We are now in yet another national lockdown. This will be the third event where restrictions have been implemented however despite the entire globe battling the COVID pandemic; property reports still need to be carried out.
Although the housing industry is permitted to work, it does not mean that we can let our guard down. We are all aware of the need to follow guidance in being safe, washing our hands, adhering to social distancing and wearing masks. However, we would urge you to read the up to date guidance which can be found by visiting the relevant Government website for your part of the country.
- National lockdown in England
- Restrictions in Scotland
- Restrictions in Wales
- Restrictions in Northern Ireland
Government guidance for working in people’s homes and for professionals in the housing industry who are unable to work from home is still in place. It’s important that you familiarise yourself and ensure that you have sufficient understanding, as well as the right protocols in place to keep yourself, your colleagues, clients and the wider general public safe.
Although obvious; it is right to point out that if you or your clerks feel unwell you should not be booking appointments. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, however mild, or you have received a positive COVID-19 test result, you should immediately self-isolate at home for at least 10 full days from when your symptoms started.
The following checklist seeks to assist inventory providers to stay alert and safe when undertaking property visits and inspections.
Booking the property report
- Have you asked if anyone is self isolating, shielding or are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19?
- Has the property been unoccupied for more than 72 hours?
- Has the property been suitably prepared for the visit to be conducted – including sanitising of handles/ surfaces that you may need to touch during the inspection?
- Have all doors and windows been opened (without compromising security) for easy access and ventilation?
- Has safe collection/return of keys/access/remotes been arranged?
- Is there anything else you need to know to ensure your safety?
If appointments are being pre-booked for later in the month or proceeding months, then refer to the checklist a few days beforehand to ensure that all the necessary precautions have been taken and that any new cases or symptoms of COVID have been advised.
At the property
- Ensure you have disposable gloves, shoe covers and a face mask available before each and every appointment
- Where possible; wash hands before you enter the property and or regularly for no less than 20 continuous seconds
- Do not touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth during/directly after the visit/inspection without washing/sanitising first
- Use hand sanitiser before you enter the property
- Maintain a 2-metre distance to any persons present at the property
- Keep contact with surfaces to a minimum whilst at the property
- Do not risk your safety by removing any appropriate PPE during the appointment
Where possible; allow sufficient breaks between appointments for you/your clerks to be able to wash your hands, take comfort breaks and have time to eat/drink. If you are tired and or rushed you may let your guard down and compromise your safety.
After the visit
- Remove your gloves and or use hand sanitiser as you leave the property and before you touch your vehicle/mode of transport
- Wipe down equipment including phones, battery packs, keys before touching any other surfaces before and after each and every visit
- Dispose of any used masks and gloves in a suitable bag or container. Add to your general waste after 72 hours only
- Wash re-useable face masks regularly and as recommended by the manufacturer
- Sanitise keys/access/remotes before returning them to the landlord/agent or tenant if conducting a check in appointment
- Wash your hands as soon as it is practically possible
Remain vigilant between appointments so that you minimise any routes of transmission back to your home, the next property, agents offices or clients premises.
In order for the housing market to continue to operate we must all play our part in minimising the risk of contracting or transmitting COVID-19.
Above all else; stay safe 💛
Please ensure you visit our Covid content hub for all of the latest support, guidance and advice.