Simon and Joanna McIntyre and all the team at Musker McIntyre are very much aware of the ever-changing situation around Coronavirus (Covid-19).
The safety of our customers and staff is our number one priority and therefore we continue to work remotely for the time being.
We are very much open for business and our remote team is working hard to make sure that all of our customers receive a high level of service either over the phone, by email or via our Musker McIntyre online platform.
What are the hazards to our employees, customers and clients?
We recognise that where COVID-19 is present, it spreads easily from person to person. We know that the risk of infection increases the closer you are to another person with the virus and the amount of time you spend in close contact.
Who is at risk and how?
Our employees, members, customers and clients may be at risk when in our offices or while in close proximity during property viewings that we are undertaking.
It is necessary for many of our employees to travel for work and they may therefore be at risk while using public transport services or in enclosed spaces where social distancing isn’t possible.
We recognise there is a similar risk to and from our supply chain who support our own activities, are involved with property transactions, or attend properties on our instruction.
We know that any person with even mild symptoms of COVID-19 should remain away from others for at least 7 days and anyone in their household must also self-isolate.
We acknowledge that some people may be asymptomatic and yet still infectious.
What is the risk?
While the number of cases remains high and the R-rate is above the UK government’s target, we consider the risk of COVID-19 spreading to be high were business to be conducted without any additional control measures in place.
We know that COVID-19 spreads easily from person to person and that the resulting symptoms can range from mild to severe. Certain groups of people are recognised as vulnerable where susceptibility is higher.
This risk is expected to reduce gradually, in line with any lowering in the UK’s 5-stage alert level as the number of UK cases drop. It is understood that risk may vary regionally from time to time.
How are we going to control it?
The measures we are taking to manage the risk from COVID-19 are based on the safer working guidelines published by the UK Government and guidance provided by PropertyMark (National Association of Estate Agents) and The Property Ombudsman. We shall review these measures as guidelines and risk levels change, or should we find that they are no longer effective.
Wherever they are able to do so, our employees continue to work from home and we are engaging with our clients and customers remotely.
We have procedures to make sure that individuals who are advised to stay at home under existing government guidance do not physically come to work. This includes individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19, as well as those who live in a household with someone who has symptoms. These procedures include steps to notify others that those employees may have been in close contact with, where it is appropriate to do so.
We have developed protocols for our employees on conducting business both in our offices and at residential properties. We have provided training and information to our employees about these protocols, which includes social distancing requirements, good hygiene practices and how to follow them.
We are revising the layout of our offices and reduced occupancy levels to accommodate 2m social distancing for both employees and visitors.
Cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures have been introduced and resources provided for all of our employees and workplaces.
We will communicate to all of our customers the steps we will take to ensure their safety during property viewings.
We have emphasised to our supply chain what is expected of them, ensuring that they too will adhere to the safer working guidelines.
We will continue to monitor closely public information and adopt any necessary guidelines provided by the government in the best interests of our staff, customers and their families.
If you have any concerns or queries regarding COVID-19 then more information can be found at - NHS ONLINE
Can I now move home?
Yes. The government has amended lockdown legislation so that moving home is allowed from 13 May 2020. Provided social distancing rules are followed, estate agents are permitted to open, viewings can be carried out and removal firms can restart operations.
Here at Musker McIntyre we will be following the Government Guidelines see link:
Who can leave their house to view a property?
Anyone that does not pose a direct risk of transmitting Covid-19 and who is not self-isolating. The government suggests that those who are shielding or vulnerable should seek medical advice and carefully consider their circumstances before going ahead with a move.
If I want a viewing to be carried out at my property, what safety precautions does the government advise that I take?
You should open all internal doors and ensure surfaces, such as door handles, are cleaned after each viewing and vacate your property while viewings are taking place. Estate agents should ensure the viewing is kept brief and there is minimal contact with any surfaces. Musker McIntyre will be following the Government Guidelines and staff will be wearing gloves and face coverings.
What if I want to buy or rent a property?
Initial viewings should be done virtually wherever possible. As a potential buyer or tenant, you should avoid touching surfaces, wash your hands regularly, and bring your own hand sanitiser. The government advises the number of people on a viewing should be minimised to “those from your household that absolutely have to be there”.
What if I have coronavirus or am self-isolating and I am contractually committed to move home?
You should delay your move. All parties involved should prioritise agreeing amicable arrangements to change move dates in these scenarios.
How will estate agents change the way they do business?
Agents should use an appointment system for visits to their offices and when conducting viewings. They also should not carry out any open house viewings. Agents should encourage virtual viewings for clients in the first instance and then only carry out physical viewings if there is a strong interest in the property. Where physical viewings are required the agents should follow government guidance on working in homes, including social distancing and minimising contact.
The government has also advised agents to promote flexibility on move dates, ensure that any keys are appropriately cleaned before handover and to not drive clients to appointments.
Can I make or received an offer or a reservation?
Yes, you are free to make or accept an offer or reserve a property as normal.
Who is allowed to visit my property if it is on the market?
Prospective buyers or renters (including members of the same household who must be there), estate agents, tradespeople, conveyancers, and removal workers.
What is the guidance on removals?
Removal firms are able to operate but when moving between properties, the government suggests household members should try to do as much of the packing themselves.
How can agents go back to work in offices?
Estate agents can open for business but the government says they should consider how and when to reopen their premises given the government guidance on safer working.
Are developers allowed to open show homes?
Yes, developers can continue with sales during this period and open show homes.
Covid 19 Information
The Directors and staff are very much aware of the ever-changing situation and of the growing concerns around Coronavirus (Covid-19).
The safety of our customers and staff is our number one priority. Please stay Safe
For more information please see our full details here
For more information on our viewing protocolhere