A taste of how different the world of renting is going to be when the Coronavirus pandemic subsides enough to allow home moves has been revealed following talks between government and the property industry.

Details of how landlords and letting agents will have to change the way they operate rental property viewings have been revealed today.

During a webinar hosted by property portal Rightmove, industry association chief Mark Hayward revealed that following talks with ministers, many of the proposed rules around how property viewings are conducted are being hammered out.

Once these are finalised, it is expected that the private rental sector will be one of the first to be released from lockdown, along with estate agents.

The new rules will include limiting viewings to 15 minutes, stipulating that landlords and existing tenants step out of the property during viewings and that no more than two adults can view a property at any one time.

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This means that, for shared properties, the ‘open house’ viewing favoured by many landlords will not be possible.

Surfaces disinfected

Unless a property is empty/vacant, then landlords will have to work with existing tenants to ensure that all surfaces are disinfected and doors left open throughout a property before a viewing starts.

Removals are also likely to be an area where practices change. Removals firms are unlikely to offer packing services after lockdown ends, and there may have to be a 72 hour gap between one set of tenants moving out and another moving in, which is the maximum length of time the virus can survive on a surface.

This will mean properties will stand empty for three days, and Hayward says both government and industry bodies are exploring who would finance this enforced void period.

Read more about lockdown landlords.


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