Updated government guidance has given the green light for landlords to resume maintenance and repairs at properties where tenants are shielding – or to use the technical term ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ people.
Civil servants have updated the official Covid guidance for landlords and tenants, which now says that from 1 August 2020, “following the relaxation of the guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable groups, clinically vulnerable or shielding households, it is advised they may permit landlords and contractors to carry out routine repairs and inspections providing that the latest guidance on social distancing is followed.
“We have also updated our local authority guidance with advice clarifying that local authorities may now resume routine inspections in people’s homes dependent on their individual priorities and enforcement policies.”
This more relaxed approach also now applies to viewings, which the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government says can be completed at properties where people are shielding, but that they should be as short as possible and respect social distancing rules and – ideally – those who are shielding remain outside the property.
But the guidance also remains constant in most other areas – including that landlords and letting agents should not conduct viewings in properties where tenants are symptomatic or self-isolating, and that viewings should be conducted ‘virtually’ first – assuming the property was photographed or a virtual tour created beforehand.
“Tenants’ safety should be the first priority of letting agents and landlords,” the guidance says.