Please find enclosed, our action plan relating to the latest COVID 19 advice and news from the government and from W.H.O.
Should you have any questions or wish to discuss any of the information included in this email then please do not hesitate to contact the team on 01323 887757 and we will be more than happy to assist.
ACTION PLAN - 12TH MARCH 2020.
Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is going to have wide-reaching ramifications for businesses globally, and lettings agencies are no exception. The lettings process has traditionally relied on a number of face-to-face interactions, but these will likely be restricted now that the World Health Organisation has confirmed that we are experiencing a pandemic. It’s important, therefore, that letting agents stay up to date with the latest guidance on the coronavirus and put the appropriate plans in place to ensure we
can continue to operate with minimal impact on our business.
Reduce in-person contact with tenants.
Letting agents will need to reduce the amount of in-person contact they’re having with tenants during the pandemic, but there will likely still be instances where meeting in person is unavoidable, such as viewings or check-ins. We need to make sure we are following the latest NHS guidance in such situations, including confirming whether that person has travelled or come in contact with an infected person before arranging to meet and, if not, regular handwashing and avoiding handshakes.
There is opportunity to cut down on the number of times we are meeting tenants in person.
Virtual tours of the properties, along with increased photography and 360 tours with our special camera, will provide prospective tenants with more information before they attend a viewing and help move the process along faster or, potentially, bypass this stage altogether.
Once a tenant makes an offer on a property, we are also reducing the number of times they are required to come into our office, due to our continued investment in technology that allows us to progress a tenancy application remotely, online. Our technology allows for online contracts, payments, and contract signing, which will significantly reduce the amount of in-person contact we’ll need to have with new tenants.
Maintain communications with landlords.
We will keep our landlords up to date on how we are handling the potential impact of the virus on their tenants and their properties. If your property is currently or is soon to be vacant, we will let you know our agency’s plans for managing viewings and whether this could have an impact on the length of their void periods.
Landlords on our fully-managed package will also need to know how we have planned to handle maintenance issues and how we will continue to conduct inspections during this time. We are in contact with all of our contractors and we have discussed maintenance to the point that we are advising them on whether properties are at low risk in terms of the tenants, whether they have been to countries that have high levels of COVID-19 and the best policy for resolving maintenance issues. Again, and through the understanding of our contractors, this is working well and is monitored daily.
Finally, please make sure that you have the right protections in place to try and cover yourselves if your tenants are unable to pay rent due to lost income from illness. We will work closely with them and inform you of any delay and the length of it should it occur and then work to resolve the issue.
We plan to operate continually and that rents will be paid daily as per usual. Currently, we are fit and well and we will ensure that all tenants are as of two weeks ago, informing us of any travel that they have endured to countries on the Governments “no go” list. The process is working well and up to today, we have no current issues.
Should you have any questions whatsoever relating to the above then please do not hesitate to contact Iain or the team on 01323 887757 and we will be happy to advise.