EXCLUSIVE: Landlords cannot ask tenants to take Covid tests prior to visits

Landlords can’t ask tenants to take a Covid test before going into a property, says Housing Minister Christopher Pincher.

The Minister was responding to a written question from Labour deputy chief whip Alan Campbell (pictured) who wanted more detail on the subject.

The MP for Tynemouth tells LandlordZONE: “We tabled the question because a constituent who is a landlord got in touch. I didn’t think the guidance was clear so we thought we would get clarification.”

The government’s guidance is clear that landlords should be aware that some tenants, “may still want to exercise caution and should respect this when engaging with their tenants”, however, this evidently doesn’t apply to those more cautious landlords needing to make inspections or carry out work.

Campbell’s landlord constituent wanted to know whether he could require his tenants to have a Covid test before undertaking safety checks in a property.

The Minister replied: “Landlords can take steps to carry out repairs and safety inspections, including routine and essential inspections and repairs, as well as any planned internal works to the property under the national lockdown which is in force in England.

“But only provided these are undertaken in line with guidance for people working in other people’s homes and the relevant coronavirus (COVID-19) legislation.

“This legislation does not allow landlords to require tenants to have a test for COVID-19.”

Although the guidance says current restrictions may mean it’s harder to carry out routine or essential repairs and maintenance, the government insists that landlords should make every effort to meet their responsibilities.

But it adds they shouldn’t be unfairly penalised where COVID-19 restrictions might have prevented them from meeting some routine obligations.

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