New advice given by a leading industry body will now require landlords and letting agents to do large amounts of preparation and legwork before, in-between and after property viewings to keep those involved safe.

This includes landlords and letting agents are being asked to check prospective tenants’ backgrounds to ensure they are serious about moving home, it has been announced.

The new guideline is part of information released tonight by industry body Propertymark, which if followed will make rental property viewings much more difficult, lengthy and involved than many landlords probably realise.

Propertymark’s new guidance has been drawn up following consultations with the government and is designed to reduce ‘tyre kicker’ or speculative viewings by tenants by asking beforehand if they are financially and practically ready to move home.

This is designed to keep viewings to a minimum. Landlords will be required to ask tenants searching questions prior to physical viewings and will have to also strongly suggest that tenants undertake virtual viewings of properties before physical ones are attempted.

These requirements are in addition to existing health screening questions that landlords and letting agents will have to ask in order to ascertain whether tenants are exhibiting Coronavirus symptoms or not.

Propertymark also says that tenants must agree to each viewing by email and that those viewing properties must confirm beforehand in writing that they have masks and gloves, otherwise a viewing cannot take place.

It has also been confirmed that properties will have to be cleaned in between viewings. All this advice is in addition to guidance last week.

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