First and foremost, I hope that you and your loved ones are well. We have all read or used the clichés “unprecented”, “uncertain” and “challenging” times, but the fact remains that none of us have seen anything like this.
As a predominantly online business, we were able to adapt quickly to the government restrictions, so it has largely been business as normal for us apart from the team are almost exclusively remote working.
With the situation changing daily, like everyone, we are monitoring the news closely to see how the government will work to ensure that the nation’s landlords and tenants are protected during this period.
On 29 March, the government published full advice for Landlords and Tenants. On 12 May, this was updated to allow property viewings, prepare properties for renting and move home, effectively restarting the lettings market. Whilst there is no specific mention of social distancing, it goes without saying that it is expected all these activities need to happen whilst maintaining a safe distance from others. There is a lot of reliance on all of us to use our common-sense.
Our clear plan will enable people to move home safely, covering each aspect of the sales and letting process from viewings to removals…. [and] is based on the latest guidance to ensure the safety and protection of everyone involved. This critical industry can now safely move forward, and those waiting patiently to move can now do so.
Robert Jenrick MP, Housing Secretary
Most importantly, make sure you are keeping up to date with government advice. Washing hands, working from home, social distancing – all things that you’ve seen in the news that are important changes for all of us. Whilst it does appear that restrictions are slowly being loosened, for many of us things won’t change immediately.
From 10 May, the edict from the government changed from “Stay at home” to “Stay alert”. Whilst there is more that is open to interpretation, the key messages are:
- Stay at home as much as possible
- Work from home if you can
- Limit contact with other people
- Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from others
- Wash your hands regularly
If you or anyone in your household are showing any symptoms of coronavirus, then you must self-isolate yourself immediately for the protection of those who are most vulnerable. This is incumbent on all of us.
Our teams are almost exclusively working from home, and whilst this is not unusual for us as a modern technology company, it is exceptional that so many of us are working remotely at the same time. As a result, our response times could be affected. We are trying to prioritise responding to urgent requests or those from the more vulnerable, so please bear with us if we don’t get back to you quickly.
However, we are still open 24/7, and we’re on hand to help both landlords and tenants as usual.
As I mentioned, circumstances are changing, and we’re ensuring we’re keeping updated and adapting quickly. We know that the government is never going to be able to provide details to cover all scenarios. So in absence of specifics, we hope decision making and issue resolution will be done with a mixture of common sense, empathy and compassion for all.
Please stay safe and look after each other.
Founder & CEO, Howsy