COVID-19 – How to rent safely in Phase 2

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We are now entering Phase 2 of Scotland’s Route Map through and out of the COVID-19 crisis. The good news is that restrictions on moving home will be relaxed from Monday 29 June. 

Tenants looking to relocate will be permitted to move home and undertake related activities such as visiting letting agents, viewing a property or preparing a property for move in. 

We have compiled the latest government guidance and how we can help you navigate the moving process during Phase 2. 

  1. Applying Safely

Letting agents are being encouraged to pre-screen tenants before they are offered a physical viewing, including conducting ID checks, credit checks and references, to reduce the overall number of physical viewings taking place. 

Our MyRentalCV tenant referencing tool keeps all of your rental information in one place and can be used multiple times for several different property applications. It will allow your prospective agent or landlord to ensure you are eligible for the property upfront, so that you can secure your property quickly, easily, and most importantly, safely!

Click here to register for a MyRentalCV

  1. Viewing Safely

It is strongly advised that only people who are serious about moving into a property are allowed to attend a physical viewing. The Scottish Government is encouraging a two-step process to ensure that the number of physical viewings taking place is kept to an absolute minimum:

  • Step 1: Virtual viewings

Initial viewings are to be conducted virtually where possible. Virtual viewings will give you a better feel for the property, in order to further determine whether you would like to attend a physical viewing. 

Lettingweb are encouraging all of our letting agents to upload virtual viewings, including 360 interactive tours and video walk-throughs. If the property you are interested in does not have a virtual viewing option, you can request one when enquiring. 

Click here for virtual viewings on Lettingweb

  • Step 2: Controlled viewings

If you are seriously interested in the property, you can then request a physical viewing. You should not view any properties if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are self-isolating, and similarly if any member of the household you are viewing is showing symptoms or is self-isolating. 

A number of precautions must be taken when viewing properties which will differ significantly from what you are used to. Such precautions include:

  • Appointment-only viewings
  • Contactless viewings (i.e. all doors open) to reduce touchpoints
  • Washing your hands with soap and water before entering the property or using hand sanitizer
  • The number of people attending viewings should be kept to a minimum so that physical distancing can be kept in place – this should only include people from your own household and/or your agent/landlord
  • Consider wearing a face covering to minimise the spread of the virus
  • Waiting at a distance from the property before you can enter
  • Length of the viewing will be kept to a minimum
  1. Moving Safely

If shielding, you must carefully consider your own personal situation and the circumstances of your own move and may also wish to seek medical advice before going ahead with a move. If you have COVID-19 or are self-isolating, you must not leave your home to move. Everyone involved in the moving process should be complying with government guidelines regarding physical distancing, handwashing, and the use of face coverings.

Once you have agreed to rent a property, you have entered into a legal agreement and a moving date will be set. The Scottish Government is encouraging all parties to be flexible with moving dates in the event that someone becomes ill with COVID-19 or must self-isolate during the moving process. You should notify your landlord or letting agent immediately if you become ill with COVID-19 or if anyone in your household is self-isolating and is unable to move on the agreed date.

When moving between properties, those in your household should carry out as much of the packing as you can. If this is not possible, you should contact removal firms as early as possible in advance of your move. You should clean your belongings with domestic cleaning products before they are handled by others. Whilst removers are in your home, you should ensure that all doors are open and that you minimise physical contact with the crew, in addition to regularly washing hands and potentially using a face covering. The landlord is responsible for the cleaning and for providing separate towels for removers to wash their hands with, unless you object, in which case this will be your own responsibility.

Let Safely, Let Digitally

Ultimately, if you are thinking about moving, please keep in mind that the safety of you and those around you should remain the most important factor. 

To keep updated on moving safely and to view the guidance in full during, please visit the Scottish Government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on moving home