Firstly, I hope anyone reading this blog is healthy and well and keeping safe!
It has been a very difficult time so far, with government guidelines severely restricting what we can do at this time, to prevent the spread of covid-19.
At Ardanach, we made the decision to close the office and work remotely from home, to protect ourselves and others. We are still fully contactable 24/7 as normal to both our landlords and tenants and are dealing with any enquiries and actions on a case by case basis.
Working to the guidelines handed out by SAL and CIH (Scottish Assoc of Landlord and Chartered Institute of Housing), we have postponed the following:
All viewings on properties
All home visits
Attended check outs
Non essential repairs
All very difficult as we know we will be deluged with work to catch up on the above once the restrictions are relaxed or lifted. We understand the frustration of clients who have properties currently on the market and/or vacant. However, the quicker that the wider population comply with the restrictions in place, the sooner we can beat this virus and we can return to normal business.
To try and limit the damage to our clients, we are doing the following:
Sending out video walk throughs of available properties for prospective tenants to view (we have been able to secure reservations on some properties by doing this – with possession to be arranged at the end of the lockdown)
Updating our landlord clients and tenants on a regular basis to ensure they know of any changes to the restrictions and forwarding them links to government webpages where they may be able to obtain assistance in this difficult time.
We have assisted some NHS workers to take possession of property where they really need to isolate themselves from family due to their work. In these cases, we are able to carry out the check in procedure using social distancing requirements and not actually taking them into the property – this is all very alien to us as we normally carry out full check in procedures, meeting the tenant at the property and going through the full property with them to ensure that they are happy, but this is the best we can do at present.
Ensuring that all our tenants are kept regularly up to date to advise what we expect of them (i.e. to notify us immediately if they feel they will be unable to pay rent, etc) so that we can keep our clients abreast of any potential issues with their rental income. (They are, of course, made aware that any rent not paid will accrue as debt on their account). This should assist clients to make decisions quickly as to whether they need to make any necessary arrangements to prevent them falling foul of their own commitments.
Ensuring that vacating tenants send photographs with meter readings prior to vacating, return the keys either to our office or place through the property letter box and notifying us immediately when they have done this. They are also made aware of a possible delay with the return of their deposit but we will make allowances where possible as long as a good quality video walk through of the property is sent to us.
Tenants are being notified that non essential repairs are being logged and will be dealt with as soon as the restrictions are lifted. Emergency repairs are still being dealt with and landlords being kept up to speed on any issues as always.
Hopefully, we may start to see the light at the end of the tunnel soon and we can return to normal living again and enjoy the freedom that we have, all to often, taken for granted.
Until then, Ardanach are here to assist in any way possible – if anyone who has property and manages it themselves has any concerns or wishes to have a chat about their situation, we are happy to help and give advice. You can contact me direct on 07810 540 357.
Wishing you and your family and friends all the best and that we all come through this safely.
Take care and stay safe,