CORONAVIRUS HELP - LANDLORDS

Remote Working - Bournecoast Office - Bournecoast

BOURNECOAST OFFICE

We have full measures in place to enable our staff to work from home, they are still be able to access all of our systems and continue to work as normal. We are also having regular meetings and updates between the teams and are doing everything possible to maintain the continuity of our operations.

Our office is now open again to the public, however we will only have members of the team in the office when necessary for duties that cannot be done from home. Under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 Letting Agents and Estate Agents it is now permitted to undertake any of the following activities in connection with the purchase, sale, letting or rental of a residential property:

(i) visiting estate or letting agents; (ii) viewing residential properties to look for a property to buy or rent; (iii) preparing a residential property to move in; (iv) moving home; (v) visiting a residential property to undertake any activities required for the rental or sale of that property.

We confirm we have complied with the government’s guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19:
1) We have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment (view online) and shared the results with the people who work at Bournecoast
2) We have cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures in line with guidance
3) We have taken all reasonable steps to help people work from home
4) We have taken all reasonable steps to maintain a 2m distance in the workplace
5) Where people cannot be 2m apart, we have done everything practical to manage transmission risk

 

 


Viewings

Our Negotiators are now able to carry out viewings with prospective tenants who wish to see your property and there are some simple rules they will follow to help protect themselves and our clients:

  • We will strongly encourage clients to view properties virtually in the first instance and then only physically inspect properties which they have a strong interest in
  • They will carry hand sanitisers around with them when visiting properties
  • They will avoid any contact such as shaking hands 
  • They will wipe down all surfaces that are touched (eg door handles)
  • They will comply with all current Government social distancing rules
  • They will ensure that any keys are appropriately cleaned before and after use

 

Visiting our Office

 

If you visit our office please follow all instructions on the signs about complying with Social Distancing and COVID-19 guidance and wait in the reception area to be assisted. Please ensure that you use the hand sanitiser provided on entering and before leaving the building. All clients will be assisted in the front area of our office and the staff member assisting you will remain behind the protective screens. In accordance with the regulations, we will not shake your hand – please don’t be offended. We ask clients to remain in the front reception area at all times (members from one household at a time), to queue outside the office 2m apart if the reception area is already occupied and not to enter the main office area at any time.


Rental Payments

If your tenant comes into any difficulty paying their rent during their tenancy as a result of the Coronavirus we have advised them that it is very important that they keep communicating with us throughtout the period. They are still liable to pay their rent as per the terms of their tenancy, however we have said that we may be able to contact you on their behalf to discuss a rental payment holiday period or a payment plan.

If you have a mortgage on your property we recommend that you contact your mortgage company to see if you can arrange a mortgage payment holiday. Payment holidays for landlords with buy-to-let mortgages have been announced as part of a package of measures introduced by the government in response to the coronavirus pandemic.  The payment holidays of up to three months will be offered on the understanding the benefit is to be passed to the tenant, who will then work with you to set up an affordable repayment plan after that.  

The proposals also include plans to suspend the eviction process - with no new possession proceedings to start during the crisis. The government will bring emergency legislation forward, meaning you will be unable to start proceedings to evict tenants for a three-month period – whatever the reason.

If you have any concerns about your tenants not paying their full rental payment by the rental due date please contact our Administration Team.


 What impact will the Coronavirus have on the number of holiday bookings this year?

Although there will be a number of people who are not able to travel at all during the periods of restriction, there will be many people who choose to have their holiday in the UK instead of the risk of travelling abroad at the end of the lockdown period. They are very likely choose to book private self-catering properties instead of taking the risk of staying in large communal hotel accommodation. When the situation starts to be resolved, there is a good chance UK travel will benefit from the bad press there has been about the risks of travelling abroad. 

 

During the period of lockdown there is the option to offer your property for a 2-3 month let for emergency key workers and such like. Our team will be in contact with you to discuss this if your property may be suitable.


Will my current bookings be cancelled?

There is a chance that current bookings will be cancelled and depending on how the visitor has booked they may receive a full or partial refund (see our holiday visitor help page). If this happens we will do our very best to try and rebook the accommodation to recover any lost rental income for that period.

If you find you have multiple cancellations in the early part of the season you may decide that it is better to offer your property for a 3 month tenancy until the incident is resolved. If you would like to consider this as an option for your property please email the Bournecoast Property Owners Team (propertyowners@bournecoast.co.uk). 

Please note that if you are running your property as a self-catering business and pay business rates there may be some support from the Government, please refer to the Government Help Pages to see if it applies to your property:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#support-for-retail-hospitality-and-leisure-businesses-that-pay-business-rates

You may also be able to get some financial assistance as follows:


Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000.

For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000.

Eligibility

You are eligible for the grant if:

  • your business is based in England
  • your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure
  • as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

How to access the scheme

You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.

Further information can be found using the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#support-for-retail-hospitality-and-leisure-businesses-that-pay-business-rates


Will my property be affected by different people staying in the property?

Coronavirus spreads from person to person. Because it's a new illness, they do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person but similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. It's very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food. 

If Someone Becomes Unwell in Your Property

If someone in your property becomes unwell at any stage, or has come into contact with a high risk person and under Government guidelines has quarantined themself – we are asking them to let us know in order that we can take any necessary action (such as deep cleaning) and where appropriate advise other residents. 

If someone becomes unwell in your property and has recently come back from an area affected by coronavirus, they have been advised to:

  • get at least 2 metres (7 feet) away from other people
  • go to an isolated room and close the door
  • avoid touching anything
  • cough or sneeze into a tissue and put it in a bin, or if they do not have tissues, cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbow

The unwell person should use their own mobile phone to call either:

  • 111, for NHS advice
  • 999, if they’re seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk

They should tell the operator:

  • their symptoms
  • which country they've returned from in the last 14 days 

Repairs and Maintenance

We will be dealing with maintenance and repairs on a case by case basis and will keep you informed of any situations that cannot be dealt with as usual.


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