Crockers’ Top Tips for Apartment Living at Level 3

Crockers’ Top Tips for Apartment Living at Level 3

Community Living and Body Corporate   |   Read Time: 4 Minutes   |   May 2020

Our top tips for what alert level 3 means for apartment dwellers

If you live in an apartment you may be wondering what the recent change to Alert Level 3 means for you and your complex. Here are Crockers’ top tips for you to consider during the transition.

While Alert Level 4 called for a huge change for all apartment dwellers, at Alert Level 3 we still need to be vigilant. As the rules loosen slightly in many ways it is more important than ever to consider the way we live and how our complexes are run to help reduce increased risks.

Many changes that were made in apartment complexes when we moved to Level 4 should remain in place in Level 3. Crockers is continuing to hold all meetings (including AGMs and committee meetings) on-line, extra cleaning of common areas should continue and hand sanitiser should be made available at building entrances where possible. A continued focus on good hand hygiene and thorough hand washing is imperative.

Your own family unit or those who share your apartment are still considered your bubble at Level 3; the residents of the apartment complex do not make up one bubble. But as a small widening of bubbles is now allowed (introducing a caregiver or extended family member into your bubble, for instance) there is likely to be more through traffic in your complex. Maintaining a visitor register for contact tracing is good practice, although this should be contactless.

Common areas such as laundries and communal cooking spaces are essential areas for some complexes, but a strict ‘one in, one out’ policy should be observed. At Level 3 swimming pools and gyms must remain closed, but access to communal gardens is allowed. Residents should be aware of high-touch areas – like door release buttons – and use contactless methods to activate these, or wash hands thoroughly after use.  Facilities such as barbecues should remain out of use. Residents must maintain a strict two-metre distance from other residents who are not in their household group.

Crockers recommends that communal lounges are closed at Level 3 unless your complex has processes to ensure they are only used by one household at a time, and thoroughly cleaned afterwards. However, closure is the safest option.

It is possible for gardening services to re-start, but it is important that your Building Manager or a representative from your body corporate committee has a conversation with them first regarding social distancing policies and, if they are coming into the complex for anything, registration of their times & dates of attendance.

As more businesses open up at Level 3 there are likely to be more courier and food delivery drop offs to your complex. It is important that processes are put in place to avoid people congregating in one area while waiting to pick up deliveries. Deliveries should be contactless – items could be left in the lobby with the delivery driver phoning or using the intercom to advise residents when they have dropped items off.

Crockers recommends residents use the lifts one at a time, or with their household group. It is better to press lift buttons in a contactless fashion – with your lift swipe, for example.

Moving in or out of a rental apartment

Moving in and out of rentals and sold properties will be possible at Level 3 – as long as the moving is done in a contactless manner. Open homes will still be prohibited, but property viewings will be possible on a very limited basis. Crockers plans to utilise technology in the first instance, with any physical viewings taking place at the last stage of the process. Any viewings will be subject to strict health and safety protocols and physical distancing.

Contractors will be allowed on site to carry out remedial works and refurbishment at Level 3, but these works will need to be carefully controlled. Again, safety protocols must be followed and all residents should be kept up-to-date with any work in progress. Your project manager needs to ensure that they are clear on the processes for work re-starting, especially where there is the possibility of residents having become accustomed to works being halted.   Clear communication with owners and residents as to what to expect is critical.

Vulnerable residents must not be forgotten at Level 3. Remember that you live in a community and try to help out your fellow residents where possible. It is useful for your complex to establish a register of people who have underlying health issues, particularly those over 70. Building managers, committee members or neighbours will then know who they need to assist. Any assistance, however, should be contactless, such as leaving groceries outside your neighbour’s apartment door.

Contactless events such as residents standing on their own balconies at the same time to clap for essential workers or to mark significant dates such as was seen on Anzac Day are to be encouraged, but any events that will lead to residents congregating in common areas should be avoided.

Setting up a closed group Facebook page or WhatsApp group for your complex is a great idea to help everyone to keep in touch and navigate the new normal at Level 3 and beyond.

For further up-to-date information and guidance see the Crockers Frequently Asked Questions here or visit covid19.govt.nz

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