Shelter in Place orders are currently in place in many cities and states across the country. For a landlord this means tenants staying home and occupying their unit longer than usual. COVID-19 has raised many questions for landlords. Questions like; “What are my obligations as a landlord and how do I protect my tenants?”. Tenant safety and health is imperative for landlords. The highly contagious COVID-19 may spread in your community causing multiple tenants to become ill, this is especially the case for multi-unit buildings with shared spaces such as laundry room, playground, entrance doors or gates.
To protect your tenants and your assets, here are some tips and precautions you may take to stop the spread of COVID-19:
1. An increase in maintenance and cleanliness in common areas
- Cleaning common areas more often
- Disinfect utilizing antibacterial materials and sprays
2. Shut down use of common areas
With many tenants staying home this is difficult. Common areas will be used more than ever. However, you may issue a notice stating that common areas are prohibited from being accessed for a specific amount of time.
3. Limiting access to common area
- Have specific time blocks
- Ask tenants to disinfect areas they utilize
4. Notifying tenants of confirmed cases in the community
The virus can take up to two weeks to show symptoms. A tenant may be a carrier and not know. The virus is highly contagious and is likely to spread quickly.
- Send notice to tenants to report any cases (Anonymously to protect themselves)
- Share the news with your other tenants and ask them to take special precaution.
5. Provide tenants with How To Protect Yourself guide created by the CDC
Tenants may educate themselves on the virus and learn how to prevent it from spreading.
6. Keep your tenants up to date
- Monitor local information about COVID-19 in your community.
- Practice personal protective measures (e.g., keep social distance when in public and wash hands frequently, especially when in public spaces).
- Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if symptomatic:
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Call your health care provider’s office before you go in.
- Limit movement in the community.
- Limit visitors.
- Know what additional measures people at high risk and who are vulnerable should take.
- Implement personal protective measures (e.g., stay home when sick, handwashing, respiratory etiquette, clean frequently touched surfaces daily).
This is difficult time in history. The goal is to minimize the spread of this virus so that life can begin to normalize again. These tools will help guide you and your tenants and hopefully aide in stopping the spread of COVID-19.