The Government has published guidance for landlords and letting agents on “Work carried out in people’s homes.”
Work to be carried out in tenant’s homes
This is an essential guide when dealing with a gas safety inspection and urgent repairs.
Repairs and maintenance can be carried out, provided that the tradesperson is well, and has no symptoms of Coronavirus. Tenants will, of course, be concerned anyone coming into the property, is not infected by the Coronavirus.
Please ensure you follow the Public Health England guidelines, including maintaining a two-metre distance from any household occupants; this will ensure everyone’s safety. Please keep up to date with the latest advice and news by visiting the NHS website.
Retain all communication records
We highly recommend ideally, all communication between you and tenants, are dealt with by email. You should retain all communication records between you and your tenant. Should the tenant not able to provide access to the rented property for any reason you should:
- Confirm by email any conversation with your tenant and crucially setting out the reasons why access was not possible.
- Send a copy of the same email to the local housing department or the environmental officer/office.
Take all reasonable steps to do the work
You should be able to demonstrate, that you have taken all reasonable steps, to arrange gas safety inspection or any essential repairs required.
Landlord or letting agents, should not carry out any work if the tenant or their household is self-isolating. The only exception is, unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household, such as emergency plumbing or repairs, and where the tradesperson is willing to do so.
In the event, a tenant requires essential work and the tenant, or their family member is self-isolating you or the tenant should seek advice from Public Health England.
No work should be carried out by a tradesperson, who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild they may be.
For more information, see guidance published 23 March 2020.
The Gas Safe Register has published guidance which landlords and letting agents should follow in the wake of coronavirus.
Latest advice fighting Covid-19 Infection
To help stop the spread of coronavirus, you should only leave the house for 1 of 4 reasons:
- Shopping for basic necessities, for example, food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
- One form of exercise a day, for example, a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
- Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
- Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
These 4 reasons to prevent the spread of Coronavirus are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.
You should also:
- Prevent the spread of Coronavirus – Wash your hands with soap and water often – for at least 20 seconds
- Wash your hands to avoid Coronavirus infection as soon as you get home
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands to avoid the spread of Coronavirus
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
The BLA helpline is operated 7 days a week
All members of the British Landlords Association can ring our helpline for any question on gas inspection or repairs, on 01293 855700. This helpline is operated 7 days a week. This helpline is strictly for members only.
The British Landlords Association is a free, national landlords association. Membership is free; you can join by clicking here.
Source: British Landlords Association
Author: Marc Attwater
Date: 30th of March 2020