Accessing tenanted properties: As restrictions ease, what are the guidelines?
With multiple lockdowns and the tier system now thankfully behind us, landlords and tenants are able to enjoy more relaxed restrictions. We outline the current recommended best-practice guidance from the government for visits to tenanted properties.
From 17th May up to 6 people from different households or two households of any size can meet indoors and can make a personal choice on whether to keep distance from each other.
However, this does not extend to individuals entering a property for work purposes who should follow the guidelines for working in other people's homes.
Landlords continue to have the same responsibilities for repairs and safety checks and government guidance for landlords and tenants says that provided COVID-secure guidance is followed, work in other people’s homes can continue, including:
- gas and electrical safety checks
- planned maintenance and inspections
- urgent and routine repairs
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 a minimum. Where possible, the tenant/s should wait outside or stay in a different room to contractors, any people viewing and the landlord or agent. The recommended social distancing guidelines are 2m, or 1m+ with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable.
Ask the tenant to disinfect commonly-touched surfaces, open all the internal doors and put on the lights beforehand, to reduce the need for visitors to touch handles and switches. Also ask them to ensure the house is well ventilated by opening doors and windows where possible.
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.
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 via email or phone.