Hope you are well. We are over half way through the year and what a year 2020 has been(!) Little did we know in March how much the world was about to change in a very short space of time. We managed the transition to pivot the office to allow staff to work from home and in the process of send out landlord access to the soft ware system. We are also going to encourage “Zoom” or “Whatsap” calls with landlords. “Whatsapp” calls can be carried out through an android mobile phone, but don’t worry if you do not have that type of device, with “Zoom” all you need is a computer, internet access and an invitation to have the call. Of course there is the good old phone call, that people do not do as much now.
I am sure I am not the only one that gets a little worried when a text message from the Scottish Government come through to my phone, and as registered landlords you should have received a text with a link to the latest guidance. If you did not get a text or email with the details, if you can check your details on the landlord registration website as your details may need to be updated.
As Glasgow Property Letting never closed, we have been planning for the changes as they have been developing.
Specific advice on all home moves in the rented sector includes:
• As viewings should not be conducted in properties where tenants are showing symptoms or self-isolating, or where it has been determined that they are shielding, we ask for all parties involved in the viewing to electronically sign a confirmation that no symptoms are present and they have not been in contact with anyone who is symptomatic.
• landlords and agents should ask whether any member of a tenant’s household is showing symptoms, or has been asked to self-isolate, or is shielding before going ahead with any visits to properties. Appointment systems should be used for tenants visiting offices and when conducting viewings. Virtual viewings should be carried out where possible, with physical viewings only where there is no other alternative. Our website is already set up for virtual viewings as we have not opened the office as yet. Should you wish a chat with a member of the team we can arrange for a “Zoom” or “Whatsap” call, which so far seem to be very effective and efficient, especially for our landlords that are not based in Glasgow.
• landlords and agents must give tenants appropriate notice before visiting the property and should not enter the property without the tenant’s consent, except in an emergency. Any visits to a property must be made in accordance with the Scottish Government guidelines on physical distancing. We need to leave 72 hours between the tenancy ending at a property and the final check being carried out.
• where possible, essential repairs, gas and electrical safety checks and energy performance assessments should be conducted in the period between a property being vacated and a new tenant moving in.
• if this is not possible, and visits are needed to an occupied property, this should be done by appointment with measures put in place to ensure physical contact is minimised, for example with residents staying in another room during the visit.
• landlords should make every effort to abide by gas safety requirements, which continue to be of great importance for tenants’ safety. This may be more difficult due to restrictions associated with the COVID-19 outbreak, for example where a tenant has COVID-19 symptoms, is self-isolating or shielding. Under such circumstances, provided the landlord can demonstrate they have taken reasonable steps to comply, they would not be in breach. The HSE has produced guidance on how to deal with specific circumstances.
• landlords should also make every effort to abide by electrical and other fuel safety requirements, which continue to be of great importance for tenants’ safety. This may be more difficult due to restrictions associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. Unless there is evidence of existing defects or concerns about individual properties, routine electrical safety inspections should not be carried out until at least Phase 3 of the route map.
• Glasgow Property Letting have been instructing Pinstripe Inventory Services to carry our the Inventories before a new tenancy starts and to check over the property at the end of the tenancy, leaving 72 hours between occupancy.
• where there is no alternative, landlord staff and agents can accompany landlords and prospective tenants on physical viewings but should seek to minimise contact with prospective tenants and home occupiers at all times and follow government guidelines on physical distancing and the use of face coverings. We have a supply of hand sanitisers, dry soap, gloves and masks with all agents for essential viewings and visits.
• where an unaccompanied viewing is being carried out agents and landlords should make sure that tenants and prospective tenants clearly understand how the viewing should be conducted safely and that they should comply with health guidance including physical distancing.
• all parties viewing a property should wash their hands with soap and water or use alcohol based hand rub (hand sanitiser) before entering the property, with internal doors opened and surfaces having also been cleaned with standard household cleaning products before they enter. If any party need to wash their hands in the property, separate towels or paper towels should be used. The landlord should be responsible for providing the cleaning products and towels.
• properties should be deep cleaned in the period between the property being vacated and a new tenant moving in. See guidance on cleaning in non-healthcare settings.
I have attached the full details in this email should you wish further reading.
One of the unfortunate consequences of lock down was the hospitality industry producing zero food waste which has meant the rodent and vermin population seems to have expanded from their normal territorial areas to seek food supplies. The council pest control site does not seem to be operational as yet, but we will direct tenants to advise factors for signs in communal areas and to purchase traps if in the property and we shall arrange for the handyman to fill in any points of entry.
With the exception of weekly visits to the office to pick up mail and keys we are all working from home. If your factor fees are usually transferred by Glasgow property Letting, can I ask you to check with your factor that there is not an amount outstanding. I am conscious that the mail delivery has not been the usual with some mail not appearing or being delivered weeks after the postmark date, it is understandable during this time, but factors may still charge a late payment charge. If you are not sure who the factor is for your property you can check the factor register.
I have been informed today that it is World UFO day as well as the 184th day of the year, obviously my son is still keeping up the number and day game we started in the home learning process!!
Watch the skies and as always we shall keep you informed of updates when they become available, but should you wish to discuss any aspect of the property or emails, please do not hesitate to get in contact
17 Elmbank Street
Registration number LARN1903009
VAT : 174415411
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