Call of the Week NRLA Advice Line 06/07/2020

Call of the week: Viewings and cleaning properties

This week we helped one of our members with a question they had about how to ensure they comply with government guidelines when showing a prospective tenant round a property.

In May, the government released new guidance around carrying out viewings in properties. The guidance applies to England only.

It makes clear that initial viewings should be done virtually wherever possible, and in-person viewings should be arranged by appointment. Viewings should be limited to members of the same household and open house viewings should not take place.

No in-property viewings should take place while the prospective or current tenants have any symptoms that are linked to coronavirus. 

Our member gave us a call because they had an empty property, and were considering arranging a viewing next week. The prospective tenant is very keen to view the property in person.

The landlord asked us for some advice on how to make sure both the prospective tenant and himself are safe while the viewing takes place.

Our advice

The Government recently published guidance on the re-opening of the lettings industry and it asks all parties to consider what measures can be undertaken remotely to avoid unnecessary face to face encounters with tenants.

While virtual viewings are preferable at this time, in-person viewings can now go ahead, providing guidelines around social distancing are followed at all times to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Our advisor said that it’s best for the landlord to still try to minimize the amount of contact they have with the prospective tenant. The property should be cleaned thoroughly beforehand. During the viewing, every effort should be made to make sure nobody touches any surfaces in the property. 

Once the viewing has taken place, the guidance states that the property should ensure surfaces, such as door handles, are cleaned with standard household cleaning products and towels disposed of safely or washed as appropriate.


The government has issued guidance for working in homes in a safe manner which can be read here, and also guidance on decontamination in non-healthcare settings.

The member thanked us for our advice and said they’d have a thorough read of the guidance before arranging the viewing next week.