Q: Do I have to allow property manager entry to my unit to film a walkthrough during stay at home order?
I am moving out the first week of June. Landlord said the property manager needs to enter my unit ASAP to film a video walkthrough for prospective tenants. Is this compliant with current COVID regulations? Three unit non-owner occupied residential building in Portland.
A: The first thing you want to do is review your lease to see if there is any language in it addressing this situation.
As to the COVID issues, on April 15, 2020 the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) released new guidance for its previous determination that real estate activities are an “essential business” during the stay-at-home order issued by Governor Mills in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This latest guidance adds new requirements and restrictions to buyers and sellers of all residential properties, and commercial multi-unit properties with more than four units. The guidance does not specifically address other types of real estate activities or other types of commercial real estate properties. The DECD guidance can be viewed at this link: https://www.maine.gov/decd/sites/maine.gov.decd/files/inline-files/Real%20Estate%20is%20an%20essential%20business%20%28002%29.pdf
In addition to the requirements contained in the DECD guidance, the Portland City Council voted on April 14, 2020 to extend its own stay-at-home order. In doing so, the city decreed that real estate agency activities shall not be allowed with regard to any occupied residential multifamily properties of more than four units, or with regard to an occupied residential multifamily property of four units or fewer in which the property owner is not a resident. The city’s order notes that all other real estate activities must comply with the DECD guidance outlined above. A copy of the April 14 City Council order can be viewed at this link: https://portlandme.civicclerk.com/Web/GenFile.aspx?ad=5082
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