COVID-19 and property access – an update - Landlords bulletin 43

This publication is for: 
Landlord / lessor

11 May 2020

COVID-19 and property access – an update

This bulletin supersedes Landlords' bulletin 42 that was issued on 6 April 2020.
 
On 26 April 2020 Premier Mark McGowan and Health Minister Roger Cook announced the easing of some of Western Australia’s stage 3 COVID-19 restrictions, effective Monday 27 April 2020. This bulletin explains how these changes impact on property access.
 
The required right of entry provisions continue to apply.
 

Open Homes and Property Viewings

Home opens may now be conducted with no more than 10 people on the premises at any time and ensuring at least 4 square metres of space for each person in a room, to comply with social distancing requirements. In the interest of containing the spread of COVID-19, the agent holding the home open is now responsible for providing alcohol-based hand sanitiser at each entry and exit point for anyone viewing, and must encourage those in attendance to use it. 
 
Where a property is tenanted, the person conducting the home open is also responsible for ensuring best practice hygiene measures are followed by everyone attending - this includes no unnecessary touching of any items, including fixtures or fittings. If children are present, parents should be reminded of their obligation to closely supervise them.
 
The person conducting the home open is responsible to ensure a written register is kept of the place, date and time of the inspection. The register must contain full contact details of all people attending inspections. This requirement is to facilitate the tracking of potential contacts should it later be determined that any person attending the inspection tested positive for the virus.
 
A viewing cannot take place where a tenant is in self-isolation.
 

Property Inspections

Where a property is currently leased and a landlord wishes to conduct a property inspection he/she should confirm the tenant is not in self-isolation. Where the tenant is in self-isolation, the inspection cannot proceed.
 
Where a tenant is practicing social distancing due to being at increased risk from the effects of COVID-19, the landlord should not attend the property without first discussing the hygiene expectations with the tenant, to ensure cooperation for the inspection.
 
It may be possible to organise alternative means of conducting the inspection. This could include a virtual inspection if a tenant agrees to video the property. Discuss the alternatives with the tenant and ensure that any agreed method does not impose additional cost on the tenant.
 
Up to date information about the COVID-19 pandemic in Western Australia is available from the Department of Premier and Cabinet's Coronavirus: COVID-19 latest updates page.
 
Bookmark the COVID-19 coronavirus Consumer Protection FAQ to keep up to date with the latest COVID-19 tenancy related information.
 

Your house, My home: Rethinking renting in WA

Landlords are advised that the deadline for submissions to the Residential Tenancies Act Consultation has now been extended to 30 June 2020. This extension aims to ensure that all stakeholders have sufficient opportunity to provide a submission, considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Consumer Protection
Bulletin
Last updated 11 May 2020

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