Blog

Landlord update following new government guidelines

Landlord update – 13.05.20

News

Landlord update – 13.05.20

Landlord update from Jameson and Partners – Letter sent to Landlords.

New Government Guidelines have been released today, which will allow us to commence viewings, in certain circumstances. I am writing to provide a landlord update on the criteria which should be met, in order for us to conduct viewings at your property. I am also looking to obtain permission from those who occupy your property to conduct such visits. We expect a further revision of these guidelines in June, and shall notify you when the current arrangements are to be varied.

The full document from which I have created these guidelines can be viewed using the below link:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-advice-on-home-moving-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak

Summary and interpretation of new guidelines:

Viewings

We are now permitted to conduct viewings, provided the following criteria are fulfilled:
1. The property is unoccupied.
2. If occupied the occupants consent to a viewing and vacate the property for the duration of the viewing. The occupants are legally allowed to refused access and their wishes must be respected.
3. Those attending the viewing are not displaying any symptoms, have not tested positive, are not self-isolating and are not persons in a high risk group.
4. Those attending viewings are to be kept to a maximum of two people, who must come from the same household.
5. The viewing representative must stand at least 2 meters away from those viewing and wear a protective mask and gloves at all times. Following the viewings all handles and surfaces touched will be cleaned with disinfectant.
6. Viewing are only to be booked for serious applicants. Meaning those who have viewed the video viewing; who meet the requirements and whose finances and residency has been verified in advance. We have been advised to keep viewings in person to a minimum at this time and this is the best way to select those who are most worthy of requiring a face-to-face meeting.
7. Where occupied tenants will be asked to provide access to handwashing facilities where needed, with disposable tissues and hand soap. If vacant the landlord will be asked to supply hand soap and paper towels to allow viewers to wash their hands, where possible. Where this is not feasible the agent will bring hand sanitiser for use by viewers before and after the viewing.
8. Those viewing the property will be asked not to touch any surfaces or handles. If they wish to look inside a cupboard or appliance the agent can open while wearing disposable gloves.
9. Where possible the viewer should also wear a protective mask and gloves.

Periodic Inspections
As with the above guidelines, the tenants who occupy your property have the right to refuse access if they feel this presents a risk to themselves or their family. In these instances we will have to obtain a video inspection from the tenant in question. If permission is granted we can conduct an inspection under the following guidelines:
1. The tenants are not in a high risk group, self-isolating; have tested positive for the virus or display any symptoms of the virus.
2. The tenants will be asked to vacate the property during our inspection. The tenants will be asked to open all doors and turn on all lights before the inspector arrives, therefore minimising any points of contact in the property.

Managed Property Repairs
Once again, this will be at the tenant’s discretion as the government guidelines allows for them to refuse access if they wish. The following rules will apply when booking repairs or maintenance:
1. The tenant’s permission will be sought.
2. They must not be in a high-risk group.
3. The work being booked must be essential. Common sense will be applied when deciding which repairs are essential in relation to the tenants perceived risk level and the scope for damage to the property.
4. The selected tradesman/woman must not display any symptoms, have tested positive, be self-isolating or be in a high-risk group.
5. The trades person should take the same protective measures as we will be undertaking when conducting viewings.

Moving House
Removal companies have been given permission to return to work. Once again, this is conditional on all risk factors being assessed and controlled.
The main additions/variations to the above guidelines which apply when moving home are as follows:
1. Those moving home should disinfect any items which the removal company will come into contact with. This means cleaning all furniture; surfaces and trollies or moving apparatus prior to the start of removal and after the move is completed.
2. Any members of the household who are not directly involved in the moving process should vacate the premises prior to the start of the removals process (where children are present, they can be asked to play in the garden or be taken to the park while this takes place).
3. If you or a member of your family have symptoms of the virus, the move should be delayed until these symptoms have passed.
4. Those who are in a high-risk group should where possible delay their home move or ensure it is carried out with minimal face-to-face interaction and followed by a deep clean.
5. Home movers should not provide refreshments to the removal team; the guidelines ask that they bring their own. The removal team should be granted access to handwashing facilities with soap and paper towels.
6. If you are moving tenants into a property, it should be deep cleaned prior to the move in. This includes cleaning all appliances; all surfaces; all handles and any items of furniture left in the property.
7. As far as possible, any compliance checks or repairs should be carried out prior to the start of a tenancy. This includes: Gas safety certificates; EPCs; inventories; move-out inspections; gardening; electrical safety tests and any necessary repairs.

Where applicable we will now be contacting the tenants who occupy your property to ask permission to carry out viewings. You will be advised as to whether their permission has been granted or not.

If unoccupied we will start to conduct viewings where necessary and as normal, you shall be notified of any viewings and the feedback receiving following this viewing.

Should you have any further questions about this landlord update, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards,

Jennifer Jameson
Managing Director
Jameson and Partners