With another lockdown now announced I thought I would just reassure you that this latest development will have little effect on ourselves as letting agents. We have already adopted secure working processes to ensure we can continue to look after your property and tenants in a way that is safe for all. With the exception of our reduced office hours to protect our staff (we await a further announcement on office opening – see below) we are able to continue answering phones, conducting viewings with prospective tenants (vacant properties only), handling all payments and statements as well as arranging property repairs using contractors strictly adhering to the government guidelines on working in other people’s homes. The only item we have suspended at the moment are property inspections of occupied property. Other than this it really is business as usual.
The one issue however we feel you need to be aware of is the extended notice periods for seeking possession of your property if you wish to take it back. This has been extended to SIX MONTHS for all AST’s with only a very small number of exceptions. If you are considering seeking possession please contact us at the earliest opportunity so we can discuss how best to proceed.
Housing secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed that house moves can continue when Thursday’s lockdown begins (5th November), but has yet to decide whether branches can remain open.
The housing market has been excluded from the national lockdown, avoiding a repeat performance of the damaging first pandemic deep freeze. Although the full details of the lockdown are be revealed later this week, on Saturday the Housing minister revealed that ‘the housing market will remain open throughout this period although everyone should continue to play their part in reducing the spread of the virus by following the current guidance”.
He also added ‘Letting agents will also still be able to manage their properties because tradespeople like electricians, plumbers, repairers of domestic appliances can enter your home. They will need to follow social distancing guidance that has already been published.”
He also later tweeted that renters will also be able to move home and that both removal firms and estate agents will be ‘able to operate’ although his press spokesperson would not elaborate on whether branches can remain open and an announcement on this will follow in next few days.