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Coronavirus: Agents must record ALL contacts with self-isolating tenants

The Guild of Letting and Management has thrown helpful light on the responsibilities and recommended approach of letting agents faced with mandatory checks on properties rented by tenants who are self-isolating because of Coronavirus.

“We are grateful to clients who are calling the advice line to share their experiences  so that other letting agents and property managers can be made aware of the situations that they may have to deal with” says a guidance note from the GLM.

Yesterday Letting Agent Today reported that the ARLA was concerned agents may find themselves inadvertently breaking the law by not conducting mandatory safety checks on properties that are effectively out of bounds because the tenant has the virus.


Now GLM has thrown light on this by posing a scenario - a property where the Gas Safety check is due, but in a property where the tenant self-isolates - and asking the appropriate authorities for advice. 

GLM says: “We spoke to the Health and Safety Executive Gas Safety advice line who advised the following:

- keep records of any discussions that take place with tenants who are self-isolating;

- save all email correspondence from the tenants in question;

- advise contractors that they should not be putting themselves in a position of danger even though they have a Duty of Care.”

In addition, GLM checked with Public Health England which advised that contractors or letting agents must not put themselves in situations where they could be on contact with someone who is self-isolating

“We spoke to the Gas Safe Register advice line this morning, who advised that all reasonable steps must be shown to demonstrate that appointments have been made to carry out the gas safety certificate and that records of any correspondence or communication with the tenant must be kept on record. Please, note this applies to ALL situations where access is not possible.”

GLM says that obvious questions which agents and contractors should ask of tenants or applicants include:

- have you travelled overseas since the beginning of the year?

- have you been been in contact with anyone who has been tested positive or in the process of being tested for the virus?

“If you are notified by a tenant or landlord or contractor that they are self-isolating, make a record and rearrange appointments” advises the GLM.

  • Phil Priest

    I think this is a case of self preservation as much as it is providing an excellent service.

    Stay safe people, and think of yourself first. I cant see any court throwing out a section21 due to a gas safety check not being completed for a few weeks whilst a tenant self-isolates.

    This should apply to every service, every trade, every business.


    But does the court have discretion not to dismiss a s.21 Notice for that reason? What is fair and reasonable to us (or a judge or magistrate) doesn’t often mean anything.

  • icon

    Helpful guidance?

    Why not try this:

    1) - call the tenant and ask them to stay in one room (with the door shut) while the contractor or agency staff member is in the property.

    2) - contractor or agency staff wear gloves, a mask, and adopt the recommended hand washing and health and safety advice from HMG.

    3) - necessary visit takes place, nobody catches corona, no problem.

    Should’ve asked me first!


    And what qualifications do you hold to support your suggestions in particular item 3)?


    Any idea where has masks in stock? From what I can see there are none to be found.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Most of this sounds reasonable, but if Tenant doesn't have any symptoms ( of course, them disclosing such, is another question ) then confining to a different room wouldn't be necessary.
    I think just keeping a little distance [ 6 foot - Two arms lengths ] is sufficient.
    Also, being mindful of what surfaces you touch whilst in the property and some hand sanitiser for use when you leave.
    This virus is set to be around for a long time, so workable measures have to be considered, or else we'll help the virus to ' Close us down '


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