A six-point guide is to be issued today to agents reopening offices when the government gives the go ahead, possibly in the next few weeks.
The guide, to be issued by epropservices - parent company of the Guild of Property Professionals and Fine & Country - is based on current guidance and talks agents through a range of processes to open safely.
This includes, firstly, checking on the health of individual staff members; this includes a health assessment form template for use by agents, covering whether individuals remain anxious and offering opportunities where appropriate to continue working from home.
It then goes into detail on the cleaning of offices and rearrangement of furniture to meet the likely continuation of the two-metre social distancing rules, even after lockdown. It also discusses the potential use of screens and furniture to ensure the health of staff and customers alike, and a frequent cleaning regime.
The guide then comes on to the nitty-gritty of agency, including valuations and viewings.
It outlines a new and safer etiquette which could be adopted during valuations, including the possible wearing of gloves and face masks if considered appropriate; and if physical viewings are conducted, it offers guidance on the maximum number of people in a property at one time, the avoidance of hard copy details and how to arrange the practicalities of viewers and agents getting to the property in a safe and ‘distanced’ fashion.
The guide then moves on to how agents can complete compliance issues - Anti-Money Laundering and Right To Rent in particular - and practical arrangements that letting agents need to put in place to handle property management and repair issues, including visits.