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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Mon 30 Mar 2020

It has now almost been a week since the Prime Minister’s address to the nation in which he asked us all to ‘Stay Home’ to ‘Protect the NHS’ and ultimately ‘Save Lives’.

We have adapted accordingly to continue to offer the high level of service you would expect from Bothams - it is in situations such as this where experience counts during what is clearly a challenging and uncertain time, and whilst Bothams as a firm has experienced such times in the past first opening in 1871, the Coronavirus pandemic is uncharted territory for us all.

We are proud of our professional and experienced team who are now working from home in line with the government guidance, and who are on hand to offer any assistance we can during this difficult time.

The government have provided some up to date guidance for Landlords and Tenant which can be accessed at the link below;

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/876500/Consolidated_Landlord_and_Tenant_Guidance_COVID_and_the_PRS_v4.2.pdf

This information will be updated and added to on a regular basis, and can be accessed from the link below;

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-and-renting-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities

The government are also providing daily updates and guidance for individuals and business, and this information can be accessed at the following link;

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

We will keep in touch with our clients, customers and colleague as much as we can, but if you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us in the usual way, either via email – enquiries@bothams.co.uk , rents@bothams.co.uk or barbara.wellington@bothams.co.uk or via telephone on 01246 233121 – though please bear in mind our telephone capabilities will be reduced slightly as out team work from home.

We would also like to clarify a few frequently asked questions below as whilst we are not an essential business we appreciate that your home or business premises are important, and of course for many landlords the rent they receive is their only source of income, so please see the information below which will hopefully be of assistance, but if not please do not hesitate to contact us for any advice or assistance we can offer, or to discuss any concerns;

Valuations

In line with government guidance we will not be able to offer the full valuation service we normally offer, however our website provides an instant online valuation which can be accessed from our home page or at the following link below, or we will of course be delighted to provide you with a desktop valuation by discussing your property and circumstances over the phone or via email.

We can then provisionally book an appointment to visit your property to undertake a formal valuation as required, and provide our professional advice to your individual circumstances and property. Any appointments will be booked on the basis that we may have to change them depending on the government guidance at the time.

Viewings

In line with government guidance we will not be able to undertake viewings at any of the properties we have available for sale or to let. All available properties are available to view online at our own website, at OnTheMarket.com, Rightmove and Zoopla Commercial.

Our listings benefit from beautiful photography from our experienced professional photographer Caroline Hinch, who is an expert at taking photographs that highlight the character of a property, whilst reflecting a true representation of the property – we do not over-edit photographs or use an ultra-wide-angle lens to make rooms seem bigger.

Our listings also benefit from floor plans to highlight the layout of the property, which in combination with the photographs allowing you to visualise how the layout may work for you, and indeed how you may wish to adapt the layout to suit your requirements.

If you have any queries about a property we have available please do not hesitate to contact us, and we will be happy to discuss the property in more detail with you. We will also be happy to provisionally book an appointment to view the property on the basis that we may have to change them depending on the government guidance at the time.

Repairs

If you are one of our tenants and you have any issues or require any repairs please contact us as usual – if possible please contact us in the first instance via email at rents@bothams.co.uk so we can manage the repairs accordingly.

In your email please confirm your name, the property address and the issue your are experiencing/ repair required, and also please confirm your current status in terms of the Coronavirus pandemic – confirming if you have any symptoms, if you are self-isolating, or if you are considered vulnerable – so we can best manage the situation.

We remain in close contact with our trusted and experienced tradesmen who are currently able to attend properties to undertake repairs, but of course they must also follow the government guidance to ensure your safety as well as their own.

Emergency repairs will of course remain a priority – please telephone in the usual way to report any emergencies.

Rent Payment

Tenants - We advise all tenants to continue to pay rent and abide by all other terms of their tenancy where possible - the government has offered a strong package of financial support which can be accessed by a large percentage of the population. If any tenants are worried about their continuing ability to pay we ask that you contact us at the earliest opportunity to discuss your position and we can offer our advice and liaise with the landlord accordingly.

In line with the government guidance we will not be able to undertake the usual rent collection service to the tenants that qualify for this service, and likewise as our office is closed, we will not be able to take payments in the office. We can take card payments over the telephone, or alternatively we can provide you with our bank details so you can pay via online or telephone banking, or you can set up a standing order to continue the payment.

Landlords – We will keep you up to date with correspondence received from any of your tenants, and will offer our assistance and advice as to the best way to proceed if tenants are unable to pay their rent. We remain contactable to tenants and landlords, and we will be processing payments as usual unless we advise you otherwise.

Periodic Property Inspections

In line with government guidance we will not be undertaking the periodic inspections of rental properties. These will resume as soon as we are able, but if you have any specific queries in the meantime please do not hesitate to contact us.

We will update this information in line with government guidance as and when it becomes available, but in the meantime if you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us, and in the meantime we hope all our clients, customers and colleagues are staying safe and well.