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Coronavirus lockdown: Can I get the broadband fixed?

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

The internet is a lifeline in these times of lockdown, but if you, as the landlord, are responsible for utilities, can you call out an engineer?  

The government has issued guidance that they CAN go into homes to fix the internet but only in certain circumstances.

What have Internet companies been told?

Firms have been told they can ONLY fix problems or where an improvement in internet is required for the person to do work or educate a child. 

This CAN be installing the internet where one did not exist before. 

They CANNOT enter to change provider because of a better deal, or for non-emergency works. 

Staff cannot enter properties without following Health and Safety Executive guidance and must wear PPE – equally they cannot enter a property if any of the occupants are self-isolating due to the virus. 

Advice to landlords 

The general advice issued by the government is that tradespeople CAN still work, as long as they are following the advice about distancing and adhering to the health and safety advice as issued by government. 

The government has advised landlords to use common sense  and allow access to properties where a requirement is needed – pointing them to the full government guidance document, which can be accessed here.

In terms of telecommunications it says: Maintaining the integrity of our communications networks is of paramount importance to sustain the increasing demands being placed on them.

“Landowners and occupiers of land who have entered into agreements with providers of telecommunications networks should continue to meet their obligations under those agreements.

“This particularly applies to any contractual obligations to provide access to sites to inspect, maintain, adjust, repair or upgrade electronic communications equipment.

“It is vital that such access is provided for emergency repairs, routine maintenance and critical upgrades, under existing contractual arrangements.

“For unoccupied properties , landowners should consider putting in place steps to help facilitate the access by operators.

More information

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

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