vic_logo
coronavirus.vic.gov.au

Property, real estate and strata sector guidance

Sector guidance for property, real estate and strata businesses within Victoria.

COVIDSafe Summer — new restrictions apply from 11:59pm, Sunday 17 January 2021

From 11:59pm on Sunday 17 January face masks will no longer be mandatory in most public indoor settings.

  • Face masks continue to be mandatory in airports, hospitals, large retail stores over 2000 sqm, shopping centres, indoor markets, in taxis and rideshares, on public transport, and on domestic flights to and from Victoria.
  • You must carry a face mask with you at all times when you leave home unless you have a lawful reason not to.
  • It is strongly recommended you wear one whenever you cannot keep 1.5 metres distance from others.

Find out more about COVIDSafe Summer restrictions.

Information to help your business Stay Safe and Stay Open

Every Victorian business must have a COVIDSafe Plan and follow the six principles of COVIDSafe workplaces.

Also see:

Frequently asked questions

Updated: 22 January 2021

Read below for answers to frequently asked questions by businesses in property, real estate and strata sector within Victoria.

What are the current face mask requirements?

You must always carry a face mask with you when you leave home unless you have a lawful reason not to. Face masks continue to be mandatory in some locations, unless a lawful reason not to wear one applies.

For a full list of settings where masks continue to be mandatory, see Face masks page. 

Face masks are strongly recommended in all settings whenever a physical distance of 1.5 metres from others cannot be maintained. 

Inspections and auctions

Can inspections or auctions take place?

Private property, commercial property and display home inspections can operate in a ‘contactless’ way. To ensure this occurs, agents should:

  • contact the occupier of a property to arrange a suitable time and ensure the occupants and attendees are not displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), self-isolating or under quarantine before attending
  • collect details of all visitors at an inspection. The Victorian Government has developed a free QR code service to assist businesses with registering people visiting a site
  • be restricted to a density quotient of one person per two square metres if electronic record keeping (such as QR codes) is used, or one person per four square metres if paper-based record keeping used
  • make hand sanitiser available and require its use prior to entry into the property
  • ask the occupants to turn on lights and open all cupboards, drawers, windows and doors before the inspection.

To ensure inspections are COVIDSafe agents must:

  • ensure the property or display home is well-ventilated and all internal and external doors are open at all times during inspections
  • ensure any surfaces touched during an inspection are cleaned and disinfected at the completion of the inspection
  • limit outdoor auctions to a density quotient of one person per two square metres and must use electronic record keeping (such as QR codes). Agents must collect and keep a record of attendees name and contact details. A density quotient of one person per four square metres must be applied where paper-based records are used. 

I am inspecting a property or display home. What are my responsibilities?

Attendees at private property and display home inspections should:

  • provide their name and contact details to the agent, so that they can  keep records for contact tracing purposes
  • use the hand sanitiser provided before entering the property
  • minimise touching surfaces in the property  
  • maintain physical distancing of 1.5 meters from others attending the inspection
  • follow the COVIDSafe principles.

How should property or real estate agents ensure that people attending physical inspections are not symptomatic, self-isolating or under quarantine before attending?

Agents should ask prospective tenants/purchasers to declare that they are not symptomatic, self-isolating or under quarantine when booking an inspection. At the start of an inspection, agents should confirm this again verbally.

If, through the inspection, there is an indication that the person is symptomatic, or should be self-isolating or under quarantine, the agent can end the inspection and ask the person to leave the premises. 

Agents are required to keep contact details of prospective tenants/purchasers attending physical inspections. 

When applying a density quotient of one person per two square meters electronic records must be used (e.g. QR codes). If using paper-based record keeping, then the density quotient of one person per four square metres must be applied.

How often should properties open for inspection or auction be cleaned to reduce coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission?

Properties should be cleaned before and after each inspection and auction. High-touch surfaces (for example, door handles) must be cleaned after each inspection, even if prospective tenants/purchasers used gloves. 

See Cleaning and disinfecting to reduce coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission - tips for business and construction sites.

Do display suites come under the retail restrictions?

Yes. See Retail trade sector guidance.

Strata, building operators and owners corporations

I am a member of an owners corporation. What are my COVIDSafe responsibilities?

Owners corporations must have a COVIDSafe Plan for the schemes and sites that they manage. The COVIDSafe Plan applies to common areas including access points, lifts, foyers and hallways, as well as shared facilities such as gyms, pools, dining and entertainment areas.

The owners corporation is responsible for ensuring the actions documented in the COVIDSafe Plan are implemented and communicated with occupants and all workers at a site. The owners corporation is also responsible for answering any queries occupants and workers may have about COVIDSafe practices.

The owners corporation should also coordinate with businesses that occupy the site, as they require their own COVIDSafe Plans to operate.

Do owners corporations need to keep records of people visiting or occupying their sites?

A COVIDSafe Plan requires owners corporations to keep records of those occupying and visiting a site for the purposes of contract tracing. This includes visitors to private residences within the site, or trades and service providers working within private residences or common areas.

The Victorian Government has developed a free QR code service to assist businesses with registering people visiting a site. 

A visitor and patron contact log template is available for download.
For more information, visit: Contract tracing page.  

I own an investment property within a strata scheme. What are my obligations?

Owners corporations are encouraged to maintain contact with property investors within the site to share their COVIDSafe Plan and maintain records of residents.
More information is available at: Commercial tenants and landlords support page

Do building operators need a COVIDSafe Plan for multi-dwelling properties? 

All Victorian multi-dwelling properties with shared facilities and workers (including employees and contractors) onsite must have a COVIDSafe Plan

Multi-dwelling properties include:

  • low, mid and high-rise residential apartment buildings
  • student accommodation
  • long-term accommodation rentals
  • townhouses with shared facilities
  • single room occupancy properties with shared facilities
  • mixed use properties where there is a residential component with shared facilities.

How should building operators manage communal areas?

Communal areas within multi-dwelling properties represent a coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission risk between residents and visitors.

Communal areas in multi-dwelling properties can open, provided building operators take reasonable steps to ensure that all Public Health Directions are complied with. This includes having a COVIDSafe Plan in place. 

Building operators must: 

  • limit the number of people in communal areas by using signage that indicates the one person per two square meter density quotient and maximum number permitted in the area at one time
  • display signage stating the maximum number of members of the public that may be present in the space at a single time (as permitted by the density quotient), and any current face mask requirements which apply.

Building operators should:

  • establish hygiene stations with hand sanitiser, at building entrance points and in communal areas to encourage hand hygiene of residents and staff
  • open windows and outside doors where possible to maximise ventilation. Use air conditioning to enhance the flow of air, however, ensure do not use the ‘recirculate’ mode
  • implement an environmental cleaning schedule to ensure routine cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces and communal areas
  • provide visible cleaning logs in all shared workplaces and publicly accessible areas with dates, times and frequency with which they have been cleaned.

Fact sheets are available for more information:

Can indoor gyms in multi-dwelling properties open? (for example, gyms in apartment buildings) 

Yes. Indoor gyms may open subject to a density quotient of one person per four square metres when staffed, and a density quotient of one per eight square metres when unstaffed. Groups/classes are subject to a maximum of 50 people. 

  • gym equipment must be cleaned and disinfected between uses
  • disinfectant and other cleaning products must be made available at unstaffed gyms or during unstaffed periods in gyms
  • contact details must be kept of each person attending the gym. Children are only required to complete a record of attendance if unaccompanied by a parent, guardian or carer, or if they are 15 years old or over
  • indoor gym operators (including residential property managers) must have a COVID Marshal on-site when the facility is staffed to ensure that Public Health Directions are followed and physical distancing is observed. For more information, visit COVID Marshals page
  • the gym facility must be cleaned thoroughly at night after the last peak period of the day and before the first peak period of the following day
  • signage must be displayed at each entry to each indoor and outdoor space, indicating maximum capacity, and COVIDSafe hygiene and physical distancing requirements
  • maximise airflow and ventilation by opening windows and doors where possible 
  • use air conditioning to enhance the flow of air, however, do not use the ‘recirculate’ mode.

For further information, visit: Sports, exercise and physical recreation services sector guidance page.

Can swimming pools in multi-dwelling properties (such as apartments) open? 

Yes. Indoor swimming pools in residential premises, including retirement villages and apartment buildings, can open subject to a density quotient of one person per four square metres in the facility.

Outdoor swimming pools in residential premises, including retirement villages and apartment buildings may open, but numbers are limited to a density quotient of one person per two square metres if electronic record keeping is used, otherwise the four square metre rule applies.

For both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, keeping a record, with contact details of each person who uses the swimming pool, is required. To assist contact tracers in the event of a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) case, electronic record keeping is preferred (for example, QR Code Technology). For unstaffed facilities, please display a QR Code at the entrance to the pool, and/or a have written check-in system. 

Children are only required to complete a record of attendance if unaccompanied by a parent, guardian or carer, or if they are 15 years old or over. 

Indoor saunas, spas and steam rooms can open, subject to a density quotient of one person per four square metres

Signage must be displayed at every entry to each indoor and outdoor space. Signage must indicate maximum capacity, COVIDSafe hygiene and physical distancing requirements.

For further information, visit: Sports, exercise and physical recreation services sector guidance page.

Can construction works be carried out in multi-dwelling properties?

Yes. Residential and commercial construction, renovations, installations, repairs, and maintenance can take place in single residence and multi-dwelling properties, in accordance with the Victorian Chief Health Officer Directions

For construction work on common property that has been procured by the body corporate, both the construction company and the body corporate must comply with the Victorian Chief Health Officer Directions

Body corporates can establish their own rules to manage the construction works within the property and arrangements between owners, in alignment with the Victorian Chief Health Officer Directions

For more information, visit: Construction sector guidance page.

Reviewed 25 January 2021

Coronavirus Victoria

Coronavirus (COVID-19) business support and the Industry Coordination Centre

The Business Victoria hotline provides information on restrictions and support to help your workplace plan and respond to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Call Business Victoria on 13 22 15

Contact Business Victoria

24/7 Coronavirus Hotline

If you suspect you may have coronavirus (COVID-19) call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

Was this page helpful?