House-moves Limited Health & Safety Office, Viewings & Valuations Process

People who can’t work from home should be “actively encouraged” to go to work. That was one of the key messages from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s on Sunday 10th May 2020, together with being told to avoid using public transport to get there. Mr Johnson mentioned construction and manufacturing as examples of the sorts of industries where restarting would now be explicitly encouraged.

Tuesday 12th May the press released an update stating the Housing Market would be restarting with immediate effect.

Wednesday 13th May press briefing
The press briefing from Downing Street was led by Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick, along with the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England Jenny Harries:

• Mr Jenrick detailed the changes to social distancing measures that came into effect in England [yesterday];
• He outlined the government’s plan to restart the housing market and construction industry in England, stressing the strict safeguards in place
• But he acknowledged allowing house viewings “may seem confusing at first glance, especially when people have been separated from their loved ones for so long”;

With information taken from the Government Guidelines, and advice from Industry bodies we have at House-moves established our Health & Safety Policy for our office and to carry out viewings and valuations.

Office

• Only odd numbered desks are to be used, leaving even number desks unoccupied and enabling staff to work keeping a 2 metre distance whilst working.
• Hand sanitiser dispenser is installed in the entrance to the office with a sign to encourage everyone to sanitise their hands on entry and exit.
• Hand washing is encouraged at every opportunity.
• Facemask/coverings are available.
• Entry to the office by anyone other than staff is by appointment only.
• Prior to any appointments, all parties will be asked if they have recently travelled outside the UK, also to confirm they have not shown any symptoms of COVID-19.

Viewings

• Viewings are initially to be done by “Virtual Viewing” only and only if a client wishes to then view a
property in person will an appointment be made to do so with the following guidelines:
• Virtual Viewings/Videos should be used prior to Physical Viewings where possible, in order to minimise public health risks.
• If any member of either the household being viewed, or the household undertaking a physical viewing is showing any symptoms of coronavirus or is self isolating, then a physical viewing should be delayed. All viewings WILL take place by appointment only.
• Only Buyers who are proceedable or have a valuation booked to carry out physical viewings.
• Avoid arranging viewings around rush hour to reduce traffic on the roads.
• Only two adults (from the same household) per viewing.
• Appointment arranged with Vendor.
• Vendor and family to ensure they vacate the property prior to viewing (either wait in car or go for walk, supermarket etc.)
• All internal doors to be open to avoid the necessity to touch any handles.
• All viewings will be asked to avoid touching any surface within the property.
• PPE to be available; Hand Sanitiser, Facemask/covering. Hand Sanitiser to be used by staff and viewers prior to entering property.
• After every viewing, Anti-Bacterial Wipes are to be used to wipe all door handles and any appropriate surface before leaving the property or before next viewing.
• Keep the viewing short and carryout any discussions outside the property.
• All viewings must be carried out maintaining the 2 metre social distancing.

Valuations

• Valuations are initially to be done by “Virtual Valuation” where possible.
• For Physical Valuations the follow guidelines must be adhered to:
• All relevant information regarding the property must be obtained prior to visiting the property to reduce any contact with the Vendor.
• PPE to be available and used where necessary, Hand Sanitiser to always be used prior to entering a property.
• Vendor to be asked to wait in appropriate room or garden and have opened all doors whilst the inspection of the property is carried out.
• Only if a 2 metre social distance can be maintained should the appraisal be carried out at this point with the Vendor; if not then you should contact the Vendor via telephone or video conference (Vendors preference) to discuss the Valuation/Market Appraisal.

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