Various Local Authority services have been impacted as a result of ongoing Government guidance. Local Authorities are working hard to continue to provide key services however we would suggest that you visit your Local Authority website for regular updates and how any changes to services may affect you. If there are any issues that directly impact your development your Property Inspector will contact you to advise how we are endeavouring to address this.
We have been responding to the challenges following the Government’s decision to impose a lockdown for all non-essential services in their attempts to limit the spread of Coronavirus. Our ground maintenance and cleaning contractors were divided as to whether or not they were deemed to be an essential service in terms of this guidance, however, some matters were clarified last week by Scotland’s First Minister, who made clear that, ‘If they can go about their business safely, this can be good for the community and we would encourage them to do so…’
It is impossible to provide development specific guidance on our website, as the position varies from contractor to contractor. For example, one large ground maintenance company we employ on behalf of clients has indicated that it is possible to deliver a reduced service, by having fewer operatives travelling to site and observing social distancing guidance. Other companies have said it is not possible to observe distancing requirements, and for staff safety reasons, they have suspended their service.
We will seek to keep our clients updated and this will include advising you where any contractor is not able to fulfil their duties. In some cases, this may also extend to stopping front lawn maintenance where this already formed part of the contractor’s scope of work. If front lawn maintenance is not being carried out, clients will not be billed. Clients who ordinarily receive this service, may wish to cut their own front lawns, but we fully appreciate this will only be possible if you have the means available. Contractors will resume such services as soon as practicable. As we have said, the position is a constantly changing one, therefore our team will be emailing clients ‘development by development’ to advise owners to what extent services are specifically affected.
May we also remind owners that we previously recommended that play areas should be considered ‘out of bounds’ during the lockdown. Maintenance contractors have also postponed risks assessment of the play areas. However, if you have any concerns about any obvious defects with play equipment, the contractor has indicated they can provide a reactive service, in which case, please notify our repairs team who will assist you.
We would also like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the many clients who have written to our team with kind wishes, and offering their thanks, for the continuation of our services during such difficult circumstances. Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you require any assistance. If you do not have the direct dial telephone number or email address of your main contact, you can call our switchboard on 0141 332 9225. You can also reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Whilst we have arranged for all of our staff to work from home we recognise that many of our clients and contractors will require access to areas within buildings to carry out essential maintenance and as such we have implemented a process that allows keys to be collected from our office, by appointment, between the hours of 2pm-5pm Monday – Friday.
If you, or a contractor acting on your behalf, requires keys for access please contact our office either by telephone 0141 332 9225 or by email to email@example.com to make the necessary arrangements. There are strict guidelines in place to help facilitate this process and we would ask for your cooperation to allow us to continue to provide this service.
We are in regular communication with our contractors regarding the services they are able to provide.
Our contractors service provision is based on current Government guidance and they are adapting as relevant information and guidance is provided.
We will contact affected owners with updates as soon as possible.
This is undoubtedly an extremely worrying time for many of our customers, so we want to reassure you that we are still here for you, servicing your property management needs. Our team is working from home and can be contacted through their normal direct dial lines. If you do not have the direct dial number of the person you wish to speak with, please contact our main switchboard on 0141 332 9225, and we will redirect your call. Whilst emailing might seem like an appropriate way to communicate at times like this, self-isolation makes it even more important that we speak with one another, so please don’t hesitate to call if you can.
Some services have been disrupted, for example, common area cleaners and grounds maintenance contractors. A number of companies have decided to suspend operations following the statement last night from the Government that ‘non-essential’ services should stop. We will communicate with clients affected on a development by development basis, via email over the next couple of days. We hope that this critical isolation period can be relaxed soon, as many clients appreciate the value that these services bring to large and small developments. Having contacted many of the companies concerned, they have assured us that they are ready to reinstate services quickly and safely when the Government determines that is appropriate to do so.
Getting access to basic essentials can be a challenge for elderly and vulnerable people. We have seen development owners rallying together to help neighbours which has both inspired and spirits at a much needed time. If you think you can help a neighbour please do, or if you are concerned about someone, please contact us as we may possibly hold alternative family contact details
Please stay safe and well and remember to always maintain good hygiene as the first line of defence against this virus
Some local authorities, but not all, have taken steps to close children’s play areas to prevent the spread of COVID- 19 (Coronavirus). Whilst this does not extend to play areas within private developments, we strongly advise against the use of these play areas, until the threat of this virus being spread is eradicated.
We cannot physically close play areas, but we would draw your attention to guidance which suggests that ‘the amount of infectious virus on any contaminated surface is likely to have decreased significantly, but only after 72 hours’…. ‘we also know that similar viruses are transferred to and by people’s hands, and therefore frequent hand hygiene and regular decontamination of frequently touched environmental and equipment surfaces, will help to reduce the risk of infection transmission’.
Knowing that play area equipment is not routinely disinfected, and given that we cannot be sure if anyone using the equipment, are themselves unaffected by this virus, it is critical, during this period of “stay at home”, and beyond if necessary, that children are advised by their parents, carers or guardians, not to use play areas or equipment, for their own safety and well-being, and to prevent the unnecessary spread of Coronavirus.
Following the latest Government guidance many of the contractors on our preferred list are complying with the “stay at home” policy. We have also been made aware that various suppliers/merchants have closed so contractors may find it difficult to source materials.
We are in regular communication with all of our contractors and will provide updates when further information is available.
Contractors will still be able to attend to emergencies. If you require an emergency tradesmen please contact our main switchboard on 0141 332 9225.
The provision of cleaning and gardening at our developments is essential to ensure that properties are well maintained however, in light of the recent Government guidance many companies are complying with the “stay at home” policy and as such will be unable to provide regular service at least in the short term.
We are in communication with contractors on our preferred list and will provide further updates as soon as they are available.
If cleaning contractors provide a bin rotation/presentation service at your development this will continue to ensure that refuse is uplifted by the local authority.
Whilst we are currently living through unprecedented circumstances, fire safety remains a top priority especially now with more people staying at home during the day. We have been asked to assist in promoting fire safety information for people that live in high rise buildings, with particular attention on fire safety in the common areas of the building.
You may recall that the Scottish Government developed and distributed fire safety information leaflets to residents of high rise buildings in December 2019-January 2020. To build on this safety messaging the Government have developed a fire safety poster for common areas, this can be found at the following link: https://www.firescotland.gov.uk/media/2196428/fire_safety_a3_poster.pdf
We would ask that you view the poster and observe the guidance.
The government have also developed a digital fire safety toolkit, which can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.scot/publications/fire-safety-in-high-rise-buildings-campaign-materials/. This toolkit provides some advice and information on actions you can take to improve fire safety in your high rise buildings.