Coronavirus / Covid-19
You will be fully versed by now in the effort to delay and curb the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, and the challenges which that presents to all of us, in any capacity.
We want to try and keep you informed of the steps we are taking to manage the crisis as best as possible and help maintain our service to you as agents.
If you find yourself or a member of your household possessing the symptoms of the virus (high temperature and/or new continuous cough) please follow government advice and self-isolate for 14 days. If any work is scheduled at your home or you normally pay rent personally during that time, please contact us, so we can take appropriate action.
We have a Plan
We have a Business Continuity Plan, to try and keep our essential services going during various scenarios that might arise. Where possible we can operate a skeleton service working from home, with access to telephone and e-mail communications.
Unfortunately, not everything can be moved to the “cloud”, in some cases we are reliant on contractors and service providers that may be unable to function should the situation deteriorate, and some of our processes are manual in nature and require our presence either on site, or in our office. This may lead to delays in payments and remittances.
Please be Patient
Should some or all our staff have to self-isolate, we will still be able to operate a reduced service, however there will likely be significant delays in day-to-day operations.
At the time of writing, the Prime Minister has announced that legislation will be brought forward to prevent any evictions for the duration of the crisis. This will likely apply to England and Wales, but I would have no doubt that such legislation will be extended to Northern Ireland.
I suspect other measures designed to protect tenants and landlords will come into effect in a similar vain to those announced for mortgage holders and business owners.
We will try and keep you informed as best we can as to further developments.
We are taking measures to protect the health and safety of all our clients and partners. We will not carry out any routine inspections during the crisis, and repairs and maintenance will be limited to emergency issues only. We would ask that you report any issues as normal, and we will note them for resolution when possible.
There may be times when legal obligations and safety advice collide (such as regarding Gas Safety Certificate Legislation). We will be keeping records of these issues as they arise so that they can be resolved as some as possible after the period of disruption.
If you find yourself in financial difficult and unable to pay your rent properly during the crisis, we shall try to deal with the issue in as sensitive a way as possible. Please contact us as soon as you are aware that you will have difficulties, so we can also warn your landlord that they may be delays in payment. We shall try our best to provide extra assistance to our most vulnerable tenants.
We will not be carrying out routine inspections for the duration of the crisis.
We are advising all clients to no longer accept viewings while living in the property, and to stop any open viewings. If you are currently on notice, we shall no longer be asking you to facilitate viewings.
In the meantime, we are continuing with escorted private viewings, but being mindful of the government advice on Social Distancing and curbing the spread of the virus. We will keep this policy under review.
Keep in Touch
We can still be contacted by telephone and e-mail. If calls are not answered, please leave a message and we will get back to you. We may be prioritizing urgent and emergency calls over more routine matters and would ask that you are responsible in your requests.
Due to the uncertainties involved, we would advise you, where possible, to give yourself added margins for the payment of mortgages and bills and be prepared for reduced cashflow over the following months.
We will endeavour to maintain “business-as-usual” as far as is possible, but in these extraordinary circumstances, we will all be expected and required to pull together and make reasonable sacrifices, to keep our clients, tenants, colleagues, and fellow citizens safe; physically, mentally and financially.
You will have our full support, and we will endeavour to give you updates over the coming days and weeks.