Important Company Announcement Regarding Covid-19
Following the advice from the Government concerning the Covid-19 pandemic, and as a responsible Employer, I have made the decision today that as of 16th of March 2020, our team will be working from home until we are advised otherwise. I have had to implement some changes to ensure continuity of the service you have become accustomed to. As this is uncharted territory, changes may have to be made as the situation unfolds over the next few weeks & months ahead.
We will be available during the hours of 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday with effect from 16th March 2020. You should still call us on 0151 808 0697 and you will be given a series of choices, but please be aware in most cases, your call will be diverted to a colleague’s mobile. We are all available on email:
Georgiaw@elavaceestates.com (Repairs/maintenance & landlords accounts)
Kaym@elavaceestates.com (General enquiries, new business)
Somonet@elavaceestates.com (Conducting viewings, inspections, tenancy renewals)
Properties available to let
If you have a property that is currently being advertised for Let it will still remain on the market and we will still be carrying out viewings as long as we are able to, but they will be carried out by my Staff using caution. We may ask that if you live in the property, that you leave during the time we are conducting the viewing and the same principle will be used if a Tenant lives there and the property is being re-let.
We intend to visit your property (If it’s available for let) to complete a video tour so it can be used for virtual viewings if applicants are unable to physically come and view the property. We will be contacting you soon to arrange this to take place as soon as possible. We ask that you allow us to do this whilst you are not in the property or you stay in a different room whilst we are filming; It will take no more than 15 minutes for us to complete. You may wish to complete the video yourself if you do not want us to come to your property and you can send us a shareable link that we can display with the property advert.
We expect Tenants to pay their rent as normal, but we are also prepared for some Tenants to ask for time to pay as a result of an event out of their control: This could be as a result of being laid off at work as some companies are and will continue to make cutbacks in this challenging climate.
My advice, (if this scenario becomes a reality) is for you to allow us to negotiate with the Tenant, we can look at them paying a lower fixed amount and then agree to a payment plan going forward. If you have a mortgage to pay, it may be an idea to contact your lender now to discuss the possibility of a mortgage payment holiday and prepare yourself for the worse- case scenario of not receiving full rental payment for a few months. There are no definite guidelines from the Government at present, but I suspect that any cases of arrears due to Covid-19 will not result in the Courts issuing an eviction order to the Tenants. We will keep up to date as the guidance feeds through to us on this. The Government are working on a plan to enable those who find themselves out of work to claim universal credit quicker than the current 5- week timescale (if they are entitled).
If you do not already have it in place, we are still able to issue rent protection to protect your rental payments in the instance the Tenants do not pay BUT there is a 90-day exclusion (when no claim can be made) if the policy is put in place mid tenancy. It’s a no excess policy and it covers associated legal costs if the Tenant is to be evicted. Please let me know if you would like more information on this protection.
We will be advising Tenants in let properties not to report non-urgent maintenance issues, as we have to be understanding of Contractors who may not be able to attend or may refuse to attend due to the possible risks to health. Urgent maintenance issues and other issues that cannot be left with will be dealt with accordingly with the workforce we have available to us.
There is no guidance yet from the Government in regard to legally required safety checks that cannot be completed in the instance that Tenants do not allow access into their homes from third party contractors OR if contractors refuse to go into the property due to health & safety concerns. We are hoping that the Government adopt a sensible approach to this and will make allowances for when safety certificates run over the expiry dates.
Property inspections & tenants moving in & out.
I have put a strategy in place to enable us to remotely complete property inspections so that these are not missed, and we also have a plan of action to still be able to effectively complete move in appointments and final inspections.
We are adapting our way of working to ensure the safety of the team, their families and for the safety of you and your families and for that of the Tenants too. The situation is fluid and is changing all the time and our working practices will be reviewed regularly to ensure that we are following the advice issued by the Government.
Business will continue as normally as it can in these unprecedented times, and I would like to thank you in advance for your continued support.
With best wishes,
The Elavace Estates team