In line with the Government Guidelines on home moving during the coronavirus (COVID 19) outbreak, in order to minimize public health risk, please find below the advises for our industry.
Our processes in order to keep ourselves and you safe throughout the property process:
- We will ask whether any party is showing symptoms or has been asked to self-isolate before going ahead with any viewing, or visits to offices.
- We will operate using an appointment system for visits to our offices and when conducting viewings.
- We will not carry out any open house viewings.
- We will strongly encourage clients to view properties virtually in the first instance and then only physically inspect properties which they have a strong interest in.
- When we accompany physical viewings we will seek to maintain a minimum of 2 metres distance from others wherever possible. Where social distancing is not possible and the visit is within an enclosed space, we will consider wearing a face covering in line with government guidance, and advise the viewer to wear a face covering.
- When we do not accompany viewings, we will make sure that both buyers and sellers clearly understand how the viewing should be conducted safely.
- We will not drive clients to appointments.
- When we view a property we will wash our hands with soap and water (or hand sanitiser if not available) immediately after entering the properties, with internal doors opened and surfaces having been wiped down before we enter. Separate towels or paper towels will be used if possible and washed or disposed of safely after use.
- We will do what we can to promote flexibility when arranging move dates, for example advising clients to ensure contracts have explicit terms to manage the timing risks presented by coronavirus.
- We will work with our clients and other agents to broker a new date to move where sales are due to complete and one of the parties falls ill with coronavirus or has to self-isolate.
- We will ensure that any keys are appropriately cleaned before handover.
- We will not conduct viewings in properties where tenants are symptomatic or self-isolating, or where it has been determined that they are clinically extremely vulnerable and are shielding.
- We will make any visits to a property in accordance with government's guidelines on working in other people's homes and social distancing.
- If possible, necessary repairs, gas and electrical safety checks should be conducted in the period between a property being vacated and a new tenant moving in. If this is not possible and visits are needed to an occupied property, this should be done by appointment with measures put in place to ensure physical contact is minimised, for example with residents staying in another room during the visit.
- We will make every effort to abide by gas and electrical safety requirements, which continue to be of great importance for tenants' safety. This may be more difficult due to restrictions associated with the coronavirus outbreak, for example where a tenant has coronavirus symptoms, is self-isolating or shielding. Under such circumstances, provided the landlord can demonstrate they have taken reasonable steps to comply, they would not be in breach. See further Health and Safety Executive guidance on how to deal with specific circumstances. We may consider obtaining landlord and tenant consent for inventory clerk appointments to also occur before a tenant moves in or after a tenant moves out during vacant periods if possible.
- We will take steps to ensure any properties are prepared ready for new tenants, this may include cleaning to minimise any potential spread of the virus in line with government advice.
- We will consider how best to conduct tenancy check-ins for new tenancies agreed while broader measures remain in place, taking care to follow government advice on social distancing to minimise possible spread of coronavirus.
- We are aware of the temporary COVID-19 measures that adjust right to rent checks, temporarily allowing these checks to be conducted remotely. We will consider other areas where in person payments, referencing or checks can be conducted remotely instead and take further advice if required.
IMPORTANT advice for our customers:
PLEASE ADVISE us before we visit the property or hold any viewings, if ANY member of the household is experiencing symptoms or self-isolating.
- If you are viewing a property, we encourage people to do their property searching online, and only make a physical viewing when seriously considering the property. To support this, we may ask homeowners to conduct virtual viewings.
- If you are viewing a property, viewings are by appointment only, and should only be attended by those in your immediate household. We will ask you to restrict the number of people who accompany, so that social distancing can be practised.
- If you are viewing a property, you should wash your hands immediately after entering the property (or use personal hand sanitizer) and avoid touching any surfaces.
- If you are viewing a property, you should wear protective equipment in case it is not possible to maintain the 2m social distancing.
- If you are viewing a property, and we are NOT accompanying you please ensure that you understand your obligations above in order to keep yourself and the homeowners safe, and please ask us if you are unsure.
- If your property is being viewed/valued, you should open all internal doors and wipe down all surfaces prior to the viewing/valuation, and allow access to handwashing facilities and ideally separate towels/paper towels.
- If your property is being viewed/valued, we encourage you to vacate your property whilst the viewing/valuation is taking place in order to minimise your contact with those not in your household.
- If your property is being viewed/valued, once the viewing/valuation has taken place, you should ensure surfaces and door handles are cleaned with standard household cleaning products and towels disposed of safely or washed appropriately.
- If your property is being viewed, and we are NOT accompanying the viewer please ensure that you understand your obligations above in order to keep yourself and the homeowners safe, and please ask us if you are unsure.