Self-Managing Landlords & Tenancy Management During COVID-19
As a landlord, and more specifically as a self-managing landlord, you are given the legal responsibilities and legal liabilities when it comes to property maintenance, you, of course, are obliged to look after and respect these responsibilities.
What are the Responsibilities?
It is first vital that you put the health and safety of your contractors, tenants and of course, yourself first.
The Government has made it very clear that landlords’ repairing obligations have not changed and because of this, self-managing landlords must ensure that their tenancy management is up to a high standard. Tenants are to be assured that even the COVID-19 outbreak, will not be a valid reason to not undergo emergency and essential maintenance when needed.
If your tenants have an issue which is classed as ‘non-essential’, you will have to put this on the back burner until a situation in which this issue can be resolved presents itself. An example of non-essential maintenance would be removing weeds from a garden.
Situations of which would be classed as ‘essential maintenance’ are as follows:
- If perhaps there is a leakage coming from your tenants’ roof
- If your boiler is broken, leaving your tenant without any hot water
- If there is an issue with plumbing which affects any toilet or washing facilities
- If a washing machine or fridge is broken, this will take away the tenant’s ability to store food safely or wash their clothes.
- If there is a security problem e.g., broken window.
- Or maybe a disabled tenant needs certain equipment to be repaired
Assessing the Situation
During the pandemic, face-to-face contact has become nearly impossible. Ensure that your tenancy management as a self-managing landlord is up to standard. This can be done by asking your tenant to provide photographs and videos that highlight their issue.
You could also video call them to see the issue in real-time for yourself or your contractor and try to work with them to find a solution.
What about Landlord Gas Safety Certificates?
Self-managing landlords as well as any landlord, are all required to meet the legal terms under Gas Safety Legislation, and to try to renew any certificates in a timely manner.
There are of course sometimes, certain situations in which a self-managing landlord cannot do this, yet you must convey that you have taken all the reasonable steps to comply with the law. It is, of course, a legal requirement for landlords to employ Gas Safety certified engineers to conduct annual checks on a tenant’s property, a copy of this certification should be supplied to a tenant within 30 days of checks being conducted.
What about the Risk of Catching Coronavirus?
Although there are no guarantees that you will not catch COVID-19, you must follow sensible precautions when interacting with your tenant or contractor as a self-managing landlord.
You can take additional safety measures, such as asking contractors and tenants to remain in separate rooms whilst the essential repairs are being implemented.
Contact Us for Properties to Let or Advice on Working with Your Self-Managing Landlord Through COVID-19
If you’re looking for a property to let in Birmingham, then please get in touch with our property experts.
Call our lettings team on 0121 426 3220 or you can send us an email here.