Important update: A message from Kristjan on procedures.
Here’s our latest update to all of our lovely tenants as we do our best to navigate these times and keep you informed as best we can!
As the crisis deepens and a lockdown of some description becomes increasingly likely we continue to monitor the situation. It was great to see the government offer some security of income to those at risk in the employed sector, although the framework of that is still being digested and understood. Of course, we are keen to see the government announce a solution for the self-employed/freelance community urgently and am hopeful that some announcement of support is imminent.
In the meantime please be advised of the following updates:
Cessation of all S21 Notices & Rolling tenancies
As of today, we will not be issuing any S21 Notices (notice to quit/terminate a tenancy) on any of our tenancies. If your tenancy is due to end in the near future (and by that we currently mean the next 6 months) then, should you wish to vacate at the end of the contract as you would normally then that is (of course) fine. However, do please confirm this with us so we can manage this process accordingly?
Otherwise, should you wish to remain in situ unsure what the future holds, then rest assured that all expiring tenancies will, thereafter, become a ‘rolling contract’. This is to say that the terms of your contract will remain ‘as is’ but your contract will continue on a month-by-month basis with no requirement to enter a new ‘minimum term’ agreement at this time. At a point where you would want to end said tenancy, a minimum 1 month’s written notice will be required from you.
Viewings at Tenanted property (due to vacate)
Any properties that are being marketed with us whilst in occupation will be handled as follows going forwards:
- Initial viewings will be undertaken online- be that via our virtual tours or working with you to generate a video tour of the property
- Interested parties will then need to make an offer- which we will vet with the landlord and do basic early stage due diligence
- If we get passed that stage, then a physical viewing will be arranged at the property (if possible)- the protocol for this is that the property is unoccupied during the visit (as arranged with you), visitors will be given gloves and will be taken round the property (with no more than 2 guest persons at a time) in the quickest time possible. We are looking to keep viewings under 10 mins and any discussions thereafter will be conducted over the phone and away from the property- ideally this will be confirmation they wish to proceed, securing funds, references, etc.
We are monitoring this- our top priority is to keep both you and our contractors as safe as possible. As such, we will likely be taking an increasingly ‘emergency only’ view to actually attending works. That said, if lockdown is implemented, we may need to broaden slightly what is considered an emergency. More on that as matters progress. However, with maintenance issues, you should proceed as normal with regards to reporting them:
- Any & all maintenance issues (barring extreme emergencies) MUST be reported via the PropertyFile app or portal
We will expect a backlog of smaller issues to develop over time. We urge tenants, where possible, to do your best to address minor issues yourselves- e.g. if a door handle is coming loose then tighten the screws, don’t wait for the door handle to fall off. Anything that we are unable to address now, we will look to resolve as quickly as we can as soon as relevant restrictions are lifted and we can resolve without placing anyone in any unnecessary risk.
Interim Inspections (managed properties)
Tomorrow will be the last of our ‘in person’ regular inspections & maintenance visits. Thereafter, we will be looking to arrange video calls with one of you to carry out the inspection that way and then generate a client report off the back of that.
We have been contacted by a handful of tenants who have been immediately and severely impacted by current events. We are working closely with them and their landlords to find the best possible solution for all concerned at this difficult time with regards to their contractual obligations. We cannot, and will not, be able to offer any ‘blanket advice/stance’ as to how this will be managed or resolved as each Tenant’s circumstances will be unique- as will each Landlords.
It is very important, however, that you understand that all current discussions (and future ones- unless government announces new measures of support) are about the reduction of imminent payments in order to help cash flow however the total amount due under the contract remains due and, as such, payments will need to be made in the future to ensure the account is settled in full.
If you are facing financial hardship, your first priority is to understand what (if any) support and assistance is on offer from the government and apply for that immediately. Secondly, it is vital that you talk to us (if we manage the property) or your Landlord as soon as you have serious and substantiated concerns about your ability to pay rent so that a conversation can be started as early as possible. The earlier we start the conversation the more prepared we can all be.
That is it for now and we will continue to update you as matters evolve.