'Bristol Res' Blog • 18 May 2020
I am pleased to be writing to you to explain how The Bristol Residential Letting Co will be moving forward as restrictions are lifted.
The announcement earlier this week from the Government, that Letting Agents could re-open and house moves could commence again, came as a shock to many but here at The Bristol Residential Letting Co we have been busy preparing for this day.
Whilst we have been given the green light to reopen I am extremely mindful of the dangers that still exist from the COVID-19 virus and I am determined not to compromise the safety of my team, our tenants or our landlords.
The planning we have done allows us to offer once again our full range of services whilst respecting social distancing guidelines.
Although the government has sanctioned the opening of offices we don’t feel that now is the appropriate time to do so. We will instead be placing a small number of our team in our offices who will be operating a ‘Behind Closed Doors’ service. They will be insuring the smooth running of our operation without accepting visitors to our offices.
Thank you very much for your patience over the last few weeks, we do appreciate our customers contacting us primarily by e amil during this time. From Monday 18th May we will be opening up the phone lines again with the automated phone system allowing our customers to speak directly to any member of the team whether they are working remotely or part of our ‘Behind Closed Doors’ teams. Our telephone numbers remain the same – Clifton 01179735237 Southville 01173708818
Each member of the team will continue as usual to be contactable via e mail and individual address can be found by clicking on the required team member on the TEAM page of our web site.
As peoples behaviour in general changes with the COVID-19 pandemic we fully anticipate renters behaviour will also change. We believe peoples reluctance to travel unnecessarily, their reluctance to meet strangers and current tenants refusal to allow strangers into their homes will mean that Video Tours of properties will become the bedrock of letting.
If filmed correctly Video Tours can give applicants a very accurate impression of the property and allow applicants to conduct their searches from the comfort and safety of their own home anytime of the day.
After first viewing our Video Tours on line we are encouraging interested applicants to call us and speak to a member of our team. Our team members then have access to a more Detailed Video Tour of each property which is filmed to show things such as appliances, the inside of storage cupboards and furnishings. This Detailed Video Tour can then be sent directly to the applicant or shared across a platform such as Teams or Zoom for an interactive meeting.
Having marketed nearly 50 properties in this fashion this week and having successfully rented 10 properties since Wednesday we are confident The Bristol Residential Letting Co is set to overcome the challenge that physically viewing a property currently presents.
I am pleased to report that our Accounts Department has done a fantastic job ensuring that rent payments have kept flowing during these difficult times. Inevitably we are dealing with tenants who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis but our approach has been to enter into a dialogue with these tenants and their landlords and mutually agree a way forward. We will be proactive as the consequences of this crisis continues and please be assured that should a situation arise with your tenants we will contact you as soon as possible.
The Government has maintained the adjusted notice period required to gain possession to a minimum of 3 month’s notice on all grounds. Even taking into account this extended notice period, obtaining possession of a property in the current circumstances is going to be extremely difficult as no County Courts are currently sitting. If you did want to gain possession of your property in the foreseeable future then please feel free to contact me to discuss if there are any options available to you.
It is worth noting that despite the difficulties imposed by the COVID-19 crisis the new electrical regulation – The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 – requiring all properties to have a valid 5 Year Electrical Installation Certificate (EICR) for new tenancies commencing from July 1st is still going ahead. ( this regulation will extend to cover all existing tenancies as of 1st April 2021) Landlords renting properties without a valid 5 year EICR will be liable for a £30,000 fine.
I am pleased to report all properteis managed through The Bristol Residential Letting Co will comply with this regulation but if you have a property that won’t fulfill this legal obligation then please contact us and our Electrical Team may have capacity to help you.
I hope the above information is useful and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our landlords and tenants for their patience during this difficult time and I hope you will support the changes we are introducing.
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