Follow Phase 2 Guidance for Showing Apartments
On June 22, New York City entered Phase 2 of Governor Cuomo’s phased approach to reopen industries and businesses in New York State. As part of Phase 2, real estate and rental-leasing industries are allowed to reopen their workplaces. This means brokerages, property managers, and development firms are allowed to conduct limited in-person operations as long as certain guidelines are followed.
State-issued Phase 2 guidelines apply to “non-essential” businesses in the real estate industry, as well as “essential” businesses that were previously permitted to remain open. The following are both mandatory and recommended guidelines from the NYS Department of Health to help keep people safe during residential in-person apartment showings and related activities. You and your staff should review and become familiar with the following and the detailed requirements set forth in the guideline documents listed under “Real Estate” at https://forward.ny.gov/phase-two-industries.
- Apartment showings are allowed only in unoccupied or vacant units (that is, the tenant is not inside the unit).
- All individuals visiting the property must wear a face covering at all times.
- Replace or clean and disinfect gloves after every showing (as applicable).
- Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces (such as handrails, door knobs etc.) before or after every showing.
- Stagger showings in order to avoid the congregation of people outside and inside properties.
Recommended Best Practices
- Gloves and shoe-covers are recommended in addition to face coverings.
- Provide face coverings and gloves to prospective tenants, if necessary.
- Open all necessary doors and cabinets as well as turn on all light switches to ensure minimal touching of surfaces by outside parties.
- Advise prospective tenants to touch only essential surfaces (such as handrails going up/down stairs if necessary) during their time in the property.
- Limit showing of common building amenities in-person (such as a gym, roof deck, or pool).
- Encourage only one party (such as a building inspector, prospective tenant, photographer, or stager) to be allowed inside the unit at a time.
- Prospective tenants are encouraged not to bring young children to property showings, when possible, or leave attended children outside.
- Conduct remote walkthroughs rather than in-person walkthroughs (such as by using recorded or live video).