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Graham Awards


Cleaners can enter homes now - so why can't estate agents?

Domestic cleaners can now re-enter private homes under new Coronavirus return-to-work guidelines - the very guidelines which appear to stop estate agents doing the same thing.

The new safety guidance for cleaners suggests that they obviously need to notify their clients in advance of their arrival at the home. They should also wear gloves and face masks as appropriate.

When they come in they should wash their hands for the stipulated 20 seconds, and do so again if necessary during the visit - especially if they cough, sneeze or blow their nose.


They must maintain a safe distance of two metres or more from occupants remaining in the property during the visit and ensure good ventilation by opening windows as appropriate.

Property expert Russell Quirk has raised the question on social media as to why an estate agent, surveyor or other property professional can’t visit properties under similar conditions.

  • Chris Arnold

    Dear Mr. Quirk,

    One body of work reduces the risk of infection - the other raises the risk.

  • Russell Quirk

    A visitor to your home running about hoovering whilst potentially coughing CV19 spores around the house? Touching surfaces after cleaning them with Pledge (which isn't anti-bacterial)?

    Doesn't sound like a reduction in risk to me.

    Chris Arnold

    I apologise for the intelligence of my remarks. I think you've just given a very powerful indictment to the argument for keeping agents away from homes, at present. Stay safe whilst you dream about the resumption of door-knocking.

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    And not forgetting the nanny's. Covid-19 immune they are!

  • Stephen Lane

    This question reminds me of when people ask "why should I was my hands in a public toilet, when I'm only going to touch the handle when I walk out. While there is a simplistic sense in the question, that is all it is, and shows a complete lack of consideration to the science behind it.

    If a cleaner walks in, even with COVID 19, and cleans, or an Estate Agent with COVID 19 walks in, there will always be a higher risk of infection from the agent, that the cleaner (regardless of anti bacterial properties in the cleaning agents).

    This is exactly why a government should be giving clear, precise guidance, and not allowing the people to use their "common sense"


    Agreed that the government needs to give precise guidance. However there are varying qualities of cleaners, just as there are agents. Having owned a high end cleaning company, I would be comfortable with them entering peoples houses and following the guidelines that were in place. However many 1 man band cleaners won't have the same guidelines in place, and there is a high risk of cross contamination.

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    I'm not sure of the science behind how long bacteria lays on the surface of what material or how a wipe with a duster can kill a potential virus. I find it hard to believe that the introduction of a Nanny into the household is less risky than an estate agent. My wife is a teacher who will be mixing with super carrier kids and without PPE in the next few weeks. It appear to be a complete raft of double standards to me. But hey, what do I know!

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    To be honest I'm absolutely astonished with things I'm reading, we have just posted over 600 deaths again, excess deaths are 50,000 and we are still posting thousands of new cases daily, we are opening way to soon, Germany had much better figures when they started to come out of lockdown and they are already discussing going back in because of the infection rate jump, we are 100% heading for a second wave and all this pushing to open everything is driving us straight into a disaster, I understand the argument for the economy but we are still posting the highest death rates everywhere in the world except the USA and Spain's eased lockdown is still stricter than ours.



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