Are Check-Ins 'Essential'?

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    Are Check-Ins 'Essential'?

    Serious Q.

    In the light of the latest advice from the PM, is it still permissible for an agent to do a check-out and check-in on a property?

    My logic is that it is; you can yet travel to a place of work if the work cannot be done from home (fourth reason for which it was permissible to leave your house). For a letting agent to do a check-out or in is 'work' and it clearly can't be done from home.

    Obviously there will be a number of questions about how to do this sensibly, what precautions should be taken and so on but is my basic premise correct - i.e. that it is OK?

    Thanks for all advice. For reference, I am a (very small) letting agent.

    #2
    We have to do the lockdown sincerely. Otherwise, it will keep dragging on. They will keep looking at infection rates and deaths and if they are not going down, they will continue. Italy has 5476 dead, Spain has 1720 dead..... I want things to go back to normal.

    Comment


      #3
      Check in or out are not ever a legal requirement.
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

      Comment


        #4
        What about fire alarms? I test them with the tenant at check in and they sign to agree they're working.

        Comment


          #5
          You have to check the smoke alarms are all in place and working on the first day of the tenancy.
          That's not optional.

          I don't have anyone moving in or our at the moment (and don't expect to), but my letting agent is working "as normal".
          Although they're totally without work.
          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

          Comment


            #6
            I'd get them to sign everything up front using the previous inventory, get them to check, take photos and then report any discrepancies and annotate accordingly. Obviously you need to select tenants willing and capable of carrying this out and it needs trust on both sides.

            Check out is a bit more challenging but not unsurmountable.

            I've done a few remote handover/takeovers.

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks for the answer guys. They are all helpful. (jpkeates - I didn't know that checking fire alarms on Day1 was a legal requirement although always do it anyway. Does the same go for CO alarms where fitted?).

              I've talked to the Inventory Company and they are working as usual. I think I will therefore proceed with as much caution as I can. There is a lot of trust between me (agent) and the outgoing tenants and with the incoming tenants; I've handled the whole thing with kid gloves for a number of reasons and they are currently very appreciative.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by zcacogp View Post
                (jpkeates - I didn't know that checking fire alarms on Day1 was a legal requirement although always do it anyway. Does the same go for CO alarms where fitted?).
                The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 make it mandatory to have a smoke alarm on every floor that's habitable and a CO alarm where there's a solid fuel burner.

                Both types of alarms have to be there and tested on the first day of the tenancy (by or on behalf of, the landlord).

                The alarms have to function throughout the tenancy, so the expectation is that they will be regularly checked, or, more realistically, the tenant be required to test them (probably monthly) throughout the tenancy and replace any spent batteries.
                When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Jpkeates,

                  Thanks. Helpful stuff. That the tenants should test them every month is a condition of the tenancy agreement. They need to keep a note of the fact they have tested them as well.

                  Changing batteries is a tricky one; I take the line that a tenant can be expected to change alarm batteries but many alarms are now sealed for life and the batteries can't be changed. Is it OK to ask the tenants to replace the whole alarm in this case? (The legislation isn't entirely clear.)

                  Both CO alarms and smoke alarms are tested annually as part of the gas safety check but occasionally tenants will contact me to say that their alarm has failed.

                  Thanks for your help.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by zcacogp View Post
                    many alarms are now sealed for life and the batteries can't be changed. Is it OK to ask the tenants to replace the whole alarm in this case?
                    When my tenant tells me the alarm's batteries have failed, I buy new alarms online and have them delivered to the property.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      That's a good solution. Thanks Mrs Mug.

                      I'll admit that I tend to go along and fit the new alarms (takes minutes and my properties are all very local) and use it as an excuse to do a brief property inspection at the same time.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by zcacogp View Post
                        Is it OK to ask the tenants to replace the whole alarm in this case? (The legislation isn't entirely clear.)
                        The legislation requires that the alarms work and you can't impose a requirement on a tenant to buy something (Tenant Fees Act), so you would be better advised to do what you do now.
                        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Once again, things get more interesting the deeper you delve into them. Thanks for the help jpkeates.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Mrs Mug View Post

                            When my tenant tells me the alarm's batteries have failed, I buy new alarms online and have them delivered to the property.
                            You'll probably find them in a drawer unopened when the tenants leave.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by DPT57 View Post
                              You'll probably find them in a drawer unopened when the tenants leave.
                              No, they get checked during inspections.

                              Comment

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