that we were subject to these same restrictions. Many roads and public transport services remain blocked throughout the region. Those that are operational, were required to be kept as clear as possible for critical travel movements.
Three refuge centres have been stood-up to provide shelter for people evacuating from flooded homes. These are in Kelston, Albany, and near Takanini:
- Saint Leonard’s Road School, 15 St. Leonard’s Road, Kelston
- Massey University Albany Campus, Sir Neil Waters Theatre, Gate 1/Main Entrance (off Albany Expressway), Albany
- Manu Tukutuku, 32 Riverton Drive, Randwick Park
Moving-forward, your tenant’s safety aside balancing preservation/remediation of your property/ies shall remain our top priorities.
To which end, we re-confirm that if you have not yet received any direct communication from your nominated property manager, this is because we have no notice of damage. You can be assured that we will endeavour immediate contact if this status should change.
Turning to the questions many landlord-clients have already asked of their obligation to re-house tenants, and/or of a tenant’s continuing rental payment obligations, please be advised:
- We are currently operating in a state of declared emergency.
- Your insurance broker, and/or insurance company’s call centre is the first-best contact to speak with, to confirm the availability of financial cover for alternative tenant accommodation in the event that your rental property is destroyed, or, so seriously damaged that it is wholly or partially uninhabitable – in which case, the rent payable will be reduced or removed accordingly. The full extent of cover is wholly dependent on individual policies.
- s59 of New Zealand’s Residential Tenancies Act dictates that where, otherwise than as a result of a breach of the tenancy agreement (whether for a fixed-term tenancy or a periodic tenancy), the premises are destroyed, or are so seriously damaged as to be uninhabitable, —
(a) the rent shall abate accordingly; and
(b) either party may give notice to the other terminating the tenancy.
Where a landlord gives notice of termination, the period of notice shall be not less than 7 days. Where a tenant gives notice of termination, the period of notice shall be not less than 2 days. Either party may also apply to the Tribunal for an order terminating the tenancy, and the Tribunal may make such an order if it is satisfied that it would be unreasonable to require the landlord to reinstate the property or (as the case may require) to require the tenant to continue with the tenancy albeit at a reduced rent.
Further, more technical advice will follow to affected clients of a landlord’s ongoing responsibilities, in due course.
By-way of a more general note, in the meantime, we confirm regular updates and related information can be found on the Auckland Emergency Management website: www.aucklandemergencymanagement.org.nz and, on the Auckland Emergency Management Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/aklcdem
We also recommend you keep abreast of uploads to New Zealand’s Civil Defence website: https://www.civildefence.govt.nz/
Weather-wise, we continue to monitor: https://www.metservice.com/
In-closing, we take this advance opportunity to thank-you for understanding that the scheduling of non-urgent repair and maintenance will be impacted in the coming days and, weeks.
We will continue to work hard to minimise the impact of this very serious event. And you can expect further notice of our emergency protocols, as appropriate.
We will also continue to upload urgent announcements to Goodwins’ Facebook page as they come to attention: https://www.facebook.com/GoodwinsRealEstate/ We encourage all clients to follow this page, to ensure you receive the same.
As-always, we welcome your contact and feedback. A full list of our team’s contact details can be viewed online: https://www.goodwins.co.nz/why-choose-us/our-team/ Our after-hour’s emergency telephone line is also being closely monitored on 021 278 7768.