The truth is that the novel coronavirus pandemic is impacting everything. The rental community is not immune to its widespread impact.
Renters and landlords alike fret about paying and collecting rents, even staying afloat during these challenging times.
There are other concerns for landlords too. What responsibilities do they have to maintain for renters’ safety during the COVID-19 outbreak?
Read on to learn about the things landlords should be considering in regards to renters’ well-being during these uncharted times.
Be Prepared as Much as Possible
There is debate about how much landlords should do in the preparedness front. Certainly, you want to have a disaster plan in place. You also want to review your expectations and routines for building cleanliness.
Consider the size of your buildings and what the potential impact an outbreak could have on your units.
It might be wise to communicate with tenants their safety is of utmost importance to you. Then review your cleaning and maintenance procedures to keep common areas safe.
How to Keep Tenants Safe
A person would need to be hiding under a rock to not have heard about staying safe from the coronavirus. Yet, you can still do your part in educating tenants.
When you communicate with them, offer the best practices for staying safe and avoiding getting sick. You can’t control what they do inside their personal units, but you can help to avoid spread in common areas.
Consider increasing your cleaning routines. Offer hand sanitizer stations so people are using it before touching things like door handles and elevator buttons.
Make sure employees are wearing masks and gloves.
COVID-19 Diagnosis for a Tenant or Employee
Of course, this is exactly the scenario you want to work hard to avoid. The laws are sketchy and may even vary from state to state. A tenant may not be required to notify you of a positive diagnosis.
Likewise, you might be violating privacy laws by sharing the information.
The best thing to do is to have a disaster plan in place before something happens. How will the landlord handle a disaster like this one? What is your plan if you are descended upon by the media?
For many who catch the virus, it’s a matter of riding out the symptoms, which you hope the tenant would do responsibly inside their unit.
You should make sure you keep the commons areas as clean as possible.
People get relaxed when it doesn’t immediately impact them. Continue to remind tenants with signs and notifications of the CDC recommendations. These include:
- Regular handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- When coughing or sneezing, cover mouth and nose with your sleeve
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose or face
- Stay home if you have any COVID-19 symptoms to avoid infecting others
Of course, avoid close contact with others and practice continued social distancing to be at least 6 feet away from others.
Landlords Making Tenant Safety a Priority
While everyone worries and feels the impact of the coronavirus, it’s important everyone does their part to prevent the spread of the virus. Landlords can work to keep properties clean and their tenants informed.
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