Guidance as derived from ARLA Propertymark
Inventory Clerks should keep up to date and respond to the latest advice from both the Government, Public Health England and the Chief Medical Officer, but wherever possible continue to offer reporting services and provide the support and advice that your clients need.
This checklist seeks to help you consider relevant questions and support your business so that you can carry out the day-to-day role as an inventory professional.
- Office Staff / Clerks
- Clients / Landlords / Tenants
- Property Reports / Interim Visits
- Business Continuity
OFFICE STAFF / CLERKS
Ensure that your office staff / clerks understand their individual responsibilities and are not afraid to alert you to any developments in their personal circumstances. Have a discussion as often as possible to ensure you are aware of any potential concerns or hazards.
If you operate from an office; display posters reminding staff to wash hands in accordance with NHS Guidelines and use alcohol wipes to clean desks, keyboards, equipment and other surfaces regularly.
If all your clerks work remotely email guidance to each one and request a received receipt and or acknowledgement.
If office based; keep alcohol gel on desks, provide surface wipes and or cleaning agents and promote regular hand washing if office based. Prevent staff from sharing phones and clean them with alcohol wipes regularly.
Wipe down office door handles, handrails and communal areas regularly and ensure that visiting clerks are reminded of the need to use sanitiser when entering and leaving the office area.
Remote working self employed clerks should be encouraged to use hand sanitiser, wear gloves and over shoes whilst at properties, cleaning hands with soap and water as soon as practicably possible.
Ensure you are up to date on the latest guidance on sickness pay and Government support for financial disruption. Businesses with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible for reimbursement for up to 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee: Gov.uk
Where clerks / staff have an overseas holiday booked, ensure they are following the latest travel advice from the Foreign Office: gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
CLIENTS / LANDLORDS / TENANTS
Communicate with your letting agents, landlords, tenants and or third party contractors and suppliers to ensure that they know how your business intends to and will continue to operate, explaining what measures you are taking to protect the health and safety of all parties.
Ask clerks, contractors or third party suppliers you work with whether they have a high temperature or a recent dry cough or have had any contact with anyone with symptoms. Keep clear and concise records of all conversations.
Keep clear and concise records of any and all conversations and agreements made that deviate from your current contract and or service provision that may affect services throughout this period of disruption.
When conducting face to face meetings avoid handshakes, stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people and use tissue to cough into ensuring it is disposed of. Do not leave any tissues, used gloves or over shoes in the property or meeting place.
PROPERTY REPORTS / INTERIM VISITS
Make reasonable checks when booking check in, check out reports or interim visits.
Ask tenants if they have returned from an impacted area, have a high temperature or a recent dry cough or have had any contact with anyone with symptoms. If they have, advise your employer or provider and seek advice as to next steps.
Keep clear records of all conversations (depending on the type of booking system you operate).
If using InventoryBase use the property / internal notes section on the booking page including the messaging facility but do be aware of your obligations under GPDR. See GDPR for Inventory Professionals for further information
If employed; provide disposable gloves / overshoes and sanitiser (if available) to clerks.
If clerks are self employed advise they should be wearing gloves, overshoes whilst at the property using hand sanitiser and or washing hands with soap and water as soon as is practicable.
Consider how keys will be exchanged and how virus transference can be minimised such as santising keys and placing in envelopes when being issued to clerks and or returned to the client.
Conduct check out reports without the presence of the tenant to minimise risks ensuring they are made aware of the reasons and that their right to comment and reply to any issues highlighted within the report is maintained and supported.
Consider postponing interim property visits where possible and consider whether it is absolutely necessary to deploy the clerk given the advice of the Government; this should be checked every day and clerks updated accordingly.
Check or draw up your backup plan in preparation for Government advice that may restrict travel to and from the office / key location and or property.
Ensure staff have access to required software, contact points and email including a dedicated number should the clerk become unwell / unable to work due to isolation and or family commitments due to self isolation.
Check that all parties understand the possible and likely impact of disruption, how you as the inventory owner / provider will be affected and your contingency plans to minimise any impact both in the short and medium term.
Check the terms of your insurance to see if you are covered for any potential downturn in business and revenue and that you are appropriately covered in case of malicious litigation resulting from the current crisis.
Consider your clerks individual circumstances in relation to likely caring responsibilities and how best to cover for sickness across your workforce.
If not already enabled / sign up to; consider joining InventoryBase Workstreams to help cover workloads and shortfalls. See here for information
Ensure you have emergency / contact details for all clerks and third party suppliers so that you can update them as to any emerging developments and can react if they become unwell and or unavailable.
Advise clerks to routinely check emails and messages before leaving home in case report information including timings and key locations change at the last minute.
A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs: Gov.uk
For more information about InventoryBase and InventoryBase Workstreams:
Call: 0330 013 0306
For urgent health concern ring 111 or visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Latest Government Advice
Health Protection Scotland
Public Health Wales
Public Health Agency Northern Ireland
This checklist has been reconfigured to reflect the needs of Inventory Professionals; original checklist as designed and provided by ARLA Propertymark for letting and estate agents.
DISCLAIMER: The is only intended to provide suggestions to practising inventory professionals of areas and issues that should be considered. This list is not exhaustive; we accept no liability for any action taken as a result or consequences resulting from those actions.