– 23 March 2020 –
We have been carefully watching the development surrounding the spread of the Covid-19 virus as we’re sure you all have too. The situation is changing daily and so the information provided is subject to change as new guidance is issued.
To protect our landlords, tenants, contractors and team members we would like to make the following statement:
1. As it stands, we are currently running operations with the team split into those working from the office (those who are able to travel to and from without using public transport) and those working remotely from home. Please bear with us through this period as we prioritise work to ensure our service levels are not affected;
2. Viewings in vacant properties will continue as normal, unless the Applicant(s) are in any of the following categories:
a) They have recently travelled to the UK from overseas in the last 14 days*
b) They have any symptoms of Covid-19 (no matter how mild)
c) They have been in contact with anyone with the symptoms of Covid-19
d) They have been advised by a healthcare professional (or NHS 111) to self-isolate
*in this case we will determine if the Applicant’s recent travel history could have increased their risk of contracting the virus
3. Viewings in occupied properties will be reviewed on a case by case basis, with the safety of all parties being the priority in determining if the viewing should go ahead;
4. Video/skype viewings are available and will be encouraged where possible;
5. Check-in and Check-out appointments will continue as normal with the exception of Tenants/Landlords/Inventory Clerks experiencing any of the scenarios in point 2;
6. Maintenance jobs will continue as normal for now. Should the situation deteriorate, this will be re-evaluated and we may be required to advise Tenants that only emergency maintenance can be dealt with on a case by case basis. Tenants and Occupiers will be asked if they are experiencing any of the above four scenarios prior to the visit as detailed in Point 2. All contractors have been provided with advice with regards to mitigating the spread of Covid-19 and risk assessments will be carried out prior to releasing keys for each job;
7. If you are a UK based Landlord managing the property yourself, you should follow the above procedures for both Tenants and Contractors. When receiving keys back from contractors, use anti-bacterial wipes where possible to clean the keys after they have been in use;
8. If you are a Non-UK based Landlord managing the property yourself, you should follow the above procedures for both Tenants and Contractors and advise anyone assisting you to arrange maintenance of the appropriate actions to take to minimise risk to those involved;
9. Compliance certification (Gas Safety, Electrical, Energy Performance) will still continue as normal to ensure compliance. We are bringing forward appointments for Contractors to carry out checks and produce certificates at the earliest possible date within the bounds of the appropriate legislation. We are also actively seeking advice from the appropriate bodies to understand the implications of a shut-down that prevents us renewing certificates within the required timeframe and will act accordingly;
10. Should members of our team need to self-isolate, they will be able to do so with our full support;
11. In the extreme circumstance that we are required to close the office completely, we have contingency plans to enable to the business to continue operating and would be able to update you should this situation occur;
12. The safety and health of both our team and those we meet is paramount therefore we will do all we can as a business to ensure our actions minimise the impact of Covid-19 on all our clients.
UK Government Guidance
We are following Government guidance as best we can and for our UK based Landlords, we can share this information below, which is up to date at the time of sending (we would urge you to follow the Government guidance updates yourself):
Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:
– a high temperature
– a new, continuous cough
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.
Urgent advice: Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
– You feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
– Your condition gets worse
– Your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
– Use the 111 coronavirus service
– Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
How coronavirus is spread
– Because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.
– Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.
– It’s very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.
How to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus
– Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
– Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
– Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
– Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
– Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
– Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
– Touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Treatment for coronavirus
– There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus.
– Antibiotics do not help, as they do not work against viruses.
– Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness.
– You’ll need to stay in isolation, away from other people, until you have recovered.
Government response and action plan
For those of our Landlords based outside the UK, we recommend you seeking guidance from your local Government.