This blog is being published on 7th July 2020. Although we endeavour to keep our coronavirus (COVID-19) content as up to date as possible, the situation is rapidly changing, so please ensure you refer to gov.uk for the latest advice and information.
Littlefairs Property Company have now been advised that Letting agents can now visit tenants’ homes to carry out a range of essential and non-essential work or maintenance, as long as we follow the guidance on working safely in people’s homes. This work includes routine inspections, including annual gas safety checks; essential and non-essential repairs and maintenance; and planned maintenance activity inside and outside the home. “Local authorities, letting agents, landlords and tenants should continue to work together to keep rented properties safe,” notes the government’s guidance, and “letting agents and landlords should make every effort to carry out routine and statutory inspections.”
Scott Littlefair, Managing Director, at Littlefairs Property Company comments, “we are receiving daily updates regarding the guidance from our regulatory body, Propertymark, and are closely following their advice. We welcome the opportunity to carry out our day-to-day work but will only do so within the government guidelines and with a huge consideration to the safety of our tenants, contractors and staff.”
Inspections, repairs, and maintenance
Both essential and non-essential inspections, repairs and maintenance can now be carried out. A two-metre distance will be maintained, and hygiene procedures will be followed when works are taking place. Thankfully, we have managed to keep on top of the majority of property maintenance and do not have too large a backlog of repairs, however our contractors are very busy so it may take a little longer than normal to carry out non-essential work on tenants’ homes.
Please be advised that no work will be carried out on properties where tenants are self-isolating or shielding, unless it is to fix an issue that poses a direct risk to their safety. These are issues which will affect a tenant’s ability to live safely and maintain their mental and physical health in their home. In these instances, arrangements will be made to avoid any face to face contact, ensure social distancing guidance is followed and appropriate steps can be taken to maintain good hand hygiene.
Gas safety checks
Littlefairs Property Company will take “all reasonable steps” to carry out annual gas safety checks. “Failure to do so could put tenants at risk of serious illness or fatalities from gas explosions or carbon monoxide poisoning, particularly as people are spending all or most of their time at home,” notes the government’s guidance.
If you, as a tenant, are self-isolating or shielding, the gas safety check can be delayed until after your isolation period has ended. If tenants are shielding, a gas safety check or repair will only be carried out if there is a direct gas safety risk to tenants that affects their safety.
If you need any further advice on how to manage your rental property during these difficult times, please contact our team on 01904 393989.
Written 7thJuly 2020