Foxtons apologises after tenant is told they can self-isolate elsewhere

Foxtons has apologised after one of its managers told a tenant that if they had to self-isolate, they could do it elsewhere.

Robert Swann, operations director at South Kensington, said that while he was sympathetic to anyone with coronavirus, that did not qualify as grounds to prevent access to the property.

He said: “If you have coronavirus or have symptoms it cannot and indeed should not impact your landlord’s plans.

“You can self-isolate anywhere, ie your boyfriend’s/parents’/friends’ property. It does not need to be in your [home].”

Last night, a Foxtons spokesperson told EYE: “Foxtons prides itself on excellent customer service and clearly in this instance we fell far short. We have been in touch with the tenant to apologise unreservedly and offer compensation.

“We are taking the Covid-19 outbreak extremely seriously and we have reiterated to our staff that whatever the situation, anyone’s self-isolation should not be interrupted.

“Even in these uncertain times, many Londoners continue to require safe accommodation, especially in the run-up to the widely anticipated London shutdown.

“In March alone we have helped over 1,300 Londoners with their property needs and seen more than 12,000 applicants register with us. We continue to do our utmost to ensure all customers’ needs are met during these challenging conditions.”

  • Separately this morning Foxtons warned of the damage that coronavirus is causing. It told the London stock exchange: “We do anticipate an inevitable material disruption to trading in the coming months.” It also said that its board is currently evaluating a number of actions to preserve cash and “will take all necessary steps [to preserve] the long term capacity of the business”.

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  1. Will2

    Where’s Wally?

  2. DarrelKwong43

    Good old Foxtons, doing their usual part in sinking that estate agency reputation a little further #staysafe #thinkofothers

  3. James Wilson

    This was the best story of yesterday.  It went viral when our friend Henry Pryor retweeted it.   I sent it to as many people as I could.   Just shows that Foxtons will never change.    But the silver lining is that Foxtons share price is back down to 38p.   Let’s hope this crisis is the straw that breaks that camel’s back.

    1. Jack King

      Poor judgement by one individual but not a reason to slate a whole company. I’ve always found Foxtons staff to be professional and courteous.

  4. Gangsta Agent

    I don’t care what you’ve got, I need my 10 viewings says the “Operations Director” and he’s telling others what to do, you could not make it up?

  5. padymagic

    my wife is a nurse, she has nothing to do with our industry, last night whilst driving to London to collect our daughter my wife told me about this story as it had come through her twitter feed.

    My wife’s twitter feed is linked to 10’s of thousands of individuals around the country, Dr’s nurses, politicians and many individuals who take a general interest in daily life.


    This little bit of PR is well out of the bag.

    Well done foxtons.

  6. DASH94

    Aside from this guy’s sensitive approach – how are we to handle gas safety check and essential maintenance if a tenant does bar entry?

    Aside from asking contractors to go into these houses we still have an obligation to keep them legal.

    1. Property_Tycoon

      If a contractor can’t gain entry because the tenant is self-isolating, provided that you have documented proof that you tried to undertake your legal requirements, you will be shown leniency. You can undertake a Gas Safety months before the end date and ask the contractor to date from when the current expires. Try and get ahead whilst able to.


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