Working Safely during Covid-19 – Inspecting Occupied Properties

Sunday, 24th May 2020 | by: Justin Burns

Company Policy Document

Introduction

These temporary procedures have been introduced to ensure the safety of our employees and members of the public that they come in to contact with during the Covid-19 pandemic. The drafting of this document has been guided by the Government publication Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) in other people’s homes.

General

Always consider whether there is a digital or remote alternative to the physical inspection.

Where inspections would previously have been undertaken jointly by 2 surveyors, such as preparing party wall related schedules of condition, agree for just one of the surveyors to attend to make it easier to practice social distancing.

Trainee surveyors should only be invited to shadow property inspections where it has been confirmed in advance that the property will be vacant. The trainee surveyor should travel to and from the property separately.

Prior to the visit

Check whether any occupants are in the clinically extremely vulnerable group that are currently being shielded or are self-isolating as a result if showing symptoms typical of Covid-19 and if so, postpone the inspection.

Explain which parts of the property will need to be inspected to make it easier for the occupants to plan social distancing in advance.

Ask whoever has arranged the visit to forward a copy of this policy to the occupants and include a brief summary in the body of the email.

Travelling to the property

Avoid using public transport by travelling to the property by foot, bicycle or car.

Reduce travelling by arranging for other members of the team that are located closer to the property to undertake the inspection where possible.

Arriving at the property

Before arriving at the property, either put on your disposable gloves or thoroughly apply hand sanitiser and apply your face mask. Ring the bell and stand at least 2 metres back before it is opened. Introduce yourself, agree the sequence of the inspection before entering and close the door behind you.

Whilst at the property

Ideally the occupants will be able to remain in a part of the property that is not being inspected or, if the whole property is to be inspected, can vacate (if only to the garden).

Keep at least 2 metres apart from occupants where possible.

If using disposable gloves, keep them on throughout the inspection or reapply hand sanitiser if you have coughed or sneezed into your hand. Only remove your face mask when inspecting unoccupied rooms.

Where a post inspection discussion is required with the occupants this should take place outdoors or later on the phone.

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