Currently, the biggest global news is the spread of coronavirus: an infectious, flu-like disease that is causing significant disruption, and some deaths, in many countries around the world. In most cases, those who catch coronavirus are able to recover from it, but we all have a responsibility to avoid spreading the disease, in order to protect vulnerable people and to ease the strain on our health services. With that in mind, here are some tips about how you, as a landlord, can help to stop the spread of coronavirus and keep your tenants safe.
1. Talk to your tenants
The first thing you can do is talk to your tenants about what is happening. Direct them to the NHS website for official, expert guidance on how to avoid catching coronavirus and what to do if they suspect they have it. Of course, you do not want to scare them, but it is a good idea to make them aware of the risks and to let them know that you care about their safety, especially if they are older or have underlying health conditions. The government website also provides specific information about what to do if you or your tenants have recently returned from certain infected countries, or are planning to travel soon.
2. Share cleaning guidance
If you are a landlord for a family or an HMO (house in multiple occupation), your tenants may be more at risk because there are simply more people in the property. Experts are currently advising that people who believe they have the virus, or have been exposed to it, should self-isolate – which can be tricky in a larger household. Fortunately, the government is offering advice about how to do this, including wearing a face mask, drawing up a bathroom and kitchen rota, and thoroughly cleaning communal spaces.
3. Delay work on the property
If possible, consider delaying any non-urgent work on your property, especially if someone living there is ill or is trying to self-isolate. This includes property inspections and non-essential maintenance and repairs. If there is any risk of contamination, you should also avoid visiting yourself for a while, especially if you are vulnerable to the disease or you have regular contact with someone who is – talk to your tenants over the phone or email instead.
4. Remain calm
The most useful way to respond to the coronavirus pandemic is to remain calm and follow official guidance. So far there has not been major disruption in the UK and known cases are being kept in isolation. However, the emergency is not over and this is why it’s important for everybody to do their bit. If any of your tenants fall ill or need to self-isolate, be aware that this could have a temporary impact on their income, and thus their ability to pay rent on time. If this happens, you can work with your tenants to make a plan that will help them get back on their feet.
Are you a landlord with a property to let in Bristol? Gough Quarters can guide you through the entire process. Contact us today to find out how we can help.
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