Our office remains open at this time, however that could change very quickly subject to official guidance or a member of staff becoming infected.
We have put in place provision for staff to work from home if or when that becomes necessary.
We are bringing forward some routine safety checks from next month in order to ensure that the properties remain compliant but also to hopefully reduce the likelihood of faults developing in the immediate future.
We do have contractors who are willing to go out, however this will be on an emergency basis only and not for routine or minor repairs.
Similarly following advice from our professional bodies and in line with some other agents in Tayside we will be suspending all ‘routine’ property inspections from the end of this week, possibly for an indefinite period subject to government advice/policy as the situation evolves.
This is partly to protect our own staff (some of whom or their families have underlying health conditions) but also because we are getting ‘pushback’ from tenants who have been sent home from work, are self-isolating or just don’t want ‘extra’ contact at this time.
Given our preparations I am hopeful that even in the worst case we will be able to maintain a reasonable level of service and communication to both yourselves and your tenants.
That said I would ask for your support and understanding as the situation develops by minimising unnecessary or non-urgent communications (assuming we need to close the office or have staff who are infected) and accepting that the response time might not be as swift as we would normally hope for.
I have one key item that you may need to consider. If you are dependent on the rent for your mortgage (or other bills), then you need to contact your mortgage provider, some of whom are offering payment holidays.
It is highly likely (though we haven’t seen it yet) that some tenants who have been sent home, whose industry is badly affected or who are self-employed etc will not be able to pay their rents.
We will of course communicate with them as we normally would to encourage them to pay what they can or find other sources of income, but the fact is that this will not always be possible, and you need to be prepared for it.
Once things are back to ‘normal’ then please allow for the fact that it will take some time to catch up with the backlog of repairs, inspections, queries etc.
Should you have any specific queries in the meantime please don’t hesitate to get in touch. In the interim we will keep you as updated as we can.