We are open
How we have changed to accommodate your and our safety due to COVID -19.
National lockdown measures Housing activity continues January 4th 2021
Following this evening’s announcement by the Prime Minister that England will move to a new national lockdown, agents can continue to work and house moves are permitted to go ahead.
The guidance states:
“You can still move home. People outside your household or support bubble should not help with moving house unless absolutely necessary. Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work. If you are looking to move, you can go to property viewings. Follow the national guidance on moving home safely, which includes advice on social distancing, letting fresh air in, and wearing a face covering.”
The national lockdown requires that under UK Coronavirus Alert Level 5, people across England must stay at home, except for very limited exceptions.
As ever, guidelines, as set down by the government in March 2020, will apply (below), and responsible behaviour by everyone involved and adherence to safety guidance is more important than ever. M & M Properties thank all clients in advance for their cooperation, adherence, patience and continued forbearance throughout this challenging period.
Coronavirus update 5th November 2020
Housing minster confirms that the housing market remains open despite further lockdown measures, writing on Twitter at the weekend after Boris Johnson’s announcement , Robert Jenrick said: “Housing market update ahead of Thursday’s measures: Renters & homeowners will be able to move; Removal firms and estate agents can operate; Construction sites can and should continue; Tradespeople will be able to enter homes.”
“But all must follow the Covid safety guidance.”
Jenrick added that “all parties involved should continue to play their part in reducing the spread of the virus by following the current guidance”.
That includes following social distancing rules, wearing PPE including masks , having sellers leave the property during a viewing, which can only last for 15 minutes, and to have as few people looking at the property as possible.
He continued: “Tradespeople like electricians, plumbers, repairers of domestic appliances can enter your home. They will need to follow social distancing guidance that has already been published.”
These statements have latterly been approved in the house of commons this week.
M & M Properties have taken the decision that due to the announcement all non-essential property inspection visits will be deferred until December 2020. Maintenance and repairs will continue to be attended to in order of severity. All other services included property viewings will continue as outlined. We ask for patience and cooperation at this time of greater restrictions for the country.
24/07/2020 Coronavirus update – Face coverings. Our office in Hockliffe Street continues to be open for business by appointment only. Please note that as of today if you have an appointment to visit our offices, face masks are to be worn at all times or entry will be declined. If viewing a property, face masks will need to be worn at all times. All M & M Properties staff will wear masks at all times when interacting with clients both during office based appointments and out of office activities. If clients are unable to wear a mask for any reason, please notify us when making your appointment. Thank you for your continued support in these unusual times.
The Government has recognized that the housing market will play an essential part of the UK’s economy getting back on its feet, and has given Estate Agents and Letting Agents the task and responsibility of getting the country moving again.
To successfully conduct the sales and lettings process responsibly and professionally we will be respecting government guidelines of social distancing, and ensuring all of our staff and customers health, throughout the transaction is not compromised. The success of the housing market reopening will inevitably help the decision making process for further reopening of many other industries over the next few months.
As the largest independent Estate Agent and Letting agent in Leighton Buzzard we will continue to provide the highest levels of customer service to all our clients whilst ensuring social distancing and government guidelines are adhered to.
Below is our guide on how we have changed our working practices to accommodate these unprecedented times.
- Our Agents will be asking and confirming whether any party is showing symptoms, or has been asked to self-isolate, before going ahead with any viewing, or visits to our offices.
- We will operate using an appointment system for visits to our offices and when conducting viewings. Our Hockliffe street office will remain closed to the public apart from for pre-arranged appointments.
- Our Sales and Letting Agents will be encouraging clients to view properties virtually in the first instance and then only physically inspect properties which they have a strong interest in.
- We will conduct accompanied physical viewings where possible and seek to maintain a minimum of 2 meters distance from others wherever possible. Where social distancing is not possible and the visit is within an enclosed space, we will work with you to consider what action can be taken to minimize risk in line with government guidelines
- Where a viewing is not accompanied, we will make sure that both buyer and seller clearly understand how the viewing should be conducted safely.
- We aim for all viewings to not last more than 15 minutes.
- Only two adults per viewing, if children must be present the viewing is to be staggered
- M & M staff will not drive clients to appointments.
- Open house viewings are currently not permitted.
- All parties viewing a property should wash their hands with soap and water (or hand sanitizer if not available) immediately before entering a property, the internal doors will be open, and surfaces will have been wiped down before they enter.
- We will promote flexibility when arranging move dates, for example advising clients to ensure contracts have explicit terms to manage the timing risks presented by coronavirus.
- We will work with our clients and other agents to broker a new date to move where sales are due to complete and one of the parties falls ill with coronavirus or must self-isolate
- We will ensure that any keys are appropriately cleaned before handover, and provided in a sealed envelope.
Landlords and tenant’s safety is our priority.
- We will not conduct viewings in properties where tenants are symptomatic or self-isolating, or where it has been determined that they are clinically extremely vulnerable and are shielding.
- Where viewings can proceed, they will be conducted in line with the guidance on viewings earlier in this document. To minimize any risk to the health of tenants, property managers and viewers, it will be policy that only M&M staff will touch contact points within the rented property. Property managers will be practicing regular hand sanitising in-line with government advice. Prospective tenants will be requested not to touch anything in the rented property and current tenants will be asked to maintain social distancing or (as per government directions), wait in the garden or outside of the property. M&M hold keys for all rental properties. If an existing occupant of the rental home has any specific requirements with regards to the conduct of viewings, they should raise these at the point of booking the appointment with the designated property manager.
- Any visits to a property will be made in accordance with government’s guidelines on working in other people’s homes and social distancing.
- If possible, necessary repairs, gas and electrical safety checks will be conducted in the period between a property being vacated and a new tenant moving in. If this is not possible and visits are needed to an occupied property, this will be done by appointment with measures put in place to ensure physical contact is minimised, for example with residents staying in another room, or outside during the visit.
- We will ensure every effort is taken to abide by gas and electrical safety requirements, which continue to be of great importance for tenants’ safety. This may be more difficult due to restrictions associated with the coronavirus outbreak, for example where a tenant has coronavirus symptoms, is self-isolating or shielding. Under such circumstances the appropriate safety work will be delayed until access can be gained safely
- The preparation of inventory and schedule of conditions as well as inventory checkouts at the end of a tenancy will take place in line with current government social distancing guidelines.
- All procedures for arranged move ins for new tenancies will remain in place, taking care to follow government advice on social distancing to minimize possible spread of coronavirus.
- We will continue to carry out right to rent checks, although due to the coronavirus outbreak we will conduct these checks remotely.
- M & M Properties are continually reviewing all processes for referencing, making payments and signing of documents to provide a remote option wherever possible.