This week’s question comes from Kevin S:
As we are unable to perform our routine 3-monthly property inspections under Level 3, is there anything else landlords can do to support continuity of insurance coverage (such as getting an extension from the insurance company or inspection by video link)?
Landlords have no right to inspect but rather the right to enter the property for the purpose of inspection under the Residential Tenancies Act. As such, landlords also do not have the right to inspect by video link during COVID lockdowns. Video inspections are only permissible with the tenant’s consent. In saying that, we generally do not recommend landlords to inspect by video link given how unconvinced we are of the quality and extensiveness of such means. We suggest landlords, as much as possible, defer inspections until physical entry is once again permissible under COVID restrictions.
For continuity of coverage, reach out to your insurance company in the first instance for guidance. Many insurers have made allowances for deferred inspection.
Irrespective of how you proceed vis-à-vis your insurance requirements, we think touching base with your tenant to maintain a presence and taking stock of existing issues (urgent or none urgent) is good practice nevertheless.