A Home After Halls: Covid 2019 - hEALTH NOTICE
It is now increasingly likely that Covid 2019 will have a widespread, and direct impact to the whole country. As such, we are putting measures in place to try to mitigate the impact to our tenants, and where possible, contain the spread of the disease. At present, there are very few reported cases in Plymouth, so these measures are initially intended to be preventative and due diligence, but may quickly be needed.
We are putting the following measures in place to protect our tenants, staff and contractors.
First and foremost, if you are self-isolating, we MUST be made aware of this – we need to make alternate arrangements for visits to the property, to ensure that the isolation protocol is not broken – for example ensuring we are not sending contractors/cleaners in to the property.
If there is a government-ordered shut-down of non-essential businesses, we will be forced to close the business for an indefinite period of time – this will include maintenance visits to the property, as well as communal cleaning - obviously visits between numerous properties amounts to a considerable risk for spread of infection. As such, if you have any outstanding, or new maintenance issues please report them this week so we can action them before this takes effect.
- We will be conducting annual certification early to make sure you have in-date certification for your property, if your gas certificate or fire alarm service/certification is due in the next eight weeks, we will be having it carried out this week or next to make sure the renewal is not missed. Regrettably, in order to get this volume of work completed in a much abbreviated timeframe, we will not be able to give 24 hours’ notice of these visits – I’m sure you can appreciate, every responsible landlord and agent is trying to take the same action, so we’re attempting two months’ worth of work in ten days, on top of any work the contractors already have. This affects roughly 45 houses for gas certification and 90 houses for fire alarm certification.
- Please report any new, or unresolved maintenance, as soon as possible – we may not be able to send maintenance out to properties soon, so if there are any jobs not yet reported, please make sure we know about them as soon as possible so they can be actioned this week and resolved.
- To limit unnecessary contact, we will not be accepting payments in the office – these will either need to be made by bank transfer, or paid over the phone with a debit card – until further notice, we will not be accepting cash.
- In the event of a local or nationwide lock-down, we may not be in a position to attend properties to let tenants back in if they lock themselves out of their room/property. We strongly advise tenants to get copies of their keys cut and leave them with a flatmate or friend to ensure they can get back in to the room if necessary. This would be at your own cost, as it is your own responsibility to not lose your keys, and to ensure you have access to your own property. If you do cut additional keys, you must return them all at the end of the tenancy. Cabinet Supplies on Union Street can cut most keys for about £1.
- If there is a local or national lock-down, we may not be able to have any reactive maintenance carried out – this is an absolute worst case scenario. Please refer to our emergency procedure for further information; https://www.plymouthstudentaccommodation.com/opening-hours-emergency-information
- If you can complete basic day-to-day repairs yourselves, with readily available materials (changing lightbulbs, laying mouse bait), if you can email in a copies of the receipts, with your bank details we can refund you for the cost. Supermarkets will remain open, and these items will be available from them. Additionally, larger items may also be available (kettle or toaster for example) from supermarkets to replace items which may fail – please email the report of the item first, and we will approve the requests on an case-by-case basis.
- In the event we are required to close the office, we will be responding to issues as best we can remotely – we will not have access to the phone system - to enable this to run as smoothly as possible, we will need all communication to be conducted either by email or on the ahah.report system.
- As students typically go home around Easter anyway, if your property is going to be vacant, please notify us, and ensure your boiler is turned off, bins taken out etc.
- Emergency Services may end up restricting services to critical response, and basic law-and-order; opportunist criminals may take advantage of this fact, combined with student property which may be empty for an extended period. If your property is going to be vacant if you are travelling home, check all doors and windows are securely closed and locked before you leave. We recommend that you make sure any of your belongings are within your own locked room, rather than the communal areas as an added layer of security.
- We are this week visiting property not yet let for the next academic year to create videos of the properties to continue advertising without bringing people in to your home – the properties affected by this will be notified separately. If the situation continues to grow as it looks like it will, it would be irresponsible for us to bring people in to your homes. We would very much appreciate your assistance in the creation of these videos by having the properties presentable and accessible; they are being made so that we can limit any risk to our existing tenants as best we can.
It is possible that all of the above may not become necasary, but we would rather have this in place now so that our tenants know what to expect if the situation deteriorates, and these matters are taken out of our hands.
Thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation.