Dear valued customers and contractors,
Firstly, on behalf of my entire team, I want to take this opportunity to wish you well during these challenging and unprecedented times.
At Progressive Lets we take the health and safety of our people, including our customers, contractors and staff alike, very seriously. As such we have implemented various new procedures in line with government guidance to help protect everyone and reduce the spread of COVID-19. You can find out about the measures we have taken by reading the information below - and I would encourage you to do so, because it’s important you are aware of the expectations we have of ourselves and those we serve.
While I appreciate this is a difficult time for all, I would be extremely grateful if you would follow the new processes and changes we have put in place. We will of course endeavour to ensure our service levels remain high and do our very best to continue operating as best we can with the scaled down workforce we currently have in place.
In the meantime, we hope you and your loved ones remain virus-free and we look forward to supporting you towards accepting the “new norm” over the coming days, weeks and months.
Wayne Beecham | Managing Director
In line with recent Government guidance regarding the spread of COVID-19, we have created this page to help keep you up to date with changes to our services and associated procedures. As the situation and guidance from Government evolves, we will update this page accordingly.
We take the safety of our people very seriously - as such we are currently taking the extra precautions.
Health and safety are of paramount importance at Progressive Lets, which is why we have taken important measures to protect our staff, customers, contractors and members of the public.
As per Government guidance we have completed a risk assessment in line with HSE guidance - this was carried out in May 2020. As a result, we have implemented a number of changes and actions to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
CLEAR COMMUNICATION WITH OUR PEOPLE
We have verbally consulted with all team members who have returned to work, providing them with clear guidance about adaptations to our workspace and services (e.g. avoiding face-to-face contact where non-essential). We have also updated them about new procedures we have put in place regarding social distancing, hand-washing, and general hygiene in and around our working environment.
SAFE WORKING ENVIRONMENT
All staff who have returned to the business are based at our office in Hampton and have 2 meters or more between their work stations. Our office is cleaned thoroughly and regularly, and all desks are disinfected daily and free of clutter.
Health & Safety signage has been placed around the office to remind our team and visitors to:
> Social distance
> Avoid sharing work stations
> Clean surfaces regularly
> Wash/sanitise hands frequently
> Only travel in company vehicles where essential (one person per car at any time)
Although we are a forward-thinking company, most of our business activities need to be carried out within an office setting, making remote working difficult. That said, where it is possible to work from home effectively or a member of staff is considered vulnerable/at risk, we will consider a temporary remote working solution.
While it is not a legal requirement, we are asking our tenants to let us know if they are self-isolating due to COVID-19. We have a duty of care to protect all of our customers and those who support our business, therefore we need to know about any suspected or confirmed cases. It's essential we know so we can advise other tenants living in the same property to self-isolate and get tested. We also need to be able to postpone other staff (e.g. cleaners, gardeners, pest control specialists etc) from entering the property. It means viewings will be postponed too and no one will be allowed to re-enter the property until all tenants living in the building have completed the self-isolation period.
It is vital those living within a shared house where a tenant has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 social distance from one another. They must stay in their own bedrooms as much as possible, wash their hands frequently and disinfect shared surfaces, doors, handles etc regularly.
Please email or call Steph on 01733 293900 if you have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.
Tenants are still liable for paying their rent during this period. However, we encourage anyone who has been adversely financially affected by COVID-19 to contact us at earliest opportunity. At this point, we will go through our assessment process to see if we can offer them some short-term support.
SafeAgent also advise tenants who have concerns about paying their rent due to a change in their working circumstances should refer to the guidance from the Department of Work and Pensions.
MAINTENANCE & GAS SAFETY
Where it is safe to do so, contractors will visit properties to complete maintenance and Gas Safety Certificates. They will follow social distancing guidance, use hand sanitiser and wear protective equipment where necessary. However, they will not attend properties where tenants are self-isolating due to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.
Lettings negotiators are currently completing viewings at empty properties. In addition, where it is deemed safe to do so (i.e. there are no suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 within a property), negotiators are also carrying out viewings at occupied house shares. However, these viewings are only taking place once all tenants from the same building are in their own bedroom, in the garden or at another location. During the viewing social distancing guidance is requested and followed by all parties, hand sanitiser is provided and used by all entering the property and, where necessary, protective equipment is worn by our letting negotiator.
1) Our business continues to operate, however some services have been adjusted to minimise face-to-face contact. We have temporarily scaled-down our team, but have a small number of committed people working hard to ensure operations run as smoothly as possible.
Making sure our landlords and tenants continue to be supported efficiently and effectively during these times is of real importance to us.
2) We are looking to reintroduce more staff back into the office environment over the coming weeks and months, however we are being cautious about this so it will remain under constant review.
3) Inspections at occupied properties will resume this week but only if the tenant is outside their property (e.g. in their garden or at their place of work) during the inspection. Our property managers have been provided with hand sanitiser and will use this before entering and exiting the property.
4) Move-ins will continue, however we will not be reintroducing our face-to-face introduction process for the time being. This means keys will need to be collected from our office until further notice. Property applications are completed via our online system, which is per our normal process. That said, if you need to provide additional referencing documents, then you can bring the paperwork to our office, but you will need to arrange an appointment with our team by telephone first.
5) We will not allow more than two visitors from separate households into our office foyer at any one time. They will also be asked to stand at either side of the foyer area to ensure they are several meters apart at all times. Therefore, please don’t be offended if we ask you to wait outside, this is for the safety of everyone.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: We will also request that all members of public use hand sanitiser when arriving at our office and any of our rental properties. Failure to comply will result in our staff asking you to leave.
6) All members of our team have been advised not to attend work if they or anyone they live with has any of the COVID-19 symptoms - this also applies to visitors. Please do not attend our office or pre-booked viewings if you develop any of the symptoms listed below:
> A high temperature
> A new, continuous cough
> A loss of, and/or change to, your sense of smell or taste
Please check the NHS website for further advice if you have symptoms.
We are doing everything we can to maintain a high standard of service and hope you understand our reasons for taking additional health and safety measures. We will continue to work for you in these challenging times and do all we can to ensure that our service levels remain high while protecting you.
Stay safe and take care.
Wayne Beecham | Managing Director
Steph Forrester | Operations Manager
22 SEPTEMBER 2020 - 1.30PM
We are preparing to restart property inspections. The inspections will be carried out across all properties (single lets and HMOs), with the first appointment scheduled for 6th October 2020.
We had previously stopped inspections in response to government guidance, but in the interest of our landlords and tenants we feel it is necessary to resume this important process as we have identified it is not possible for our business to thoroughly inspect properties remotely.
We have started contacting tenants by telephone to arrange inspections and during our calls we are asking tenants to confirm if they have any COVID-19 related symptoms in the last 14 days. If they have not, then we are continuing to book the appointment, but if they have, an appointment will be scheduled further into the future.
If any tenant living in the property develops COVID-19 symptoms ahead of our visit, then the tenant/s must advise us so we can rearrange the appointment. Please refer to the NHS website for full information regarding symptoms.
As per our normal procedure, tenants will not be required to be present during the property inspection, but if they wish to be there, then they will be required to social distance, which means keeping a 2m distance from our Property Manager at all times.
The Property Manager carrying out the inspections will wear PPE and complete the visit as quickly as possible. He/she will also sanitise their hands upon arrival at the entrance to the property.
Following government guidance released this afternoon, we are not a business that is able to operate successfully from home, so we will be continuing to run our procedures and processes from our office environment, albeit safely. That said, we will be mindful of any further restrictions or changes the government may issue that might affect this decision as the health and safety of our staff and customers alike remain our top priority.
Thank you for your cooperation and patience, we appreciate this is a difficult time for all.