Important information for tenants regarding coronavirus




Updated 5 January 2021: National Lockdown

As you will be aware, the UK has gone back into a national lockdown in an effort to suppress the spread of Covid-19 whilst the vaccinations are rolled out across the country.

With this news, we want to reassure our applicants and tenants that the UK property industry continues to be deemed an essential industry by the UK government. Therefore, the market remains open and operating as normal – with construction, lettings, and home moves all able to continue despite the increased levels of restrictions.

As a business the health and safety of our visitors, residents and staff is our number one priority, so we have taken great steps to ensure our lettings office, buildings and procedures are Covid-19 secure and safe. Our office will be working on a rota system to ensure it can remain open during the lockdown however, whilst our office may remain open, it is exclusively by appointment only. This is to ensure we can monitor the number of people in the office at any one time and maintain the safety of both tenants and staff.

Please read the information below for further guidance and support regarding coronavirus and do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.

Useful Links:

Please follow the official Government and NHS advice in order to protect you and others:

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus


Self-isolation

If you are a tenant and are self-isolating, you need to let your property manager know as soon as possible. 

By keeping us informed you are helping us to protect other residents and staff in your apartment building as we are able to arrange additional cleaning measures recommended by Public Health England. Your contact with us will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Please ensure that you follow all the guidance provided to you by the authority that confirmed your positive result.

Not that we may still require access to your apartment for essential maintenance works but all other maintenance and viewings will be halted while you are in isolation.

We appreciate this will be a difficult time for you and wish you a speedy recovery.

Household waste

To help prevent spread of the virus you must follow the guidance from Public Health England and DEFRA regarding the disposal of your household waste:

Dispose of your waste in a plastic rubbish bag and tie it when full. This bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied. Do NOT put your waste in the communal bins until your waste has been stored for at least 72 hours.

Please do not carry waste to the communal bin stores yourself, make arrangements with friends or neighbours that may be helping you with food supplies whilst you are isolating. 


The Manchester Apartments Office

Our office is open and our absolute priority is keeping visitors and our employees safe. To help, all visitors are asked to please wear a face covering when visiting the office and to pay attention to the signage, including staying 2 metres apart. To help with social distancing, please don't arrive in a group of more than 2 people.

Apartment buildings

Please pay attention to the signage in buildings and follow the advice given:

  • Keep 2 metres away from others
  • Only touch what you need to and be careful touching buttons, doors and handrails
  • Wash your hands after passing through corridors and lobbies
  • If there is a lift, please follow the guidance in the lift or take the stairs if you can
  • Keep to the left when passing others in corridors and on staircases
  • Staff will take extra precautions when visiting your apartment for maintenance including washing hands before entry and wearing gloves
  • Report all essential maintenance via FixFlo
Viewings

The government has advised that Letting Agents across England can remain open and viewings can continue to take place under strict safety guidelines.

We always encourage virtual viewings in the first instance. For physical viewings, our team will follow the latest government guidelines and observe social distancing.

We have put in place the following measures to help keep everyone safe:

  • Viewings will not take place if any of the parties are self-isolating, experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms or been in contact with anyone who has shown symptoms.
  • Where prospective renters who are currently from separate households wish to view the property on the same occasion, we advise that one household leaves the property to allow the other to enter. This allows for both households to view the property and ensures social distancing.
  • All parties present at the viewing must wear a face covering and observe social distancing.
  • Everyone must hand sanitise their hands prior to entering the property and every effort will be made to avoid touching any surfaces.
  • We recommend that residents vacate the property while viewings are taking place in order to minimise unnecessary contact. If this is not possible, please wear a face covering and we will restrict the number of households in the property at any one time. If residents do vacate the property, a member of our team will always accompany the prospective renter around the property.
  • If your apartment is being viewed, please open windows and doors prior to and during the viewing.

If you are self-isolating or showing symptoms of coronavirus, please cancel your viewing by calling us on 0777 808 7000 or 0161 228 6633.

Your tenancy

We understand that a number of tenants may have financial concerns regarding their tenancy and the impact of coronavirus.

If you are having problems paying your rent, please let your Property Manager know as soon as possible. You will be asked fill in a form and attach any supporting evidence you have. This can be a letter from your employer, your most recent payslip and a copy of your employment contract. If you’re unsure who your property manager is, please have a look at our contact page. Please don’t submit any false information in your form as we will investigate each case thoroughly.

Although all rents are payable by tenants and there is no official policy within our contract for early termination, we do sympathise in these exceptional circumstances and do want to support as best we can. We will try and help you in any way we can during this difficult time but please also remember that we are running a business with staff wages and overheads to pay.

Key points

Student loans – you may be eligible for additional financial support from Student Finance, please follow this link to see if you are applicable.

Sponsored students - If you are no longer receiving your sponsorship money you will need to fill in the form and attach a confirmation letter from your sponsor.  The letter should include the date that sponsorship money ceased.

Professionals in full or part time employment – speak to us if you are struggling with any of the following: Redundancy, Statutory sick pay, Zero hours contacts.

Government Guidance for tenants

Government guidance regarding rent payments states:

"Tenants should continue to pay rent and abide by all other terms of their tenancy agreement to the best of their ability. The government has made a strong package of financial support available to tenants, and where they can pay the rent as normal, they should do. Tenants who are unable to do so should speak to their landlord at the earliest opportunity. In many if not most cases, the COVID-19 outbreak will not affect tenants’ ability to pay rent. If your ability to pay will be affected, it’s important to have an early conversation with your landlord. Rent levels agreed in your tenancy agreement remain legally due and you should discuss with your landlord if you are in difficulty. For those renters who require additional support, there is an existing £180 million of government funding for Discretionary Housing Payments for councils to distribute to help people with rent payments in the private and social rented sectors. You should contact your local council to see if you are eligible for this support.   If a tenant is worried about being unable to pay their rent, or if landlords become aware of tenants who may be in difficulty, advice is available from specialist providers such as ShelterCitizens Advice and the Money Advice Service. If they are eligible for Legal Aid, they can also contact Civil Legal Advice for free and confidential advice.”

Further information can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-and-renting-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities

Useful links

Please follow the official Government and NHS advice in order to protect you and others:

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19   
https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus   

Your mental health and coronavirus

https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/

Helping vulnerable people in your community

http://covidmutualaid.org/resources/

Citizen’s Advice regarding coronavirus and your bills

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/if-you-cant-pay-your-bills-because-of-coronavirus/


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