The following Guide has been issued by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RISC)
The COVID- 19 virus is having an impact on RICS professionals and regulated firms whose work involves direct contact with clients, customers and tenants, whether in an office or through visits to a property. This is causing significant uncertainty for many, especially as government guidance evolves daily.
In addition to adhering to national government advice and guidance, RICS recommends that firms and professionals who are involved in work where there is direct contact with clients, customers or tenants, such as through inspections, repairs, appraisals, and viewings have a clear strategy in place for visits or on-site work to ensure the health and safety of all those involved.
This strategy should consider:
- Whether the instruction or request from the client, customer or tenant is absolutely necessary. For inspections, viewings, and appraisals, discuss with your client whether postponing the appointment would be possible, or whether safeguards could be put in place to comply with government guidance.
- For some repairs a delay may have an impact on a vulnerable tenant or could result in disrepair, in these circumstances, if a decision is made to carry out a repair, it is essential to adhere to national government advice with regards to interacting with other people.
- Where viewings are continuing, 360 degree on-line viewings may be offered as an alternative to visiting a property, especially where the property includes occupants who have been identified as being particularly vulnerable or at risk. Visits must not be carried out to properties where the occupants are in self-isolation.
In addition to the above, you should set out in writing your approach to communicating with clients, customers, and tenants, explaining the health and safety measures that you are taking during this time and how they can continue to contact you. You should also keep written records of all conversations relating to any changes to services.
The office continues to be open but we ask all who visit to play their part by adhering to the advice given on hand washing, cleanliness and respecting social distancing.