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Covid 19 Guidelines

COVID 19 guidelines for the purpose of Residential Valuations and Condition based Surveys

Alexander Lyons are committed to the safety of its Head Office staff and Surveyors as well as keeping people our Surveyors may need to come in to contact whilst undertaking inspections safe.
This document has been written in line with the RICS recommendations on physical inspections for the purpose of residential valuations and condition-based surveys during COVID-19 for England – which offers practical guidance for RICS professionals to deliver services to clients safely and in line with UK Government Guidelines.

Inspections

For Valuations only

If we have visited a property prior to COVID-19 and it is deemed appropriate by Alexander Lyons and our client, we will undertake a Desk Top Valuation without the need to re-inspect the property.

Where this is not appropriate and a physical inspection is necessary this will be undertaken in accordance with Government and Public Health England (PHE) social distancing guidelines.

For properties that are newly built or occupied for the first time we will refer to the “Home Builders Federation Charter for safe working practice – COVID-19” and ensure we adhere to all the visitor requirements set out in the document.

For Condition-Based Surveys (i.e Building Surveys, Home Buyer Reports)

As these will require a physical inspection of the subject property such inspections will be undertaken in accordance with Government and PHE social distancing guidelines.

If it is not possible to inspect the property safely to the extent required to provide an opinion of value and/or condition then it may be necessary for Alexander Lyons to decline the instruction. If the instruction is accepted then any restrictions will be noted in the report.

As per the RICS guidelines – Alexander Lyons will always consider the safety and wellbeing of our employees in our decision making process.

Prior to the Inspection

Alexander Lyons will adhere to the following RICS recommendations:

Act in a transparent and professional manner with all parties involved.

Be clear with our client/means of access about our service and any restrictions to the service as a result of COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines from the government or PHE.

Avoid physical contact with clients and contact clients / other parties by email or telephone.

When liaising with other property professionals avoid physical contact and adhere to current social distancing measures at all times

Minimise physical contact during key handovers when possible and ensure keys are sanitised at each handover

When organising an inspection of the subject property, we reserve the right to check with clients/means of access whether anyone is either in an at-risk category, vulnerable group or shielding. Has or has had COVID-19 symptoms, has not yet completed the required period of household self-isolation, or is awaiting test results.

(Note: this data and will be collected and stored in accordance with data protection legislation)

We try to secure as much information as possible from the client and/or means of access prior to the visit, including property use, occupancy, location, potential risk to occupants and any other relevant information required for the subject property and instruction.

Take all reasonable steps to ensure the client and means of access is provided with as much information as possible about the visits and service in advance and ensure the inspection, service and arrangements are agreed by all parties prior to the physical inspection.

Sanitise equipment in line with current PHG, periodically and as often as practical.

If necessary we will ask occupiers to prepare for the inspection, for example:

Asking pets be contained in one room or, if not possible, to be kept at a distance of two metres.

When people/families are in occupation, they should maintain social distancing in line with government guidelines.

Ask the client/occupier to ensure all areas are open or easily accessible (e.g. cellars, lofts, doors and windows in the case of a home survey) to reduce contact with surfaces as much as possible.

In some circumstances we may ask if occupiers are able to leave the property for the duration of internal inspection.

During the Inspection

As per RICS guidelines, we will consider the health and safety aspects and any relevant current government advice in relation to travelling to the property, accessing the property, carrying out an inspection and delivering the service

We may request that occupiers not be in the property if possible, in order to avoid physical contact.

Ensure compliance to current social distancing measures.

Sanitise hands thoroughly prior to and upon leaving the property

Comply with current PHE guidelines, ensuring appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is utilised prior to entering the property

Only take the equipment and tools actually required for the inspection to the property, according to the service delivered

Where the occupier has to be present, we request that they follow the government social distancing guidelines

Aim for as minimal an amount of contact with surfaces when inspecting elements of the property as possible

After the Inspection

Alexander Lyons will adhere to the following RICS recommendations:

Sanitise hands thoroughly and sanitise equipment

Appropriately disposal of any PPE used during inspection.

Ensure that any restrictions of information/advice are made clear and stated in report(s)

Note any limitations to inspection/service delivered as a result of current social distancing measures and health and safety risks

Full details of RICS Guidance on physical inspections during COVID-19 can be found here:

https://www.rics.org/globalassets/rics-website/media/news/covid19/covid-19-guide—rics-physical-inspections-uk-residential.pdf