At JB Morrison Lawyers we have been monitoring developments in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and national lockdown.

Many settlements have been delayed due to the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions.

On 16 April 2020, the Government announced the new guidelines for what we can expect when New Zealand’s COVID-19 level is reduced to Alert Level 3. One of the permitted actions during Alert Level 3 is being able to move between regions for the purpose of home relocation and business relocation.

People are concerned about how this will affect their settlements and what moving into Alert Level 3 will mean for them.

  • If you have an unconditional agreement to purchase a property with settlement looming, what does the current situation mean for you?
  • If both parties have agreed to extend settlement to a certain number of working days after the COVID-19 Alert Level has been reduced to Level 2 or below, how does the Alert Level 3 and being able to relocate affect this?

Although Alert Level 3 gives you the ability to relocate, this is strictly limited to the purposes of home relocation and business relocation. If it is not your home or your business, this will not affect your current situation.

However, if it is to relocate your home or business, you may be able to settle.

Before deciding if you are ready to change the settlement date in light of Alert Level 3, you should consider:

  • The availability of moving companies
  • The ability to conduct a pre-purchase inspection

In addition, all parties will need to consent to any change in settlement date.

In the situation that you choose to relocate but do not conduct a pre-purchase inspection, you take the risk that there may be issues that you do not pick up and you may be left in a position where dealing with those is more challenging than it might have been.

Each case will depend on its specific circumstances; the above outlines some of the key considerations when deciding to settle and how to proceed. We recommend you contact us for advice regarding your options within Alert Level 3, the risks associated, and how these changes will affect you.


JB Morrison lawyers have experience and knowledge spanning a range of industries and specialisations and are well placed to help you assess your business and property needs during this time.

Our firm is available to assist you remotely during the lockdown; please call 04 472 0020 or contact Jamie Nunns or Elizabeth Bing on for more information.

For details on COVID-19 Alert levels, please go to or

For more information on due diligence and pre-purchase inspections, please go to:

COVID-19 - Settlements at Alert Level 3 - Property Lawyers