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Coronavirus Update Monday 18th May

Mon 18 May 2020

News broke on the 12th May 2020 after 7 weeks of lockdown that the Government guidance was to be amended in terms of the housing market to allow ‘normal service’ to resume.

This was confirmed in the Coronavirus legislation which was put before parliament on 13th May, 2020 which allows the following activities in connection with the purchase, sale, letting or rental of a residential property;
  1. Visiting estate or letting agents, developer sales offices or show homes
  2. Viewing residential properties to look for property to buy or rent
  3. Preparing a residential property to move in
  4. Moving home
  5. Visiting a residential property to undertake any activities required for the rental or sale of that property

Since the initial guidance delivered by the Prime Minister on the 23rd March, 2020 we may have closed our town centre offices, but we have maintained all of our normal services across our Sales, Lettings, Commercial and Professional departments with our dedicated team working from home.

The ongoing safety of our colleagues, clients and customers while maintaining the professional service we have strived to provide for almost 150 years is our top priority, and whilst some of our colleagues will be returning to the office, the majority of our team will continue to work from home and our offices will therefore remain closed to the public.

We would therefore like to clarify our services in line with the latest government guidance as follows;

Visiting our Office

If you would like to visit our offices to meet face to face this must be done on an appointment-only basis, where the guidelines on social distancing must be followed at all times. We have taken precautions in our offices to make this as easy as possible, but we will explain the process at the time the appointment is booked. 

Please consider if visiting the office is absolutely essential – whilst we look forward to seeing all our customers and clients, old and new, we wish to ensure that our colleagues, clients and customers all remain as safe as possible during these unprecedented times.

  • We will resume sales and lettings viewings of residential properties in line with the latest government guidance, and following the policies below
  • Before you book to view a property in person, we would highly advise you contact our office to discuss the property in detail with a member of our team, or to view virtually where possible.
  • No more than two attendees will be permitted at the viewing - unfortunately, no children or pets can enter the property – whilst this is a decision we have not taken lightly as we know a home if for all the family, we wish to minimise the risks as far as is possible.
  • Owners and viewers must provide and wear their own personal protective equipment (PPE – such as gloves and facemasks). 
  • Please wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before entering the property.
  • Government social distancing guidelines must be adhered to at all times during the viewing. This requires you to remain at least 2 meters away from anyone not from your household.
  • Please do not touch of any items/furniture within the property.
  • Viewing times will be limited to 20 minutes. Should you have any questions please make a note of these to discuss after the viewing either in outside open space adhering to social distancing guidelines, or preferably over the telephone.

We will resume sales and lettings viewings of residential properties in line with the latest government guidance, and following the policies below;
  • Please contact our sales team in the usual way to arrange an appointment with one of our qualified valuers. Our valuer will discuss some of the details of your property with you, and will explain the procedure and what you will need to do to prepare the property for inspection.
  • Our valuer will attend your home with PPE, using hand sanitiser before entering, inspect the property to ascertain its value and make notes.
  • Our valuer will then discuss their initial thoughts with you during the valuation if possible to do so whilst maintaining social distancing safely, or alternatively will arrange a follow-up telephone call to go through the valuation with you in detail.

Property Marketing
Should you instruct Bothams to market your property for sale or to let we will of course be delighted to do so following the policies below;
  • We will ask that you confirm your instructions in writing, either via email or by post, and that you have signed our agency terms and paid any fees due prior to a marketing appointment being arranged.
  • Once all documents are signed we will arrange a marketing appointment with our professional photographer. We ask that the property is prepared and presented for our photographer to visit to minimise the time our photographer will be at the property. The valuer will discuss this with you whilst booking the appointment, and will be delighted to offer advice on dressing the property to show it to its best for marketing.
  • Ideally to minimise the risk, we ask if where possible the property can be vacant whilst our photographer visits to undertake the marketing appointment. If the property cannot be vacant we ask that social distancing is maintained at all times, with PPE worn by both the photographer and any residents within the property.
  • On the day of the marketing appointment we will contact you to ensure that the appointment can go ahead, and we will confirm that no residents of the household have displayed any of the symptoms, or been in contact with anyone displaying the symptoms. We reserve the right to postpone an appointment should there be any concerns over the safety of carrying out the appointment.

Property 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 so we can manage the repairs accordingly as we have done during the lockdown period.

In your email please confirm your name, the property address and the issue you 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.

Property Inspections
Whilst the government guidance allows us to resume some of our service for marketing properties, the government guidance does not go beyond this for other services. We will therefore continue not to undertake the usual 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.

Commercial Property Sales and Lettings
We have received limited guidance from the government and industry bodies at this stage, and at this stage it appears whilst we can resume some of our services for residential properties, the legislation and guidance remains silent on commercial properties at this stage, and we will therefore await further specific guidance to ensure all appointments can be undertaken safely without additional or unnecessary risk before making appointments for commercial properties.

Please contact us in the usual way to discuss your requirements, and we will be delighted to discuss what we can over the telephone in the first instance, and whether it will be possible to undertake an appointment as safely as possible.

Before we make any appointments either within our office or at your property we will ask that you confirm your/ your household’s 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, minimise the risk and ensure the safety of our colleagues, clients and customers.

Whilst we are looking forward to resuming some of our normal practices, our priority is to ensure the safety of our colleagues, clients and customers – we will provide further details of the policies we have put in place on our website shortly, but in the meantime please do not hesitate to contact us in the usual way and we will discuss how we can undertake appointments safely.