Following the Government’s Working safely during COVID-19 in other people’s homes guidance, we have formulated our own guidance for both our Clients and our staff / consultants. We hope that this guidance provides assurances that the services which Fish Need Water provides can be offered safely and with minimal risks to all parties concerned.
Booking an appointment
We strongly encourage clients to view properties virtually in the first instance and then only physically inspect properties which they have a strong interest in.
Before booking an appointment we ensure that any property occupiers are not self-isolating or shielding. If anyone is self-isolating or shielding within the property an appointment should not be booked.
In addition to checking whether the property occupiers are self-isolating, we also check to confirm whether any of the occupiers are classed as clinically vulnerable, for example, the property occupier is over 70. Appointments can still be booked in this instance, however, when making the appointment and we will look to arrange the appointment without the need for face-to-face contact.
Viewing Appointment should be spaced 15 mins apart.
Confirmed appointment bookings
Once an appointment is confirmed we make contact with the property occupiers, viewers and any other parties to advise how the appointment will be conducted. Our guidance is below:
- The person conducting the viewing will wash their hands on arrival, either by using sink and soap within the property or using hand sanitiser/hand wipes.
- When arriving at an occupied property, the person conducting the viewing will knock the door and then step 2 meters back (about 3 steps) so when the occupier opens the door social distancing is adhered to. Of course, if the person conducting the viewing has been made aware that the property occupier is clinically vulnerable, they will follow the guidance provided by the Client.
- The person conducting the viewing will introduce themselves as they normally would (if applicable to the situation) but will not shake hands.
- All physical viewings where prospective buyers or renters will be entering the property should involve no more than 2 households (including the person conducting the viewing) inside the property at any one time. This includes any agent accompanying either party. Anyone in a support bubble with either household, however, will count as part of that household. Please read the latest guidance on indoor gatherings and support bubbles.
- Where prospective buyers 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.
- The person conducting the viewing will explain to the occupant that due to social distancing the appointment will need to be conducted either with all occupants waiting outside of the property, or keeping to one room and moving to another room when required. They will ask for the property occupiers preference.
- Property occupiers should ensure all internal doors are open to minimise contact with door handles. It would also be useful for the occupier to open up all windows to ensure good ventilation is maintained, along with the cleaning of high touch items such as door handles and any other regularly touched surfaces.
- If the occupant refuses to assist with social distancing measures and the property is not large enough for the person conducting the viewing and viewing parties to be able to walk through whilst maintaining social distancing, then the appointment will be aborted.
- When arriving at an unoccupied property, the person conducting the viewing will use standard household cleaning wipes on all door handles within the property and will open up all internal doors to minimise contact with door handles.
- The person conducting the viewing will ask those in attendance to ensure that they keep to social distancing measures, prescribed by the Government, whilst inside of the property. We cannot be held liable if social distancing is not maintained by those in attendance.
Travelling to appointments
Before travelling to an appointment, the person conducting the viewing must ensure that they have everything needed from their Essential Kit List. Items relevant to COVID-19 include hand wipes/hand gel and standard household cleaning wipes.
Greeting viewers and other people in attendance
When viewers arrive at a property, we will introduce themselves as they normally would and say that due to social distancing they are unable to shake their hand. They will then explain how the appointment will be conducted to ensure social distancing is maintained.
During the appointment
All parties viewing a property should wash their hands with soap and water (or hand sanitiser if not available) immediately after entering the properties, with internal doors opened and surfaces having been wiped down before they enter. Separate towels or paper towels should be used if possible and washed or disposed of safely after use.
We will will not share pens, paper or any other objects during the appointment with anyone in attendance.
To reduce the spread of germs, the person conducting the viewing will always look to cough or sneeze into a tissue, or their sleeve, and dispose of the tissue as soon as possible and then re-wash their hands, either with soap and water within the property or using their own hand sanitiser or hand wipes.
Weather permitted, the person conducting the viewing will hold all end of appointment discussions with the viewers outside of the property, maintaining social distancing.
The person conducting the viewing will remove from the property any wipes, tissues etc which they have personally used during the appointment and dispose of them as appropriate.
Personal Protective Equipment
As with other non-clinical settings, the precautionary use of PPE to protect against COVID-19 is not encouraged.
The person conducting the viewing should wear face masks/covering when working within a property as should the people they are showing around. Face coverings could be something like a scarf, or a mask made at home. Guidance on how to do this and use them safely can be found on GOV.UK.