back Posted on 8 January 2021
John Minnis Estate Agents (COVID 19) Policy
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 came into operation at midnight on 7 January 2021, these regulations provide the legal authority for home moves and related activities such as valuations and viewings to continue during this period of lockdown. 
AGENTS HIGH STREET OFFICES SHOULD REMAIN CLOSED TO MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

Following an increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, additional restrictions have been introduced for people in Northern Ireland. These new restrictions are in place to help reduce the spread of coronavirus and to help manage the pressures on our health and social care system. As a consequence of the emerging risks associated with the spread of the Coronavirus / COVID 19 Virus we would like to reassure you of our procedures to mitigate any potential disruption or risk for you or members of our staff. As a health precaution, we would request that prior to any viewing / appointment you confirm whether anyone at the property has returned from any country within the last 14 days which has been highlighted by the Public Health Agency as being at risk of infection. If any members of your family / household are currently showing symptoms or undergoing self-isolation, please make us aware of this.

OFFICE SAFETY

Our offices doors are locked. If you have made an appointment you must wear a mask, obey marks on the floor to ensure you keep to the two-metre rule. Installation of screens are to allow for customer interaction while maintaining protection for all parties. An ample supply of hand-gel; antibacterial wipes and sprays; soap; tissues have been purchased and will be readily available for staff, visitors, and customers to use. The offices will have a strict cleaning routine throughout the day  – to include: desks, chair arms, keyboards, mice, screens, staplers, pens, photocopier controls, drawer handles, phones, mobile phones, key cabinets, filing cabinets, door handles and card machines if you take card payments.  

VALUATIONS

Where we do conduct a valuation, we will avoid any handshaking or physical contact, keep to the two-metre distance, wear a face mask and use hand sanitiser. Show all marketing via digital resources rather than leaving any ‘paper’ documents and follow up with an email, unless a brochure is requested. We will keep face to face contact to a minimum, decline any coffees/refreshments etc. We will explain to the customer the actions we are taking to reduce the risk of spreading Coronavirus. When we return to the office, we will wash our hands with soap and water before we do anything else. We will never attend a valuation appointment if feeling unwell. We also have the virtual valuation tool on our website which enables the valuation to be completed in accordance with the seller’s instructions, either virtually or face to face.

VIEWINGS

We will carry out the health-check on all viewers as previously stated. We will ask who will be attending the viewing and limit the number of people to no more than two at any one time. If the property is occupied, we will check on the health of the seller before arranging the
appointment. Where a physical viewing does takes place, we will avoid any handshaking or physical contact and remember to keep your two-metre distance, use hand sanitiser, use face masks and avoid any ‘paper’ documents (unless requested). We will have a supply of hand-gel in our car and ‘wipes’ – when returning to the car, wash our hands, wipe any equipment we have used on the visit and avoid touching our face during any appointment. If the property is vacant and we are using a key we will wipe the key when it is taken from the key cabinet, wipe it after the viewing and again before it is placed back in the key cabinet. We will never travel in the same car as anyone else and will always meet viewers at the property.

CHECK OUTS

Tenants are to return keys to their local office on the day the tenancy ends, these keys should be cleaned with antiseptic wipes and tagged. A member of staff will attend the property and complete the check-out inspection on their own – staff will use hand sanitiser and wear face
masks to the appointment. We will have a supply of hand-gel in our car and ‘wipes’ – when returning to the car, wash our hands, wipe any equipment we have used on the visit and avoid touching our face during any appointment.  If the property is vacant and we are using a key we will wipe the key when it is taken from the key cabinet, wipe it after the viewing and again before it is placed back in the key cabinet.  

INSPECTIONS

Physical inspections are still possible, however if the tenant is vunerable or isolating we will request an inspection with tenants through a video call or request tenants to send photos of each room of the property so we may report back to the landlord. We thank-you for your co-operation in this matter and can assure you that all steps are currently being implemented by our organisation to protect your safety and also that of our staff members. 

If anyone has any specific concerns or queries, please feel free to contact the office 028 9042 8888.
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