We know what you’re thinking. We would say property inspections must be a priority during lockdown. We are, after all, the purveyors of the best property inspection app on the market. Over 80,000 registered users. Over 1.8m property reports completed.
Let’s unpack this idea. Let’s get back to basics and remind ourselves why property inspections are so important.
Property inspections are a contentious topic at the moment. Many of our industry colleagues feel unsafe at work, unable to work remotely. Tenants are frustrated, being asked to stand outside during property inspections (especially when it’s so cold!) Some are refusing to comply with inspections. Our property inventory software means over 80,000 professionals can safely do their jobs. Tenants are safer. Properties are safer. To be able to do your job safely during lockdown cannot be underestimated. Or to have a job during lockdown!
The office of National Statistics just announced that the unemployment rate in this country has reached 5% (the last time was 2016). December’s reporting shows payrolls around the country had 828,000 fewer employees. With so many of us at home full time, it’s critical to ensure properties are safe and inhabitable. Our duty of care to our tenants and landlords is paramount.
Property inspections during lockdown is an essential preventative measure. Ensuring the property is in good working order doesn’t just fall on the tenant. We need to maintain the safety and integrity of the property, with regular maintenance to ensure tenants remain protected from dangers such as gas leaks and electrical faults.
The approaching EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) deadline this April is another reason why property inspections must be maintained. The Gas Safe Register updated its information on January 8 this year. They underscore the importance of following government guidance around working safely during the pandemic. Bottom line is: if these guys (the experts) are mandating safety checks, we must comply.
The Gas Safe Register emphasises the need to maintain safety checks at properties to protect tenants from life threatening risk. Yet they also provide critical insight and helpful advice. Their website offers eight scenarios detailing examples of how to carry out safe inspections during the pandemic with everyone, from the clinically vulnerable through to social housing landlords. Scenario topics covered include gas emergencies at property with shielded person, to being unable to book a Registered Gas Engineer.
While our industry grapples with unprecedented logistical issues, tenants and landlords are navigating a stressful, uncertain time. Now more than ever tenants need to feel safe at home. It’s necessary and correct tenants be protected from evictions and pressure to pay their rent. Many have lost their livelihoods through no fault of their own. At the same time, landlords have every right to protect their property. Investment properties are often an essential source of income.
Maintaining fundamental reporting on our properties ensures all our paperwork is up-to-date. This alone is critical to assist landlords and tenants efficiently navigate any lockdown fallout. Regular property inspections maintains safety and communication. Regular inspections catch little issues before they become dangerous and expensive risks. There’s never been a better time to work well together.
Prevailing circumstances appear ridiculous at times. We hear you. The desire to return to ‘normal’ can be overwhelming. Reality is, properties must be maintained to protect the safety of its occupants and the investment of its owner. Particularly when we are unexpectedly at home together for long periods of time.
We know what you’re thinking. You want to do a good job. You want tenants and landlords to feel safe. You want all this to be over. We are fortunate to be able to do our jobs remotely. Being fortunate doesn’t guarantee an easy life! Being fortunate provides the means to innovate, to identify solutions in the challenges. And yes, to keep calm and carry on.