Back in lockdown - do you know the rules?
So we’re back in lockdown. This time round we all know the drill and the Government has swiftly confirmed that the property market will stay open for business. So letting and estate agents can continue to work with clients in a Covid-safe way with viewings, sales and rentals all able to go ahead. Ringley will continue to provide services to clients in the same way as it has done throughout the pandemic, so please don’t be afraid to contact us if you have a problem or query. Our property experts are here to help.
And despite the fact that landlords and tenants may have a strong sense of Deja Vue today, we thought it worthwhile to remind you once again of the official guidance for the rental market with lockdown restrictions back in place.
As we understand it, the new restrictions now in force for our industry are the same as those for Tier 4, so the same rules apply. Here’s a round-up of the key points.
- Tenant safety is the key priority for landlords and agents. This means they shouldn’t conduct viewings in properties where tenants are symptomatic or self-isolating.
- Where tenants are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable viewings can go ahead but must be conducted in line with government guidance.
- Any visits to a property must be made in accordance with government’s guidelines on working in other people’s homes and social distancing.
- Property repairs and gas and electrical safety checks should be carried out between tenancies if possible. If checks need to be done while the property is occupied, this should be done by appointment and physical contact with residents minimised. Letting agents may also want to consider obtaining landlord and tenant consent for inventory clerk appointments to also occur before a tenant moves in or after a tenant moves out during vacant periods if possible.
- Letting agents and landlords should ensure properties are fully prepared for new tenants. This may include cleaning to minimise any potential spread of the coronavirus in line with government advice.
- Letting agents and landlords should consider how best to conduct tenancy check-ins for new tenancies bearing in mind the need for social distancing.
- Letting agents and landlords should note the temporary COVID-19 measures relating to right to rent checks that allow these to be carried out remotely. Lettings agents and landlords should consider other areas where in-person payments, referencing or checks can be conducted remotely instead and take further legal or professional advice if required to implement properly.
Finally, as we have emphasised since the first lockdown began in March 2020, and the government advice reiterates: “Letting agents and landlords should endeavour to work with their tenants to sustain tenancies as far as possible, where the tenant wants to and is able to stay.”
Author : Maryanne Bowring
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