Following Tuesday’s announcement by the Scottish Government that specific local authority areas would be moving to Tier 4, we have looked at how this will affect business operations and services. The full guidance is available here.
You may recall, from our previous announcements that, following the UK lockdown on 23 March, we detailed some of the steps we took at the time to deal with the impact of Coronavirus and to help us maintain a business as usual policy. The investment in operations at that time has prepared us for the subsequent difficulties that we all unfortunately faced over the ensuing 8 months, which has allowed us to say with confidence that our services have been maintained fully and uninterrupted.
One impact of Covid-19 which we are unable to address is the hosting of co-owners meetings’ in person. Whilst we are unable to meet clients in person, we can arrange group discussions via the various digital platforms available, if this is of interest to you. If you feel that a group owner meeting is necessary over the next few weeks, please contact your property inspector to allow us to make the necessary arrangements. Our experience during lockdown has shown that meetings which exceed 10 persons can prove challenging and this may be worth bearing in mind when requesting an online meeting if you live in a large development
During this lockdown our inspectors will continue to carry out site visits, but only where this is essential and there is a specific demand for this which cannot be handled remotely
As you will know our service depends heavily on the availability of contractors to perform routine and essential work. Government guidance says tradespeople should only go into a house in a level 4 area to carry out or deliver essential work or services, for example:
- Carry out utility (electricity, gas, water, telephone, broadband) safety checks, repairs, maintenance and installations
- Carry out repairs and maintenance that would otherwise threaten the household’s health and safety
- To deliver goods or shopping
- To deliver, install or repair key household furniture and appliances such as washing machines, fridges and cookers
- Support a home move, for example furniture removal
- Safety when working in someone else’s home
We have spoken with a number of contractors with whom we work and they have made clear that they are able to operate normally and will observe the required Covid-19 hygiene requirements, staying 2 metres apart, wearing a face covering and following good hand and respiratory hygiene. Some contractors did express concern about potential for refusal of access by homeowners; whilst we do not envisage these difficulties and would expect that our clients will be happy to admit contractors for essential maintenance, if for any reason you are concerned about a contractor entering your property and you need to discuss this with us in more detail please do not hesitate to contact your property inspector.
Access to the office
Whilst services remain unaffected across Residential, Commercial Management and Residential Letting, we have closed our office to visitors and only staff are permitted to access. If you must meet in person with a member of our team at the office, this must be by appointment only. Although our offices are closed to the public you can still contact us by phone, email or via our website or mobile app to report any matters that require attention. Our calls are busier at this time of year with weather related issues and with November quarterly common charges invoices having been issued. We therefore encourage clients wherever they can to make payment via our web, app or gateway to reduce your waiting time.
We will continue to monitor official guidance and will provide further updates via our website.
Finally, we hope you remain safe and well.