COVID-19 has presented some surprising situations that you’ve likely not seen as a landlord
before, including some tenants refusing access to their units for property maintenance. Out of concerns over risking infection or exposure, and in compliance with social distancing or shelter-in-place, it’s completely understandable that tenants would be concerned. If you’re honest, you’re likely concerned about entering a tenant’s property as well. So, what should you do?
Well, as seems to be the theme of this crisis, there’s no rulebook here. In all likelihood, you
don’t have a clause in your lease covering infectious diseases or quarantines, so you’re in
If there is maintenance that can be avoided or pushed off for the short-term, it would be wise
to do so for the safety of both you and your tenants. However, if there is an emergency, you
must take care of the issue. Under the CDC guidelines, work is limited to what is essential.
Emergency maintenance requires a remedy. You cannot, and should not, allow an issue to be
left unattended because of COVID-19. Instead, you should take all the necessary precautions.
When Should Maintenance Be Conducted?
Under the guidelines of both the CDC and many local social distancing best practices, work
should only continue for essential services. As a landlord, that means emergency maintenance
or repairs. Namely, your property must remain a safe and livable rental home.
Landlord Guidelines For Property Maintenance
In the event you must enter a property, you should:
1. Maintain social distancing of at least six feet from tenants and their children
2. Wear personal protective equipment such as gloves, masks, and safety glasses
3. Wash hands for a minimum of 20 seconds before entering the unit
4. Do not touch your face
5. Sanitize the gloves and any equipment being brought into the unit
6. Before leaving, wash or sanitize any surfaces touched during the entry
Tenant Guidelines For Property Maintenance
If you’re entering a tenant’s property, your tenant should do the following:
1. Maintain social distancing
2. Wash hands for 20 seconds before and after the entry
3. Contain any children or pets from the work area during the repair
4. Make sure that the work area has been cleaned and disinfected after completion
By following these guidelines, and only entering the premises in actual emergencies, you’ll
comply with the CDC’s best practices to protect your health and the health of others to help
flatten the curve. In these unprecedented times, what’s more important than anything is
remaining safe and making smart decisions that are in the best interest of your tenants and