Coronavirus Information Hub - e.surv Chartered Surveyors

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Coronavirus Information Hub.

Following the guidance set out by the UK Government and the RICS, we’ll be asking our customers and our surveyors to take a few extra precautions in these extraordinary times.

Please watch our short video to find out what to expect when an e.surv surveyor visits your property, and read our Safety and Wellbeing Charter which is available in 11 languages.

Alternatively, please browse through the FAQs below or get in touch if you have any questions.

On Saturday 31 October, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a second lockdown across England, in a bid to impede the spread of COVID-19.

The revised government guidelines reflect the need to balance the wellbeing of the British public with the impact on the economy. For this reason, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has confirmed that the housing market and all associated activities will remain open throughout the lockdown period.

Following a thorough review of the revised guidance and liaison with the RICS and MHCLG, we have determined that until we receive guidance to the contrary, we will continue to book and undertake physical inspections throughout England.

However, the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues, clients and customers remains our priority and the safety precautions outlined in our Safety and Wellbeing Charter and video will be applied to every inspection. You can also read our Risk Assessment Certificate which sets out our commitment to the ongoing health, safety and wellbeing of everyone we work with.

Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

The ‘fire break’ lockdown in Wales remains in force until Monday 9 November. Colleagues based in Wales will continue to observe the restrictions and safety guidance – through the ‘fire break’ and beyond.

In Scotland, the Scottish government is due to introduce a ‘five-tier’ system of restrictions that reflect varying infection levels across the region.

At present, we do not believe this arrangement will restrict our ability to carry out physical inspections, but we will monitor the guidance and provide a full update if required.

We continue to undertake physical inspections of properties throughout Northern Ireland while monitoring and observing government guidance.

FAQs

Are you carrying out inspections in all types of properties and for all types of mortgage application?

We are now conducting physical inspections in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland for all categories of property and mortgage application.

Due to the in-depth and structural nature of the Building Survey and the length of time the surveyor is required on-site, we are not yet undertaking Building Survey inspections. As soon as this position changes, we will update our website.

Is e.surv conducting physical property inspections in Wales during the two week ‘fire break’ lockdown?

In response to the evolving second wave of COVID-19 infections, the devolved Welsh administration is introducing a two-week ‘fire break’ lockdown throughout the region from 6pm on Friday 23 October 2020 until Monday 9 November 2020.

Following this announcement, e.surv conducted a detailed analysis of the revised guidance, a full risk assessment, and has liaised extensively with the RICS. Revised guidance issued by the Welsh Assembly states that, ‘Surveyors are not prohibited from entering people’s property’.

We have therefore concluded that at this time, the impending fire break lockdown does not prohibit our surveyors from carrying out physical property inspections where it is deemed safe to do so, and with appropriate safety precautions in place.

Conditions for physical inspection

Unless an appointment is cancelled at the request of the lender or the occupier / owner, we will continue to undertake booked physical inspections, provided the following conditions are met:

• Both parties are well and do not have any symptoms of COVID-19
• The occupier / owner has not expressed any safety concerns regarding the inspection
• Adequate COVID-19 safeguards are in place e.g. two metre distancing / adequate PPE / occupier to temporarily vacate the property for the duration of the inspection. A comprehensive breakdown of safety precautions can be found in our Safety and Wellbeing Charter (insert hyperlink)

If an occupier / owner raises concerns and wants to cancel a property inspection, the instruction will be re-booked to take place outside the lockdown period (week commencing Monday 9 November).

Is Walker Fraser Steele providing Home Reports in Scotland during COVID-19 pandemic?

Following the review by the Scottish government on 18 June 2020, we are now able to carry out the physical property inspections required for a Home Report.

I have an outstanding mortgage application. What will happen next?

We understand how frustrating it is to be stuck in the mortgage application process during this period of uncertainty. If you’re wondering what will happen with your mortgage application, please speak to your lender or mortgage broker as each individual case will be different.

My lender/broker has advised me that you’re unable to carry out a remote valuation on the property I’m hoping to buy. Why is this?

We work directly with each mortgage lender to determine the risk-based rules around remote valuation and each lender has a different set of criteria. A number of factors determine whether a case is suitable for a remote valuation, including the Loan-to-Value (LTV) percentage and the age or style of property. To find out why your case is not suitable for remote valuation, you should speak with your mortgage lender directly.

I’m thinking about proceeding with my property purchase without a survey. What are the risks?

Just as you wouldn’t buy a used car without full-service history, we recommend investing in a survey before you proceed with your purchase. It’s important to remember that a valuation conducted on behalf of your mortgage lender is not the same as a comprehensive survey. Only an independent survey conducted by a RICS-registered surveyor provides you with a complete picture of the property you are thinking of buying and can uncover defects that may prove costly to repair.

Have e.surv’s offices been closed during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes, all of our offices have been closed throughout the pandemic to minimise the risks. However, to ensure we continue to offer uninterrupted support to our clients and customers, many of our colleagues are working from home and can be contacted in the normal way.

Is e.surv using the Government’s Job Retention Scheme?

Yes, we have used the Government’s Job Retention Scheme to furlough a number of colleagues until we are able to deliver a full service.

Is e.surv still recruiting surveyors during the COVID-19 pandemic?

We’re always delighted to hear from surveyors interested in joining our team or keen to find out more about life at e.surv.

Please email your CV to recruitment@esurv.co.uk, but be aware that there may be a delay in responding to your email due to COVID-19.

Putting safety first

As a responsible business, the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues, customers, householders, and the wider public is our overriding priority. Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be led by the Government guidance and the protocols set out by our professional body, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

What sort of health and safety precautions have we taken to minimise the risk of infection during property inspections?

We have taken the time to ensure appropriate health and safety arrangements to protect colleagues and customers. This includes personal protective equipment (PPE), the completion of risk assessments before and during any visits, and colleague training on new safety processes. And when booking an appointment, we will advise all householders on what to expect when our surveyor visits their property.

What should I do if I'm contacted as part of the Government's Test and Trace initiative?

If you are contacted as part of the Government’s Test and Trace initiative and asked to isolate due to an increased risk of infection, please contact us immediately on healthandsafety@esurv.co.uk.

So, what can you expect on the day of the inspection? Is there anything you should do differently, and what will the surveyor do?

To help you understand what to expect before and during the property inspection, we have created a Safety and Wellbeing Charter (which can be seen below) and a short video. Please do let us know if you have any questions.

Safety and Wellbeing Charter

To help you understand what to expect before and during the property inspection, we have created a Safety and Wellbeing Charter which is available in 11 languages. Alternatively, please take a look at our short video.

Got a question?

If you have a question, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 0800 169 9661 or email helpline@esurv.co.uk.