Knowledge

Property viewings in Jersey during Covid-19

12 May 2020

Amid the Covid-19 crisis, restrictions have been eased by the Government of Jersey to enable property viewings and surveys to be carried out.

Property viewings for the purposes of property sales or rentals
Under the Safe Exit Level 3 Policy in order to enable the purchasing, sale and rental of properties estate agents, property management companies and surveyors are now able to carry out property viewings for the purposes of property sales or rentals.

The latest guidance sets out ways in which such businesses can operate whilst reducing the risk of the spread of Covid-19.

Property viewings, valuations and rental inspections
When planning and carrying out property viewings, valuations or rental inspections the following conditions should be met.

Prior to visiting the property:

  • the prospective customer should pre-register with the business providing all contact details;
  • all relevant parties (agent, property owner, property occupier, purchaser, surveyor etc.) should provide a declaration to the business that they are not showing any symptoms of Covid-19;
  • the property visit cannot be carried out if any property occupier is isolating either because they have Covid-19, are symptomatic, or are shielding because they are severely vulnerable to Covid-19. The business is responsible for confirming this prior to the property visit;
  • all property visits should be carried out at an appointed time by one business representative only;
  • businesses should hold a log of all property visits undertaken;
  • not more than one agent and two vendors or purchasers (adults only) will be present at any one property visit;
  • the viewing will be deemed to be part of the customer’s permitted time outside the house and the total permitted contacts from outside their household in line with the Government of Jersey guidance;
  • viewings should be undertaken at an empty property wherever possible. Where this is not possible the viewing should coincide with the usual occupant’s permitted time outside the house in line with the Government of Jersey guidance;
  • the property owner is responsible for cleaning the premises before the visit – as a minimum this must include the cleaning of surfaces that are regularly touched, and those which the agent will have to touch, such as door handles and light switches;
  • the property owner should open all appropriate doors and cupboards prior to the viewing; and
  • paper copies of the property details should not be supplied to potential purchasers.

During the property visit
All necessary precautions should be taken during the viewing including:

  • maintaining a physical distance of 2 metres with those outside your household at all times;
  • sanitising hands on arrival and departure, with the business responsible for providing hand sanitiser at the entrance to the property;
  • customers should be advised not to touch anything;
  • the business’s representative should wear gloves and try to ensure that only they touch surfaces, including door handles and light switches;
  • the business’s representative should clean anything that it has been necessary to touch with disinfectant wipes as they move around the property;
  • viewings should be no more than twenty minutes; and
  • wearing of cloth face masks is encouraged.

It is the responsibility of the business to ensure that their customers are made aware of the above conditions and that they adhere to them.

If it is not possible to adhere to the above conditions, then the property visit should not go ahead.

Conclusion
Jersey's government has taken a welcome step to help get the local property market back up to full speed, whilst taking sensible precautions, during the Covid-19 pandemic. The latest guidance reflects the growing confidence in Jersey that the Covid-19 pandemic is being supressed and should see greater confidence return to the local property market.

Location: Jersey

Related Service: Property Development

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