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Labour bid to halt in-person rental viewings rejected by government

A second attempt by Labour to halt in-person property viewings during the pandemic has been batted away by the government.

Labour’s shadow secretary for housing, communities and local government - Thangam Debbonaire - tabled a written question to housing minister Chris Pincher.

Debbonaire’s question was: “To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of prohibiting in-person viewing of properties for rent during the Covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021.”


Pincher dismissed the claim, writing in response: “We have worked with industry and public health authorities to ensure home moves can take place as safely as possible during this period. It is important that people who need to move can do so and home viewings are an essential part of the home moving process. 

“Where viewings are taking place in rented properties, tenants’ safety should be the priority of letting agents and landlords.Our published guidance advises that initial viewings should take place remotely where possible, and only those seriously interested in the property should view in person. 

“Where in-person viewings occur, we advise that the current occupiers vacate the property in order to minimise unnecessary contact. Property agents and landlords should make sure viewers and occupants of the home understand how they should conduct themselves to protect their health and the health of others.”


This is the second bid by Labour to halt in-person viewings - an earlier request by party leader Sir Kier Starmer was also rejected.

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    If it's not safe to view, how can it be safe to move in?

    They actually want to ban in person viewing permanently so Landlords can't use their instincts or interviewing skills to select the best tenants from the various applications.

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    Another stupid idea from Captain Hindsight. Why would a tenant take on a house he has not viewed? Photos and videos are a good guide for gaining interest but you can't beat standing in a room or garden and seeing it properly for yourself.

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    • 04 March 2021 12:49 PM

    VERY Dim if you ask me.
    Why are they so stupid?


    Selective inbreeding?

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    I wouldn't buy a house to live in without being able to visit and inspect it so why would someone renting be happy not seeing the property. It's easy to doctor photos to hide the muck and mould, broken cupboards, disgusting bathroom fittings, etc., no-one in their right mind would want to take that risk.

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    • 05 March 2021 18:02 PM

    Isn't that simply common sense?
    How do they not see it?

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    landlords are still legally obliged to do in person energy performance assessments backed up by massive fines for non compliance , putting both the assessors and occupants lives at risk they don't seem to have a problem with that
    Clearly we have no understanding of how covid works
    When we allow people to visit the property it is highly infectious and lethal
    When they intimidate and threaten us and force us to send people to the property covid is harmless
    Well at least we have got that clear


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