Real Estate—auction, display homes and open home inspections

Factsheet – Real Estate—auction, display homes and open home inspections

Current restrictions in force are part of Step 3.2 of Canberra’s Recovery Plan are outlined in the page below.

Changes to restrictions are scheduled to come into effect at 9am Wednesday 2 December 2020. To find out more check the Changes to Restrictions page.

Capacity of venue
  • A venue includes a display home, a home that is open for inspection and a premise that is being auctioned.
  • Each venue can have 25 people across the entire venue OR
  • If a venue wants to have more than 25 people, it can have:
    • one person per four square metres of usable space in each indoor space (excluding staff, other personnel and homeowners)
    • one person per two square metres of usable space in each outdoor space (excluding staff, other personnel and homeowners)
    • maximum of 500 people for each space.

Notes on options above

  • This capacity excludes staff, other personnel and homeowners.
  • Do not exceed the capacity limit that applies under standard liquor or fire occupancy loading and regulatory conditions of the venue.
  • Do not temporarily divide any usable indoor space or usable outdoor space for the purposes of calculating usable space. Usable space is defined as the space people can freely move around in; it does not include:
    • restrooms, changerooms and similar areas
    • areas occupied by fixtures, fittings, and displays
    • stages and similar areas
    • staff-only areas and areas that are closed off or not being used.

Events

  • Please see the Event Protocol.
    • Event organisers for events for between 201 and 500 people are required to notify ACT Health and submit their COVID Safe plan (via the online form).
    • Events over 500 people require an exemption in accordance with the COVID Safe Event Protocol.
What real estate businesses need to do
  • Have a COVID Safety Plan
  • Collect contact details
    • Request and record first name and phone number of every person who attends the open house or auction.
    • Use electronic recording if possible. Consider using The Check In CBR App, which is free and easy to use. Real estate agents can register their business premise when using the Check In CBR app and use the one QR Code for all open homes. A registration for each open home is not necessary as agents should have their own records of which home was open and when.
    • If using a paper record, note the first name, phone number, date and time the person attended and keep the record for 28 days before destroying it securely. Sanitise the pen after each person uses it.
    • For more information, see the factsheet about collecting and storing customer information.
  • Put up signs
    • Display a sign at the entrance stating the maximum occupancy for the premise.
    • If an outdoor auction is in an enclosed space, display a sign stating maximum capacity.
    • Place signs at the entry to each usable space saying how many people can be in that space.
    • Display messaging for patrons to stay home if unwell.
    • Find the signage that best suits your venue/event at our Business resources page.
  • Manage the crowd
    • Consider assigning a staff member to manage physical distancing.
    • Manage the flow of people through the home to promote physical distancing, particularly where people enter and leave the home and around the auction area.
    • Encourage people not to congregate in large groups.
    • Encourage groups of people in the queue and at the auction to keep 1.5 metres apart.
  • Keep COVID safe
    • Follow your COVID Safety Plan.
    • Clean high-touch areas and objects frequently - download the WorkSafe cleaning checklist for more information.
    • Encourage physical distancing of 1.5 metres between people and groups that don’t know each other.
    • Ask staff and visitors to stay at home if they are feeling unwell.
What the public need to do
  • Take personal responsibility for your own safety.
  • Keep 1.5 metres away from people or groups you don’t know.
  • Maintain personal hygiene, including regular hand washing or sanitising.
  • Stay home if you’re unwell and get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Provide your name and contact number for contact tracing purposes.
  • Download the Check In CBR app so it’s easy to sign into participating Canberra venues when you visit.
Frequently asked questions

Open homes

Do the open home restrictions apply to both sales and rentals?

Yes. Agents may schedule open homes for rental and sale properties provided the above restrictions are followed.

Can an agent advertise ‘open home’ for a set time slot?

Yes. Agents can advertise an open home as they have in the past. Agents must clearly display occupancy allowance at the entrance to each premises. Agents are responsible for making sure the restrictions on the number of people who can attend are followed.

Agents may consider including information with their open home advertising. For example:

“In line with Public Health Emergency Directions, no more than [include number for size of home] people (excluding staff, any other personnel and the homeowners) are allowed inside this property during an open home. Please maintain physical distancing of 1.5 metres while attending an open home and while waiting to gain entry.”

If pre-registrations are advertised and other interested parties attend without a registration, can these parties inspect the property provided physical distancing requirements are met?

Yes, provided the above restrictions on the maximum number of people within the home at any one time are followed.  Agents may need to ask people to wait outside the home until others leave, so as not to exceed the allowable number.

For pre-registrations, can agents accept multiple groups for the same time slot? For example, three parties of two for one registration time.

Yes, provided the number of people inside the property at any time does not exceed the allowable number.

Who is responsible for ensuring the restrictions on how many people can be in the house during an open home?

The agent supervising the open home is responsible for making sure the maximum number of people allowed within the home is not exceeded.

Auctions

Can an agent advertise and undertake on-site auctions?

Yes. Agents may advertise and undertake on-site auctions provided the number of people inside the property at any time does not exceed the allowable number.

For each auction, agents are required to ask attendees for their first name and contact details. This information will help with contact tracing if it’s required.

Agents may consider including information with their open home advertising. For example:

“While the auction will be held on-site, in line with Public Health Directions no more than [include number for size of home] people (including staff, any other personnel and the homeowners) are allowed inside this property during an open home. While on the premises, please maintain 1.5 metres between you and people or groups you do not know.”

Who is responsible for ensuring a maximum of 200 potential buyers are at the auction?

Agents are responsible for making sure the maximum number of people within the home is not exceeded. Use online or virtual auctions where the maximum number of people cannot be guaranteed or seek an exemption under the COVID Safe Event Protocol.

Compliance

Are compliance inspections made?

To support safety, Access Canberra, in partnership with Health Protection Services and ACT Policing, proactively monitor and ensure compliance with the restrictions.

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

The Public Health Directions set out the penalties for non-compliance.  Non-compliance with the Public Health Directions may also be a basis for an occupational discipline action.

Follow Public Health Directions
  • The Public Health Directions legislate how businesses can operate during the Public Health Emergency. Please keep up to date with the latest Public Health Directions because you may be fined if you don’t comply with them.
Other advice and tools
Contacts
Recovery support

The ACT Government is continuing to support the ACT community as we begin to cautiously reopen our society and economy and learn to interact as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Visit the Supporting local businesses page for the full detail of the support available for businesses and eligibility requirements.

Businesses in this sector may be eligible to receive:

Find out what else the ACT Government is doing to support Canberrans on the Economic Survival Package page.

Find out more about the Commonwealth Government’s Economic Response to the Coronavirus on the Treasury website.

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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

Last Updated: November 13 2020