COVID-19 Updates

30th March 2020

As we enter the second week of ‘lockdown’ we hope that you are safe and well.

Our office is temporarily closed, as per the Government guidelines but we want to assure you we are working from home and continuing to deliver the high level of service that you would expect, albeit in difficult circumstances.We have published a blog post which highlights that Communication is key at this time and also looks at the Rights, Obligations & Responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants during this crisis and offers clarification over mortgage holidays and universal credit.

You can read the blog post HERE

Stay safe.

PAST UPDATES – PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THE INFORMATION IN THE UPDATES BELOW MAY HAVE BEEN SUPERCEDED.

24th March 2020

Propertymark, the letting industry’s senior trade body, has been told the agents should shut their offices immediately – they are not “essential businesses” under the new Coronavirus safety guidance.

A statement from Propertymark issued this afternoon says: 

Propertymark has spoken to a senior civil servant at Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Goverment (MHCLG) this morning. 

The civil servant stated that agents are not ‘essential businesses’ under the new rules and therefore their view is that agents should close their offices immediately.

Furthermore, they stated that there should not be any in-person viewings, routine inspections or house moves.

MHCLG is still looking into property maintenance tasks such as gas safety checks and hopes to issue guidance on these points as soon as possible.

 In a further development, British Association of Removers (BAR) has issued communications this morning instructing members that moves should only be completed if they are already underway, any move that has not yet started, should not go ahead. 

PAST UPDATES – PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THE INFORMATION IN THE UPDATES BELOW MAY HAVE BEEN SUPERCEDED.

23rd March 2020

Following the unprecedented developments around Coronavirus, Professional Properties is closing its office and instructing its employees to work from home where possible, effective immediately, until further notice.

We are taking this social distancing step to support the World Health Organisation’s containment and delay objectives and safeguard the health and wellbeing of our team, our customers and our local community.

We use cloud-based technology to enable our staff to work anywhere and we have carried out remote testing to ensure that our systems can operate effectively to support our workforce during this time.

Accompanied Viewings

We believe that to fully comply with the advice from WHO and our own Government, we cannot carry out accompanied viewings at this time.

The majority of our available properties do have a video property tour on the marketing details and these can be accessed via the ‘Video Tour’ tab on the property details on Rightmove.co.uk. They can also be accessed on our own website via the property search.

Move Ins

We will continue to accompany tenants on their day of move in. However, we will insist that only one tenant accompanies our representative at the property to limit any possible contamination.

Final Inspections

Again, we will continue to meet tenants, if applicable, at the final inspection. However, we will insist that only one tenant accompanies our representative at the inspection.

COVID-19 has presented extraordinary challenges that were hard to imagine a few months ago.

Please be assured that we are doing everything possible to maintain a level of service you would expect from Professional Properties.

We will continue to update all of our customers as the situation evolves.

Our email addresses are:

Lettings:  lettings@professionalproperties.co.uk

Property Management:  pmd@professionalproperties.co.uk

Accounts:  accounts@professionalproperties.co.uk

Job Retention Scheme

We have had a lot of contact from customers who are obviously worried about their own incomes and rent payments. The Chancellor announced on Friday the ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ which will help employers cover staff costs and avoid lay offs and redundancies.

Click HERE to visit the HMRC COVID-19 Guidance for Employees.

19 March 2020

The interests of our customers, our team and our local community are the focus of everything we do and, during these very challenging times, this is even more important.

I wanted to reassure you that we are putting in place a number of measures designed to make health and safety a top priority whilst still enabling us to continue to let and manage properties to excellent standards.

Accompanied Viewings
We will continue to carry out accompanied viewings as normal. However, when these viewings are booked, we will ask a series of questions to the applicant regarding coronavirus symptoms and self and group isolation. If we feel that there is a risk of contamination, then we will not proceed with the viewing. We would hope that potential tenants will also heed the Government advice and not request a viewing if contamination is a risk.

Accompanied Move Ins
We will follow similar procedures with move ins. If we feel that contamination is a risk, then we will pass over the keys and the property inventory for new tenants to check, sign and return to us and will not accompany tenants at the move in.

Property Inspections
We have cancelled all periodic property inspections until further notice.

Office Visits
We request that no-one visits our offices in person until further notice. If an office visit is absolutely necessary, then please telephone in advance to make us aware of your visit.

Finally, I want to thank you for your co-operation, understanding and patience during these uncertain times.

Please stay safe and look out for those around you who may need your help.

16 March 2020

As the coronavirus continues to cause concern around the world, regardless of our views of what policy makers should or shouldn’t do, as business owners we have no choice but keep our calm and work through the challenges thrown at us.

We have to think not only about our family and our livelihood, but our staff, our customers and our contractors – quite a daunting task.

We remain 100% focused on our objectives and we continue to operate as smoothly as possible whilst keeping our team safe at the same time.

We are encouraging our staff to follow the NHS advice on dealing with the virus and will follow any future advice from NHS experts.

Like many other businesses, we have been working on different possible scenarios that may arise over the coming months.

How will businesses be affected by ‘social distancing’? What will be the impact on finances over the coming months? These are tough questions we’re trying to get to grips with, to ensure we’re prepared.

Our management team and all of our staff are confident that we can continue to let and manage properties through these difficult circumstances and overcome all the challenges ahead of us.