Dear MCAR member,

Today our Government Affairs Director, Dr. Scott Dick, was updated by Dr. Edward Moreno, Monterey County Director of Public Health, on the shelter-in-place mandate updated on April 3, 2020. Dr. Moreno was clear and firm about staging properties (see paragraph 5 below).

The discussion centered on permissible activities allowed by real estate as an essential service. MCAR strongly recommends that every member read the shelter-in-place order carefully ( click here ).

If the essential activities are related to the sale or occupancy of a vacant property they are permitted  IF:

1. The property is vacant. Meaning the previous residents have  abandoned the property entirely with no intention to return  and  all furnishings are removed .

2. All essential activities must be directly related to health and safety and only entry into a property is allowed if  all social distancing mandates  are strictly enforced.

3. V acant properties must be  empty of all furnishings .

4. For vacant properties the only other essential activities permitted under the April 3, 2020 modified order are for the entry of a termite inspector, home inspector and/or appraiser. They must also adhere to the strict guidance in the updated social distancing requirements from the order of April 3, 2020. As a reminder the housing unit must be vacant and with no furnishings .

5.  Staging the property is forbidden ; in that the staging of furnishings provide surfaces susceptible to contamination.

We highly encourage all members to review the updated Shelter in Place Order and review with your Broker and/or legal counsel as to how this information from the Monterey County Health Department applies to your approach in showing vacant properties.