Property visits and inspections
- Consider whether the visit - by yourself, the agent, cleaners, tradespeople, inventory clerks can be delayed.
- Where urgent repairs need to be made, the visitors should avoid contact with tenants and follow hygiene guidance.
- If you are checking a tenant in or out, follow official advice and ask tenants if they have travelled from higher risk areas or are showing symptoms.
- Check the standard of cleaning between tenancies and follow official advice.
- If your properties are managed, then ask what steps your agent is taking to inform tenants, and if they have contingency plans in place should a tenant have to self-isolate.
If you have tenants who are older or who have pre-existing medical conditions get in contact to see if you can give support.
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HM Os)
With more people living in close proximity, those living in Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) face a higher risk of an infection spreading.
Official advice for HM Os says tenants should:
- Remain in their own room as much as possible, avoiding communal areas
- Use separate cutlery and crockery • Clean their own dishes and use a separate tea towel
- Schedule routines so that the person self-isolating uses the bathroom last
- Use separate towels and cloths
- Clean surfaces thoroughly
It is advised you display notices giving advice on prevention techniques. Posters can be downloaded from the World Health Organisation and NHS websites.
You should also remind your tenants that anyone confirmed as having the virus should inform those they have had close contact with - including the other tenants in the property.
This is an unprecedented situation and both landlords and tenants have concerns over the impact of coronavirus on their finances, be that making rent or mortgage payments.
A dip in income either through infection or self-isolation could mean a risk of rent arrears. Discuss this with your tenant proactively and be flexible where you can. In such cases it is essential that tenants inform their landlord at the earliest opportunity.
Landlords should be sympathetic and be as amenable as possible with payment arrangements, including working with the tenant to repay any arrears when things return to normal.