18th June 2020
An update on the current position of Lettings in Scotland. As you are aware we are currently in phase 1 of the return to normality. The Scottish Government have not reopened The property market during phase 1 and as such the scope of property work has been limited. We are still working remotely from home and our office has not yet reopened. However , we have tried to maintain a service as close to normal as has been possible.
We anticipate to hear further guidance from the Scottish Government on Thursday, the 18th of June and we are hopeful that there may be some easing of the regulations relating to the property market which may allow re-lettings work to recommence. However, it is likely to be a new normal which we anticipate to look slightly different.
Pending further guidance we at Munro and Noble have put some provisional steps in place in anticipation of Phase 2. While we continue to offer a fully managed service to you, this will require a few changes, mainly around tenant changeovers.
The guidance issued to letting agents in England, which we would expect to be replicated in Scotland, advises that viewings should be carried out remotely by video link in the first instance and that thorough cleaning and sanitising, including all door handles, light switches, and hard surfaces, should be carried out after viewers visit a property. Agents are encouraged to complete the vetting process prior to viewers attending at a property.
To keep costs down for yourself and to ensure the safety of our staff, we have put in place viewing procedures which we feel may be more relevant to the current situation.
When tenants give notice to leave, which for most tenancies is 28 days, we will contact you as normal to advise of their notice received and the date they expect to vacate. To ensure the safety of our staff and your current tenants, We will no longer carry out any viewings until the tenant has vacated, Once the tenant has left and we attend to complete the check out report, which will be not less than 72 hours after they vacate, we will also complete a walk through video of the property which we will provide to interested viewers. We will ask them to drive by the property and take a look at the area, surrounding facilities, schools etc prior to applying for the property. We will then ask them to complete an application pack and, after consultation with yourself, we will offer only the successful potential tenant to view the property. We will accompany them at the viewing and will ensure both they and we wear protective gloves and masks and, to ensure social distancing, we may remain outside the property. At this point, should they wish to go ahead, we will ask them to pay the deposit and draw up a tenancy agreement.
We appreciate, this will most likely extend the period the property is empty but to ensure the safety of everyone involved, and allowing for any other guidance received from the Scottish Government, we feel this has to become our new normal for the foreseeable future and certainly for the rest of this year. We hope you will agree and work with us as we make these adjustments to our working practices.
We are also unclear when we will be permitted to resume property inspections but we will require to put measures in place to facilitate these when the time comes. We will update you when we receive further guidance. However we are, and always have been, attending to any safety issues and renewal of certificates as they arise, along with any ”urgent” repairs. Further guidance is awaited on non-urgent repairs.
We would stress that currently we are still in phase 1 and these changes are only our preparations for the easing of restrictions and are entirely dependent on property restrictions which we are hopeful will be in the next phase.
As ever, should you wish to discuss this, or anything else, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01463 221 727 or firstname.lastname@example.org