The content of this page was updated on 18 May 2020 in line with recent changes in working restrictions and Government guidance
To reflect the challenges posed by coronavirus and current government restrictions on working, Oldfield Smith & Co have developed the following policies which we will be applying to all of our work for the time being:
The safety of our staff and clients is of paramount importance
We have risk assessed our office and working practices, to ensure that we operate in a safe, compliant manner. In accordance with best practice, our risk assessment for working in our offices can be viewed >>here<<. We are proud to declare our office “COVID-19 secure”.
Helping in the fight to minimise the spread of the virus is important to us and we will not compromise the safety of our staff. We are very much open for business, but have established and robust methods of working remotely which reduce our reliance on maintaining a permanent presence in the office. For that reason and in accordance with Government advice, our staff will continue to work remotely for the time being.
We have systems in place to support the health and well-being of remote workers.
Whilst our offices remain closed to the public in line with our risk assessment, we remain accessible by phone, email and (by appointment) video conferencing.
Viewings, site inspections and surveys can now take place where it is safe to do so and will be conducted in accordance with the safety protocols we have designed. However, we will actively consider whether instructions can be completed in other ways which minimise travel and protect social distancing standards.
We will conform to all requirements issued by the Government and, where applicable, our Regulatory bodies
Our approach to estate agency & marketing
All of our online, printed and telephone marketing will continue
We will provide information on properties remotely using a combination of photographs, video and written descriptions
We have risk assessed our ability to carry out accompanied viewings and have protocols in place to conduct these safely and in accordance with the latest Government guidance. In all cases social distancing and appropriate health and safety requirements will be met and work will be planned to minimise travel and contact
Our approach to property management
As a professional company we take our responsibility towards tenants and occupiers under our management very seriously. Our intention will be to continue to abide by the terms of the lease or other agreement(s) with regard to the provision of services, so far as this is possible
We will prioritise any work which is or may become an immediate risk to health and safety
Where availability of contractors or materials is constrained, we will endeavour to make safe as soon as possible
Repair works will proceed where it is safe to do so and where social distancing and other requirements can be met. Where it is not safe to proceed, works will be deferred
It is likely that contractor response times will be considerably longer during working restrictions but we will endeavour to keep clients advised of the status of any matter raised with us
Where sites are closed for business, there is agreement with all parties and contractual provisions allow, we will endeavour to postpone non-essential services to reduce costs
Our approach to professional services
In general our professional services department continues to operate with few changes. However, safety and social distancing measures still apply
We will generally seek to postpone any non-essential site inspections until movement restrictions are relaxed
In exceptional cases where site attendance is required urgently and legitimately, attendance will be risk-assessed and can only proceed where appropriate safety protocols are in place
All current work is progressing and we welcome new instructions for all professional work including rent reviews, lease renewals, dilapidation and valuation
Our approach to our business partners
As an ethical business, we will not seek to profit from the disadvantage of others as a result of coronavirus
Our pricing structure remains unchanged and all existing terms of business will be honoured
Oldfield Smith & Co will seek to meet its contractual obligations to the full extent permitted by law
We will endeavour to pay all suppliers as promptly as possible – typically we settle undisputed invoices within 24 hours of receipt
We will process rents and service charges as quickly as possible to ensure that money is forwarded to beneficiaries without delay
We will deal sympathetically with businesses in genuine distress and seek to assist them in meeting their liabilities
We will actively support key-workers and businesses to ensure that efforts to combat coronovirus can proceed as efficiently as possible