The government has yet to give explicit guidance relating to private rental maintenance, but new advice this morning appears to shed some light on the issue.
While Propertymark says the government is still looking into property maintenance tasks such as gas safety checks, a statement at 7am today from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government offers more clarity.
Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople carrying out repairs and maintenance, can continue, provided that the tradesperson is well and has no symptoms.
Again, it will be important to ensure that Public Health England guidelines, including maintaining a two metre distance from any household occupants, are followed to ensure everyone’s safety.
No work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded, 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 such cases, Public Health England can provide advice to tradespeople and households.
No work should be carried out by a tradesperson who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild.
However, agents and landlords may still be wary of sending in maintenance staff.
In practical terms, many builders’ merchants are closed.
And wider issues such as liability should a tradesperson either apparently picks up or apparently transmits Coronavirus while working in an occupied property remain uncertain.