With lockdown loosening and the property market beginning to open up, property viewings are back on the table. As of mid-May, the government is still advising that viewings be done virtually wherever possible, but they can be done in person if necessary, and there are some rules to follow if you choose to do this.
As a landlord, you may decide to conduct viewings of your rental property yourself, or you may have a letting agent do it for you. Whichever you choose, here are the guidelines that should be followed for any in-person viewings in your property.
1. Make sure the occupants are out
If there are people currently living in the property, they should go out during the viewing. This will take some organisation, but it is crucial to have as few people in the property as possible. Of course, if anybody in the property has coronavirus symptoms or is shielding or self-isolating, the in-person viewing can’t go ahead, so talk to your tenants before you set up any appointments.
2. Only arrange serious viewings
Viewing properties and moving house come with a certain amount of risk right now, and nobody should be taking that risk unless absolutely necessary. That means it isn’t a good idea to allow anyone into the property who isn’t seriously considering renting it – viewings should be done by appointment only, and they are not for people who just want to see what’s out there or to have a look around.
3. Observe social distancing
As ever, social distancing rules still apply during property viewings. This means staying 2 metres apart from anybody not in your household – in fact, landlords and letting agents may wait outside the property while the prospective tenants look around. Other advice is to keep viewings short (up to 15 minutes maximum) and to limit the number of people allowed inside at once (e.g. maximum two people at a time, from the same household).
4. Practise good hygiene
Before any viewing, you or your letting agent should go through the property and open every internal door so that the viewers don’t need to touch anything to look around – you could also open cupboard and closet doors, and turn on all the lights.
To really minimise the risks, you should wipe down and disinfect surfaces, door handles and light switches before and after each viewing, and everybody involved should wear a mask and use hand sanitiser if possible. If you are providing a place for people to wash their hands, use disposable paper towels, or offer each household a different towel to dry their hands and then wash these towels afterwards.
These new rules do mean viewings will be a little more difficult to arrange and will require more effort to get right, but by taking these precautions the rental market should be able to get back on track as safely as possible.
Do you have a property to let in Bristol? Talk to Gough Quarters today to find out how we can help you through the rental process, including arranging and conducting safe viewings.
Photo by Evelyn Paris on Unsplash