DAR update COVID-19

Delaware Association of REALTORS® – COVID-19 UPDATE

Joe Maggio Realty’s Delaware Rentals are doing our utmost to ensure we keep ourselves, our customers, clients and vendors informed of the current guidelines relating to COVID-19 and the management of our property rentals.  In this regard, The Delaware Association of REALTORS® has created this list of safe practice guidelines for the Delaware property rental industry. You can rest assured that Joe Maggio Realty & Delaware Rentals will comply to these and any other guidelines put in place by Governor Carney, and the DAR.

The following information is provided by the Delaware Association of REALTORS®

For Real Estate Agents Handling Short Term Rentals in Delaware

  • We have the privilege of continuing a limited amount of real estate practice. With privilege comes responsibility. It is your responsibility to follow these guidelines. If you do not, we risk all being shut down completely.
  • YOUR OFFICE IS CLOSED. You can work from home. DO NOT ALLOW PUBLIC ACCESS TO YOUR OFFICE. Managers, bookkeeping, administrative, and maintenance staff are permitted to be in the office only for the purpose of maintaining “Minimum Basic Operations”. Call center employees may need to be in the office to handle the current volume of calls for cancellations and the occasional new rental. However, if there are others in the office, practice physical distancing and CDC guidelines. Follow your broker’s rules about limiting office access.
  • Do everything you can to keep yourself healthy and teach others how to stay healthy. Follow CDC guidelines.
  • Complete paperwork electronically except when necessary to have a “wet” signature. Whenever possible, utilize counterpart signing arrangements.
  • It is recognized that the field of short-term rentals has very little physical contact with the public. However, for the rare occasion when a prospective renter wants to physically see a property, prescreen to make sure they have a need to look at the property now rather than waiting. Potential renters from out of state may not come to Delaware to look at properties.
  • Use virtual tools such as high-quality photographs of rentals, virtual tours, and interactive floor plans to replace initial showings and limit the number of properties that must be viewed in person.
  • While showing a rental, wash your hands, wear gloves, do not use the bathroom facilities, and only spend enough time for the renters to view what they need to in the property. Go outside or in an open garage and stand apart to have conversations about the property.
  • You may continue your property management functions such as accepting deposits, arranging for maintenance, cleaning, etc. and allowing those contractors access to properties. However, arrange to provide keys without contractors coming into your office space.
  • Don’t socialize face to face with your clients and others in the transaction. Keep your time together to a minimum. Be social by phone and other electronic means.
  • Use social media to show you are acting responsibly in compliance with the Governor’s orders and this Advisory Guidance, and not to entice people to leave their homes. Remember they are subject to an order to “shelter in place of residence”.
  • For owners who want to rent their homes, you can take and advertise new rental listings or property management agreements. If that process involves meeting with the owner at the property, follow CDC guidelines.
  • For renters who want to rent, you can negotiate new lodging/rental agreements for after the State of Emergency is lifted.
  • For renters who signed rental agreements prior to March 12th, they may still come to the rental property, but they must come prepared to self-quarantine for 14 days. They must bring 14 days of food and provisions with them to be able to stay in the property for 14 days. They are prohibited from leaving the property to go to the grocery store and must follow all other provisions of the State of Emergency. If the rental agent is aware of violations of the self-quarantine, the rental agent must report the violation to law enforcement.
  • Display a positive attitude to help people through this. Do not panic, stay informed, and use your best judgment and common sense.
  • Real estate agents licensed in Delaware but who live out of state may come to Delaware only as necessary for real estate practice, but then must promptly return home.

For Property Management Offices and Rental Agents for Residential Landlord Tenant Rentals in Delaware

  • As an Essential Business under the Declarations we have the privilege of continuing to manage rental properties and rent units covered by the Delaware Residential Landlord Tenant Code. With privilege comes responsibility. It is your responsibility to follow these guidelines. If you do not, we risk all being shut down completely.
  • Your property management office may remain open, with the doors locked. Managers, bookkeeping, administrative and maintenance staff are permitted to be in the office for the purpose of maintaining “Minimal Basic Operations including Emergency Maintenance or Repairs as defined below”. Property Managers may process necessary financial information and respond to time sensitive items, preferably by electronic means. Call center employees may need to be in the office to handle the current volume of calls for cancellations and the occasional new rental. If possible these calls should be automatically forwarded to employees working remotely. However, if there are others in the office, practice physical distancing and CDC Guidelines. Rental Agents may stop in the office to get supplies and drop off papers. Follow your Employers Rules about office access.
  • YOUR RENTAL OFFICE IS CLOSED. DO NOT TAKE THE PUBLIC TO YOUR RENTAL OFFICE. Your rental office should be closed for all face to face interaction. Rental agents should refrain from spending time in the office and should work remotely making maximum use of electronic tools to facilitate rentals, renewals of rentals and the acceptance of terminations from tenants. Rental applicants, and current renters should not be allowed access to your office for any reason. Keep the front door to the office locked so you can ensure limited access to the office.
  • Complete paperwork electronically except when it is absolutely necessary to have a “wet” signature. Whenever possible, utilize counterpart signing arrangements.
  • Instead of personal viewings of rental units you should encourage the use of virtual tools such as high-quality photographs of rentals, virtual tours, and interactive floor plans to replace in person showings and limit the number of units that must be viewed in person.
  • Avoid all in person showings of rental units. Only allow personal inspections by applicants of un-occupied units. If there is a need to show a rental unit, for instance to allow a disabled applicant to make sure the unit is accessible to the applicant, limit your contact to opening the door to allow the applicant access, wash your hands, wear gloves. Do not use the bathroom facilities, and the rental agent should only spend enough time near the entry to the unit, to allow the prospective tenants to view what they need to see in the rental unit. Rental Agents should go outside, or into an open area and stand apart from the prospective renters to have conversations about the rental unit.
  • You may continue your property management functions such as accepting deposits, arranging for emergency maintenance or repairs, cleaning, and allowing those contractors access to your properties. However, arrange to provide keys without contractors coming into your office space.
  • All internal common areas are closed to residents. No packages are to be accepted by management staff for residents.
  • Do everything you can to keep yourself healthy and teach others how to stay healthy. Follow CDC guidelines.
  • Maintenance work should be limited to Emergency work and move in preparation only. (1)
  • For renters who have already been accepted, executed their rental agreement and made all payments necessary to take occupancy the property manager or rental agent should make arrangements through electronic communication for the new resident to receive a key and gain access to the rental unit. If the rental unit is in a multi-unit building, the property should provide safe move in guidelines to the new resident to be in use at all times during the move-in. Those safe move-in guidelines should be executed by the new residents and shall constitute an amendment to the rules and regulations of the community for the duration of the State of Emergency.
  • Don’t socialize face to face with applicants or approved residents or others in the transaction. Avoid fact to face contact if at all possible. Keep your time together to a minimum. For transactions that occur that occur which require a wet signature, at the conclusion of the execution of the documents all items that have been touched should be sanitized consistent with CDC guidelines. Be social by phone and other electronic means.
  • Use social media to show you are acting responsibly in compliance with the Governor’s Orders and this Advisory Guidance, and not to entice people to leave their homes to visit the property. Remember they are subject to an order to “shelter in place of residence”.
  • As a property manager, who works for other property owners who want to rent their homes, you can take new rental listings or execute property management agreements. If at all possible this process should be completed either electronically or through the mail.  If that process absolutely requires a face to face meeting with the owner of the property, have the meeting outside away from your office and follow CDC guidelines, at all times.
  • For renters who want to make application to rent, you can negotiate and execute new rental agreements consistent with the above listed safe practices.
  • You can continue to advertise available rental units.
  • Renters may travel to Delaware to execute a rental agreement. Renters must practice physical distancing, instructions from the rental agent, and CDC guidelines while in Delaware. They may leave Delaware after executing the rental agreement and any other necessary documentation.
  • If renters are going to stay in Delaware after executing a rental agreement they must bring 14 days of food and provisions with them to be able to stay in the rental unit for 14 days. Renters who have traveled from out of state and are taking occupancy of a rental unit are prohibited from leaving the rental unit to go to the grocery store and must follow all other provisions of the State of Emergency. If the Property Manager or the rental agent is aware of violations of the self-quarantine by renters they must report the violation to law enforcement.
  • Display a positive attitude to help people through this. Do not panic, stay informed, and use your best judgment and common sense.
  • Property managers and rental agents who live out of state may come to Delaware only as necessary for the completion of their job duties, but then most promptly return home.

If you have any concerns or questions about our property management and rentals business procedure please call us on 302 278-7025 or get in touch via our contact form

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Based on information from Sussex County Association of REALTORS®, Inc. which neither guarantees nor is in any way responsible for its accuracy. All data is provided 'AS IS' and with all faults. Data maintained by Sussex County Association of REALTORS®, Inc. may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. Joe Maggio Realty is a real estate licensee in the State of Delaware. SCA