Following our previous Service Announcements, of 17th, 20th and 25th March 2020 on the steps being taken by Ross & Liddell to safeguard our services to clients through the current COVID-19 outbreak, we would wish to further update you as follows:
We continue to provide a full Property Management Service to clients and confirm that all of our employees continue to work within our business on their existing Terms of Employment. No staff have been placed on furlough, nor have our staff numbers been reduced.
As previously advised, we are following the advice issued by the UK and Scottish Governments and the NHS and we have now implemented our contingency plan for continuity of business, in view of the increased restrictions put in place, and our wish to ensure the continued health of our colleagues, clients and the wider population.
As at Thursday 9th April 2020, the following applies:
- Our offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee remain closed until further notice, pending further Government advice and a lifting of the restrictions currently in place. Subject to appropriate precautions, limited access for designated staff is available to allow access to keys, for provision to contractors, in order to allow emergency works and continued testing and maintenance, of essential services, such as Fire Safety Systems, Lifts and Water Pumps.
- All of our staff continue to work remotely, from home, with full, and secure, access to our IT & Management Systems, e-mail and our telephone system.
- We understand the importance of the continued provision of all of our management services, in the current difficult circumstances, and our staff are working diligently to maintain communication with clients, contractors, colleagues and professional advisors to ensure that as many services as possible continue to be provided at our developments, while complying with the social distancing and protective procedures, required to ensure the safety of staff, clients and the general public.
- We are working as normal with regard to the substantial preparations required in respect to the forthcoming Insurance Renewal, and the issue of our main common charges accounting, due at 15th May 2020.
- E-mail communications continue as normal and this remains the most effective way of contacting our office and individual staff. If you do not know the e-mail address for a specific staff member then you can contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org. Detailing your name, property address, or account number ( if known ), and nature of query, will allow the appropriate staff member to respond as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can contact us via our website by clicking on “Contact Us” at the bottom of the Home page.
- Phone calls to each of our usual main office numbers will access an automated menu of options, from which various services, including automated payment, can be selected.
Main office telephone numbers: Glasgow – 0141 221 9266
Edinburgh -0131 346 8989
Dundee – 01382 201535
We are now operating a fully functional remote Switchboard, allowing calls to be transferred to individual staff members as normal. The switchboard operates between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, and automated options are available out with these standard office hours.
- Unfortunately, due to the current restrictions, we are unable to issue communications, or accounts, by post, therefore, we would again request that clients who currently only receive correspondence by mail, provide us with an email address, to which may issue all future communications.
To allow such communication, please send an e-mail to email@example.com confirming your name, property address, or account number ( if known ), together with the e-mail contact address you wish us to use. Alternatively, you can provide this information via our website by clicking on “Contact Us” at the bottom of the Home page.
We are continuing to contact clients, where possible, to request provision of an e-mail address to allow continued communications to be issued, as effectively as possible, in these exceptional circumstances.
- Contractors have now, in the main, confirmed that they are observing the restrictions put in place by the Government and will therefore only be undertaking emergency and essential works. We would update the current position as follows:
Essential Contracted Services including testing and maintenance of Fire Safety Systems, Lifts and Plant & Machinery will continue where possible, subject to availability of access and the appointed contractors confirming that they are able to fully comply with social distancing and all Health & Safety requirements.
Ground Maintenance works are now largely being undertaken in circumstances, where appointed contractors have confirmed that they are able to fully comply with social distancing and are also able to comply with all Health & Safety requirements. Ground maintenance is suspended where this is not possible, however, from week commencing 13th April 2020, we anticipate that full, or restricted, ground maintenance will be undertaken on the majority of developments.
Cleaning services are being reviewed on an ongoing basis, taking account of individual development requirements. Cleaning will generally continue in developments where the appointed cleaning contractor have confirmed their intention to do so, and that appropriate social distancing, Health & Safety and disinfection provisions are in place.
Roofing, joinery, electrical, plumbing and general works will be undertaken only in circumstances where an issue immediately impacts on Health & Safety, is causing ongoing damage or in an emergency, subject to availability of contractors and suitable social distancing and protective procedures are in place.
In circumstances, where a contractor has confirmed they are able to fully comply with social distancing (eg. a contractor working on their own, or travelling in separate vehicles) and is also able to comply with all Health & Safety requirements other works may proceed in limited circumstances.
- Inspections by our Property Managers are suspended, other than in essential circumstances, and we would ask that where clients note an issue, defect, or required repair that they notify us accordingly. All reported non-emergency / essential issues and required repairs will be logged within our Property Management System, in order that Job Instructions, or Estimate Requests can be issued, on a priority basis, upon the lifting of Government restrictions and contractors’ return to more normal operation.
As previously highlighted, it is of course essential that we remain in a position to instruct and fund contracted services, such as Lift Maintenance, Fire System Maintenance, where the service continues to be provided, together with essential and emergency works, and we would therefore request that clients continue to make regular payments towards their common charges.
We understand that some clients may find it increasingly difficult to prioritise and pay incoming household bills, given the current economic uncertainty, therefore, if you do find yourself in this position, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to contact you, with a view to assisting in finding a solution.
We will continue to review our provision of services to clients, taking account of the developing situation in the efforts to control the virus outbreak, and the resultant social and economic impact. Our intention remains to maintain a high level of service, in line with our Service Level Agreement, and ensure that the forthcoming Insurance Renewal, and annual accounting, is completed within the usual timescales, notwithstanding these unprecedented circumstances.
We wish to record our thanks to all of our staff who are working collectively to deliver all services remotely and would again wish all of our clients, their family and friends well during this difficult period.
We will continue to provide future updates by e-mail on our website www.ross-liddell.com and via your Webportal.
Andrew J Cunningham BSc MRICS