A second nationwide lockdown has been announced. This means that England will face a one-month lockdown from November 5th in the hopes to curb the increase of Coronavirus in the run-up to Christmas. With the country sat on edge waiting for the restriction laws to come in, property managers, landlords, and prospective tenants can sigh a breath of relief knowing that this doesn’t spell the complete halt of the housing market.
With tenants looking for a comfortable spot to work from home, and people focussing more on the importance of their home surroundings and optimizing the space they’re having to spend most of their time in, the housing market is still as important as ever. With this in mind, it makes complete sense that Robert Jenrick, secretary of state for housing has tweeted simply that “Renters and homeowners will be able to move.” This is good news for the housing market and by adhering to social distancing rules at physical viewings – coupled with the technological advancement of being able to choose virtual viewings – means everyone can continue to play a part in reducing the spread of the virus.
Property viewings may have the green light, but it’s still important to take the appropriate precautions to keep yourself and your viewers safe. Below, we explain how to prepare for rental property viewings in the new lockdown.
Update your property listing
Offering ‘virtual tours’, online viewings and an array of fresh new pictures of your property will enable tenants to gain as much information about your property whilst isolating over the next month. The increase in activity on your property when people have the choice to judge from a distance, take their time to watch and pause on sections they want to see more of can set you aside from other properties. Recently, Purple Bricks found that out of the 2000 adults surveyed, 1/3 were happy to judge a property from an online viewing only.” At Bunk, we can help you upload your video viewing to all major portals to increase your chances of finding great tenants. We’ve even written a guide to recording a great virtual tour, which you can find here.
Not only does this benefit the viewer, it also can save you as a landlord or property manager time. If online viewings or video tours aren’t your thing. We recommend using a third-party viewing platform to offer your prospective tenants the best possible choice when it comes to viewings, adhering to their needs and making the viewing process more effective. For our fully managed package at Bunk, we use Viewber. Viewber offers viewings, inspections and 360 tours across the country. By matching up your viewing request to a nearby inspector, viewings can be organised and taken out in just a couple of hours.
The most important adaptation in updating your property listing as we enter into another lockdown is flexibility. Moving away from traditional viewings during the lockdown could see your property go off the market quicker than those not offering an alternative. As always, make sure all videos are clearly filmed, relatively paced and feature the best bits of the property! Thinking about your target tenant and how their requirements might have changed is a great way to make your property listing stand out (tenants are interested in cosy living rooms and good central heating in the winter!)
Clean the property thoroughly
To keep potential new tenants safe, make sure you clean the rental property thoroughly before conducting viewings. This is especially important if tenants have recently moved out.
When cleaning the property, don’t forget to:
- Use brand new cleaning products, including sponges and mops
- Wipe down all surfaces with soap and hot water or disinfectant
- Clean all door and window handles with soap and hot water or disinfectant
- Pay particular attention to the bathroom and toilet area
- Steam clean carpets and soft furnishings.
As an extra precaution, ask viewers not to touch anything – if possible – during the viewing. You should also give viewers the option to wash their hands with soap or hand sanitiser.
Make sure you’re clear on social distancing rules
The Government has been very clear that property viewings should only go ahead if social distancing rules are adhered to. This means limiting how many people attend the viewing and staying two metres apart wherever possible. All open house viewings are now banned and group viewings should be limited to no more than two households including the agent. Wearing a face covering during viewings is strongly advised and keys to a property should be thoroughly cleaned before handing over/back to a landlord.
If the rental property is currently occupied, discuss what your current tenants are comfortable with. If viewing a property whilst your tenants are still living in the property you must adhere to the two households rule and only have physical viewings when this can be organised.
Find great tenants and prepare your rental property for viewings with help from Bunk, the digital lettings platform with a difference. With dedicated account managers, we can also help you stay compliant during this uncertain time. For more information about how we could help you, get in touch with one of our lettings experts today.