Coronavirus & Tenants "Self-Quarantining"

8 Replies

I'm starting to run into tenants not wanting to accommodate showings, repairs, appraisal inspections, whatever. In Chicago, we can enter after giving 48 hours' notice. I always try to keep it amicable and make sure the tenant is OK with somebody entering. I'm trying to predict how this will play out if we get past the amicable stage in an environment of this flu thingie. Really don't want to get cops and locksmiths involved just to get my listings filled. How are you guys handling pushback?

@Art Maydan I agree and appreciate your wanting to keep things amicable.  Those that are quarantining are very fearful right now, so anything and everything you can do to placate those fears will likely go a long way.  To be frank, my wife and I have had some good arguments over what I think is overkill steps, but she is truly terrified. Validating her fears and then offering a reasonable compromise can go a long way.  

Maybe, if you need access, tell them you will make sure it happens while they are away, so there is no close proximity.  You will bring gloves, shoe coverings, and surgical masks (if available) to help with any spread.  You will wipe off all surfaces with clorox wipes when done, and leave several more for the tenant to wipe down what they want.

Since you mention getting your listings filled, are you a third party leasing agent/manager?  If so, talking with the owners is clearly a priority to bring concerns to as well and get a gauge of how they want you to handle the situation.  

@Art Maydan what happens if a self-quarantined tenant contacts COVID-19 from one of your showings? Who is responsible? Are you liable and will you get sued? Truth be told I think there is a lot of overreaction to the ongoing pandemic but you are also potentially playing with peoples lives and going against all the current recommendations of social distancing and recommendations to self-quarantine.

Gloves, masks, and other PPE during showings is all good but it doesn’t guarantee that you won’t introduce a carrier into their apartment which will leave COVID-19 behind after the showing... you would be held liable if push came to shove. Ask yourself if you would be willing to GUARANTEE that your tenant won’t contract COVID-19 from your showings, would guarantee a million dollar payout if it occurred? If the answer is ‘no’ then either stop showing non-vacant units or find another safer way of filling vacancies. Hope this helps.

Originally posted by @Ricardo R. :

@Art Maydan what happens if a self-quarantined tenant contacts COVID-19 from one of your showings? Who is responsible? Are you liable and will you get sued? Truth be told I think there is a lot of overreaction to the ongoing pandemic but you are also potentially playing with peoples lives and going against all the current recommendations of social distancing and recommendations to self-quarantine.

Gloves, masks, and other PPE during showings is all good but it doesn’t guarantee that you won’t introduce a carrier into their apartment which will leave COVID-19 behind after the showing... you would be held liable if push came to shove. Ask yourself if you would be willing to GUARANTEE that your tenant won’t contract COVID-19 from your showings, would guarantee a million dollar payout if it occurred? If the answer is ‘no’ then either stop showing non-vacant units or find another safer way of filling vacancies. Hope this helps.

Never going to be able to prove, so it's not something that could be concern. However, if they are "self-quarantining", why the heck are you visiting their apartments? Do you like to take unnecessary risks? Unwise.

 

Originally posted by @Ricardo R. :

@Calvin T. you’re probably right but why take that risk.

From a legal stand point, really no risk. Moral, ethical, and health wise (for him and his family)... risky at best, foolish at worst. 

@Art Maydan many property management companies will not even show a property until it is vacant. That is what I would recommend for your vacancies at this time. As far as appraisals, you may need to incentive the tenant to let the appraiser in. You could offer a $100 rent credit or something small like that. As far as repairs, I would delay if not necessary for safety or normal operation of the property.

I would advise against calling the police or a locksmith. My guess is the police will not be sympathetic to your cause. Even if they do help you, forcing entry during a national emergency may not turn out well. Imagine your tenant live streaming that as you bust through the door. Your face all over social media. 

@Art Maydan

My advise would be to show places when empty. You don’t want to get this or have someone else in your family get this through you if you can avoid it. We are in extraordinary times and we may need to do things differently. I would only try to show with tenants if there was no other option at all at grave financial or other risk to me that outweighed the already real risk of possibly getting covid19 and spreading to others by not abiding to “shelter in place”. We really should not be trying to spread this any further.

FWIW I was just reading a similar thread where they're saying that as of yesterday, showings of occupied properties in Illinois are not allowed.  Sounds like vacant or virtual showings are the only options in IL for now.

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