COVID-19 specific matters: Accessing tenanted properties during the pandemic
During the pandemic, the health and safety of our tenants, landlords and staff is of primary importance. While the changing ‘Tier’ system and lockdown rules may affect when and how we are able to access tenanted properties, the fundamental principle is that only essential visits should be made, with as few people as possible inside the property at any one time. However, it is important that you check the latest rules for your area before making any arrangements.
Arranging a visit
By law, the tenant must be given 24 hours’ notice and you must make sure they are not currently isolating or shielding and are happy for the visit to take place. You must also ask them and the people who will be visiting:
- Do they currently have any symptoms of coronavirus?
- Have they had or tested positive for Covid-19?
If the tenant is isolating or has any symptoms, the visit should be postponed until the isolation period has come to an end and/or they have tested negative.
All parties should be contacted within 24 hours of the visit to ensure there have been no changes to anyone’s health that would prevent it going ahead.
During the visit
The number of people from different households inside the property should be kept to an absolute minimum, so this may mean visitors going in one at a time. Where possible, the tenant/s should wait outside or stay in a different room to contractors, people viewing and the landlord or agent.
Ask the tenant to disinfect commonly-touched surfaces, open all the doors and put on the lights beforehand, to reduce the need for visitors to touch handles and switches. You should also:
- sanitise your hands before entering the property
- ensure everyone wears a face covering, unless they are exempt
- avoid touching surfaces as far as possible
- sanitise your hands on leaving.
If any discussions are needed, these should ideally be held outside or later via phone or video call.
Clearly, following these rules is likely to mean visits take longer, but it is important that nobody’s safety is compromised.
You can read more about how our branches and staff are operating on the Coronavirus Update page of our website. And if you have any queries about how we’re letting and managing your property during the current crisis, or you’re unsure about what you should be doing yourself, please get in touch with us via email or phone.