The government has recently set out plans to revive England’s housing market after seven weeks of being in lockdown, with renters and buyers allowed to move home and view properties as long as social distancing and safety rules are observed.

Under the new guidelines, key activities related to moving home will be permitted, allowing letting agents to reopen and get back to work.

These new rules are a substantial change as the UK housing market had all but been frozen during lockdown to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. This is especially good news for those tenants whose tenancies are coming to an end and those who have needed to progress their plans to move. Previously tenants were not allowed to view properties and could only move home if it was “reasonably necessary.”

As a result of these new regulations, we at Samara lettings have had to take some extra precautions to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our customers and staff members. The most noticeable change will be our working structure which will be as follows:

-       Our office will be open form 10am until 4pm Monday-Friday and 10.30am until 2 on Saturdays. All calls and emails will be responded to during normal full office hours.

-       A limited number of staff will be operating from the office to ensure social distancing rules are adhered to. The office door will remain locked, and will be opened for customers who have made an appointment.

As we can now undertake viewings, to help minimise the spread of Covid 19 we are putting strict viewing procedures in place. We will ask all prospective tenants to follow the guidelines we have outlined below so as to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone.

Furthermore, we will ask that if anyone or anyone in an individual’s household, is showing any symptoms of the Coronavirus, not to attend a viewing appointment. Wherever possible, we will try to arrange a virtual viewing instead.

-        We will ask that prospective tenants arrive at their appointment on time and wait outside the property or office until the viewing is ready to start.

-       Viewings will be limited to a maximum of 10 minutes

-       We will not be able to shake hands with anyone and some staff members will be wearing masks or gloves.

-       We will not allow more than two people to attend a viewing.

-       We will ask prospective tenants not to touch anything when they go around a property. We will open doors of the property for the tenants and viewers will keep a 2m distance.

-       Prospective tenants will be encouraged to sanitise/wash their hands before and after a viewing.

-       Tenants interested in properties will be asked to complete an application for tenancy online.

These new measures are subject to Government legislation, and should they change at any time, we may have to amend our procedures accordingly.

For those tenants already living with us, and whose tenancies will be expiring soon, after waiting patiently to move for weeks, they can now do so. We will be implementing new social distancing measures for move out day, so that when they vacate their property, they will have as little contact with the staff and public as possible.

Its been a challenging time for many of us and we hope these new processes will go some way to giving our customers peace of mind that Samara Lettings is doing its part in helping limiting the spread of the Coronavirus. We very much look forward to things returning back to some level of normality so that we can welcome everyone through our doors with little restrictions and finally offer our friendly handshakes!

We hope you all keep well and safe.

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