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COVID-19 and the safety <br> of rental properties

The Covid-19 pandemic has the potential to change our industry into the near future. As an essential service entering the community every day, we take our responsibility to minimise the spread very seriously.

Naturally, this responsibility needs to be balanced with the critical role of keeping tenants safe and ensuring properties comply with legislative requirements. With more people now staying in their homes during the winter season the risk of fire will be even more prevalent.

SWA have been managing risk for landlords and property managers for over 13 years and are well placed to ensure properties remain safe and compliant during this challenging time.  Below outlines SWA’s policy during the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

SAFETY WATCH AUSTRALIA COVID-19 POLICY

Minimising traffic:

SWA are trying to minimise traffic into properties as much as possible by prioritising the more essential inspections.

If a tenant is in forced quarantine:

When a tenant receives their entry notice advising them of the intended entry date by SWA they must notify their Property Manager in writing including the reason for the forced quarantine. We will postpone the inspection for 6 to 8 weeks. If this property has not been inspected in the last 12 months, we will provide the tenant with instructions for self-testing their alarms and/or safety switch to pick up any potential safety issues. If there are any issues we will come up with a plan with the Landlord, PM and tenant for trouble shooting.

If the tenant refuses entry:

When a tenant receives their entry notice advising them of the intended entry date by SWA, if a tenant refuses entry because they are unwell or believe they are at higher risk, again they must notify their Property Manager in writing including the reason for their refusal and the same procedure as above will take place. If it is just precaution, and the inspection has not been done in the last 12 months, this would then be deemed an ‘essential’ inspection and SWA would be obligated to attend.

Tenants should be made aware that although we are doing all we can to minimise traffic through properties, these safety inspections are an essential service in keeping their properties safe and are required by law. Failure to have them carried out in a timely manner can put their safety at risk.

To help our property managers to communicate their tenant and landlord obligations during this time we have provided templates that can be used to send out. Please contact us on info@safetywatch.com.au for a copy of these templates

Our new inspection guidelines:

To ensure tenants feel safe and at ease with SWA completing their inspections our technicians have strict new guidelines they must follow when entering, attending and leaving a property:

  • SWA technicians follow strict hygiene guidelines before, during and after attending each property
  • SWA technicians practice social distancing at all times
  • SWA technicians minimise the amount of time spent in a property
  • If a technician is unwell, they do not attend work

We look forward to working closely with all our PM’s, agents, landlords, suppliers and tenants to ensure that we continue to manage the risk of investments and the safety of tenants. If you have any questions at all, please contact our office on 1300 362 918.

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