How do I view properties during Lockdown Level 2?

If you’re a landlord with tenants that are about to move out, or perhaps the court has granted you with an eviction notice for defaulting tenants, you most likely need to get new tenants into your property as soon as possible. This means that your Agent needs to allow prospective tenants to view your property. We have found that many people are worried about allowing strangers into their home due to family members having comorbidities or underlying conditions which could increase their risk of being infecting with COVID-19.

We’ve put together this handy list of guidelines to make it as easy and as safe as possible for you as the landlords, your tenants, prospective tenants and your Agent to arrange viewings and place new tenants in your property.

Once you have confirmed that your tenants will be moving out, your Agent will advertise your property. Your tenants need to be informed and all viewings should be scheduled at a suitable time and with reasonable notice to your tenants.

Fitzanne Estates are very much operating a ‘virtual first’ approach to viewings wherever possible, but as a second step can now arrange an in-person viewing, making sure we always stick to strict health and safety guidelines.

Pre-viewing measures:

  • Your Agent should take as many photos as possible of the property, possibly even including videos to enable a virtual tour for prospective tenants.
  • Agents should share virtual tours and conduct video walk-throughs of properties with potential clients.
  • Private viewings must be conducted by appointment only.
  • Only once all digital means of viewing the home have been provided, should prospective tenants be given the option to view the home in person.
  • Agents should screen potential clients to ensure only qualified and serious tenants are taken to view properties to limit risk of transmission.
  • Agents must enquire from all tenants if anyone falls within the high-risk category. It is preferable that these people should not be present for the viewing.
  • The home must be thoroughly sterilized by the Agent after the viewing has taken place, especially surfaces that have been accidentally touched by visitors.

Guidelines for private viewings, prospective tenants

  • Agents should ask clients to send only the final decision makers to view the properties and not the entire family.
  • Only one person may attend a private viewing.
  • Those individuals falling into the high-risk category (agents and clients) should consider not attending the viewing.
  • Arrange the viewing between the existing tenant and the prospective tenant at a time suitable to both.
  • If possible, request that the property occupants not be in the property during viewings to prevent contact.
  • All attendees are to wear cloth masks while viewing the properties.
  • The prospective tenant must sanitize their hands before entering the property.
  • Physical distancing of 1m to be always maintained.
  • Keep private viewings as brief as possible.

Signing of Contracts

It is preferable that documents are delivered to the approved tenant and that Zoom calls or other video-based conferencing is used to explain terms and conditions of the contract. Should a meeting to sign documents be required, all parties are to maintain social distancing practices, wear masks and gloves if possible, sanitize as required. All other health and safety protocols with respect to “in-person meetings” are to be upheld.

Arranging the Key Hand Over & Outgoing/Incoming Inspections

When conducting inspections or key handovers, the agent is to:

  • Ask that clients maintain social distancing practices during the inspection of the premises.
  • All parties to wear a facemask for the duration of the meeting.
  • Agent to wear gloves throughout the inspection.
  • Sanitize all surfaces that were touched after the inspection has been completed.
  • Sanitize the keys before handover.
  • Keep the meeting as brief as possible.

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