Conducting Reports During Covid - 19 Restrictions

Instances of disruptions caused by Covid-19 are countless. If you’re a landlord, you’ll likely have faced your own set of complications, including how to properly manage your assets during such a difficult time.

Nevertheless, it’s still crucial to follow best practices for landlords to ensure you are operating your property safely and efficiently. In this post, we’ve pulled together a few considerations for managing property reports and landlord duties during the restrictions imposed by the current pandemic.

Handling Requests

Despite a huge change to many of our lives over recent months, life still goes on and tenants still require support from their property managers. Whether you are handling the property yourself or working through an agent, you may encounter just as many (or more) requests for maintenance or emergency call outs.

With people spending more and more time at home, this could have led to additional strain on the home environment, including appliances, boilers, and anything that has received increased usage. While it is reasonable for smaller, less urgent issues to be postponed temporarily, some requests will have to be met.The important thing is you plan in advance on how you will approach each situation within the context of new health and safety recommendations, such as social distancing. There are some guidelines set out by the government here . We recommend communicating with your tenants by phone or email in advance to outline the exact issues and plan of action for maintenance before handling any requests. This should to speed up the process and reduce unnecessary face-to-face contact and the importance of hygiene.

Check-in Reports

Don’t lose sight of how important check-in reports are if you are moving new tenants into your property. This is an essential process where the landlord (or their agent) prepares a condition report which details the condition of everything in and about the property at the beginning of the tenancy. This report carried out at the start of the tenancy will be followed up by a check-ouy report at the end to evaluate whether anything in the property has been damaged or mistreated during the term.

Check-in reports are carried out on the day the tenant arrives and is usually performed while they are present but in the current circumstances it is better to complete the check-in just before the tenants move in and ask them to collect the keys from a secure location.

To conduct this process smoothly, it’s important to have your method streamlined and make sure you have a way to effectively record the necessary details in the report. This will reduce the chance of disputes when your tenant leaves the property, and provide greater accountability for who is required to pay for the necessary maintenance or repairs.

Inventory and check-in reports can be very time-consuming. Having a tool like the Reports2Go app will make carrying out inventory so much quicker and will also ensure that you don’t miss anything. During a time when people are advised to social distance as best as possible, this can be a vital tool for streamlining the process for everyone involved. Give tenants time to report anything they are concerned about by emailing you photos and their comments. With our app you can incorporate their comments and pictures at any time.

Conducting Checks and Maintenance

  • If you must attend your tenanted property to attend an emergency or perform a necessary service, consider asking your tenants to leave the property temporarily. This could mean they go for a walk, wait in the garden, or you schedule a visit for when they are out.
  • If this is not possible, you might consider asking tenants to remain in one room together away from you while you carry out the necessary checks or maintenance.
  • If a member of the house is sick, self-isolating or vulnerable (elderly or sick individuals), consider how necessary it is for the work to be carried out.

Meeting Your Landlord Obligations

Despite Covid-19, landlords remain legally obligated to ensure properties meet the required standards. This includes making sure emergency call outs and essential works should be made by qualified professionals. For example, you may need to update your fire safety assessment or implement measures to abide by gas safety regulations and new electrical safety regulations.

If you are not able to access the property due to restrictions in place to tackle Covid-19, or you’re not able to engage your usual contractors to carry out the work, we recommend you document your attempts to meet your obligations. This means keeping any correspondences with tenants, plumbers, electricians, and other workers.

Panos, 10 July 2020
Conducting Reports During Covid-19 Restrictions

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