Coronavirus Guidance

Lockdown is easing, what does it mean for you?
Supporting Tenants & Landlords

We are here to help and guide you through these difficult times, so if you need to chat over your situation or you need some pointers on where to get help, speak to us and we will do our best to help you.

You can also check out our FAQ’s here.

Tenant FAQs
Landlord FAQs

Tenant Coronavirus FAQs

What does the lockdown easing mean for the property market and where can I find guidance?

The Scottish Government has advised that as of Monday 29th June 2020, the property market can reopen. Moving home for any reason is permitted and agents or the general public can visit properties for the purposes of selling or renting.

All activities related to the marketing, letting and viewing of property is now permitted whilst adhering to social distance rules and Scottish Government guidance on how to conduct these activities safely.

Our office is now open and our staff are operating with a near return to normality.

You can read the full government guidance here.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-moving-home/pages/advice-to-the-public/

What are your opening hours and how do I contact you?

Our office has reopened however some of our staff are still working from home, meaning our office is not always manned during office hours.

Our office is not currently open to visitors in order to protect our staff and extra safety measures have been installed in our office to limit the spread of Covid-19.

You can contact us in the usual way, via the website contact page or our usual telephone number. Our office hours remain the same, Monday- Friday 9am-5pm

What safety measures are ‘burgh taking to protect me?

All ‘burgh staff who are interacting with any of our customers or general public have been supplied with a PPE pack to carry with them.

This includes face coverings, disposable gloves, cleaning equipment and alcohol hand sanitiser.

Our office is not currently open to visitors in order to protect our staff and extra safety measures have been installed in our office to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Our keys are being regularly sprayed with disinfectant and sanitised during use.

How can I secure a property safely with ‘burgh?

Where possible we are aiming to offer a virtual viewing on our website and advertising portals for any advertised property.

Scottish Government Guidance is advising us to encourage a first round of viewings by virtual viewing before we book a physical viewing with a prospective tenant. This is so we can lessen the number of interactions between us, you and any current tenants living in the property.

Our application process is all carried out online so it is quick and easy to complete from anywhere at anytime.

You can read the full government guidance here.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-moving-home/pages/advice-to-the-public/

Can I secure a property from watching a virtual viewing?

Yes, Current Scottish Government guidance is asking us to encourage a first round of viewings by virtual viewing before we book a physical viewing. This is so we can lessen the number of interactions between us, you and any current tenants living in the property.

If you want to secure a property after watching the virtual viewing, we will send you details on how to start the process of securing the property online. Once secured, we will arrange a physical viewing for you to view the property in person.

We want to make sure that the property is the right choice for you, so we encourage you to view where possible.

Can I have a physical viewing with ‘burgh?

Absolutely. We encourage you to physically view the property if possible before you move in.

However, to limit the number of people we take into the property, we would like you to be sure that the property suits your needs. That said, we need you to see a virtual viewing first and confirm that you would like to proceed with the property.

We can then arrange a physical viewing for you.

What will happen at the physical viewing?

Physical viewings are private and by appointment only. So we can allow you to enter the property, you must bring your own face covering. If you do not have a face covering with you, we cannot allow you to view.

We can view with no more than 2 people and you must be from the same household.

We will need you to confirm that you or anybody in your household is not symptomatic of Covid-19.

Our viewing agent will be wearing a face covering and the agent will be carrying some PPE and cleaning equipment. You will be asked not to touch any surfaces or handles.

We will be encouraging any tenants living in the property to leave for a short while, but this may not always be possible

We are a group of students looking to secure a property for the next academic year, can ‘burgh help?

All of our student properties are advertised and once they have been fully vacated and cleaned, we may be able to carry out a virtual viewing.

With the landlords permission, we may be able to help you secure a property online and without a viewing, with a view to a physical viewing being carried out later in the year.

I am a current tenant with ‘burgh, will you be viewing my property with prospective tenants before I vacate?

Government guidance issued to letting agents in June 2020 is allowing agents to physically view properties in tenanted properties but the guidance is encouraging us to limit the amount of viewings that we carry out – to try and limit contact between us, you and prospective tenants

They are encouraging us to offer prospective tenants a virtual viewing in the first instance and to then offer a physical viewing after.

This we hope will dramatically lessen the impact on you and lessen the number of people we need to physically view within your property.

We will contact you to arrange a suitable time for our agent to visit you so we can conduct a virtual tour recording of your property.

At this visit, the agent will be carrying a PPE pack, using a face covering and sanitiser at entry and exit, and we ask that you have the property clean, tidy and presentable for the images and tour to be taken.

Government guidance is suggesting that it is advisable for the current tenant to leave the property for a short while whilst we access. We can access with the keys that we hold.

You can read the full government guidance here.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-moving-home/pages/advice-to-the-public/

I am a current tenant with ‘burgh, will you be carrying out a routine inspection visit to my property?

Yes, Government guidance is allowing agents to carry out routine inspection visits to tenanted properties. We aim to start routine inspection visits from July 2020.

Your safety is really important to us, so we will let you know well in advance of the visit.

At this visit, the agent will be carrying a PPE pack, using a face covering and sanitiser at entry and exit, and we ask that you have the property clean, tidy and presentable for the agent to visit.

Government guidance is suggesting that it is advisable for the tenant to leave the property for a short while whilst we access. We can access with the keys that we hold.

You can read the full government guidance here:

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-moving-home/pages/advice-to-the-public/

I have a maintenance contractor due to visit, what should I do to prepare?

With more people working from home during the crisis, we will need your assistance in facilitating a contractor to visit your property.

We will instruct the contractor as usual, once you have reported it to us via our website support page.

The keys we hold for your property are held in our office and are not necessarily available for contractors to use so you may need to arrange access with the contractor directly.

Our contractors are not employed by ‘burgh but we have instructed them to carry out a risk assessment before visiting any tenanted properties, to ensure that they and you are not exposed to any unnecessary risk and also to use safety precautions such as wearing gloves and masks.

If you are anybody in your household is symptomatic of Covid 19 or if you are self-isolating, you must inform us and the contractor before they attend.

It may help for you to leave the property during the time of the contractors visit so that there is no unnecessary person to person contact.

If you are not comfortable with the contractor entering the property or you feel that they are not taking the necessary precautions to protect you or themselves, let us know immediately.

Further government guidance can be found here

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

I am a tenant with ‘burgh and I have a maintenance request

You should request all maintenance as usual via our website support page. Any emergencies should be reported by calling the office number or consulting the website support page out of hours.

Government guidance has confirmed that certain trade disciplines are able to visit tenanted homes, such as gas engineers, plumbers and roofers. All with a view to keeping your home functional, safe and sound.

Government guidance is suggesting that it is advisable for you to leave the property for a short while whilst the contractor can access to carry out their tasks.

‘burgh contractors are not employed by us so they have been given instructions to cary out their own risk assessment directly with our tenants and to wear PPE at any visits.

We are prioritising urgent or emergency repairs due to the demand imposed on key contractors, so non-essential maintenance will be picked up as soon as possible.

The impact of coronavirus has affected my employment and income, what support is available to me?

Positive steps announced by the UK government means that there are a number of support avenues available to you should you be impacted financially by the Coronavirus.

The UK government is offering to anybody who is experiencing a loss of income due to the crisis, further income support and protection in order to sustain your personal income, so you should seek guidance from your employer.

The support is extended to the self-employed, employees on zero hours contracts or those in flexible working arrangements.

There are a number of government services that you should explore if you are directly affected. The main government coronavirus support page is a good place to start but here are some more specific sites detailed here for you too;

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Tenants affected can claim Universal Credit – this includes support for housing costs. The UK Government has introduced some temporary changes to make this easier for people who haven’t claimed before.

https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit

For tenants who are receiving Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, but still can’t afford housing costs, a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) may apply.

https://www.mygov.scot/discretionary-housing-payment/

Tenants may be able to get support through the Scottish Welfare Fund too.

https://www.mygov.scot/scottish-welfare-fund/crisis-grants/

I am struggling to pay my rent, can ‘burgh or my landlord help me?

We understand that these are worrying times. If you find yourself in this situation, you should speak to your property manager to discuss your situation. The government support in place will be a good starting point for you to see what kind of support is available to you before you speak to us.

The main government coronavirus support page is a good place to start but here are some more specific avenues of support detailed here for you;

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Tenants affected can claim Universal Credit – this includes support for housing costs. The UK Government has introduced some temporary changes to make this easier for people who haven’t claimed before.

https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit

For tenants who are receiving Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, but still can’t afford housing costs, a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) may apply.

https://www.mygov.scot/discretionary-housing-payment/

Tenants may be able to get support through the Scottish Welfare Fund too.

https://www.mygov.scot/scottish-welfare-fund/crisis-grants/

Landlord Coronavirus FAQs

Do you offer virtual viewings?

Yes, Current government guidance is asking us to encourage a first round of viewings by virtual viewing before we book a physical viewing with a prospective tenant. This is so we can lessen the number of interactions between us, any prospective tenants and any current tenants living in the property.

Virtual viewings are proving very effective during this period of market change in order to maximise exposure of our properties to the wider tenant market.

Here is an example of our virtual viewing at our YouTube channel.

Can you inspect my property now the lock down is easing?

Yes, Government guidance is allowing agents to carry out routine inspection visits to tenanted properties. We aim to start routine inspection visits from July 2020.

At this visit, the agent will be carrying a PPE pack, using a face covering and sanitiser at entry and exit.

Government guidance is suggesting that it is advisable for the tenant to leave the property for a short while whilst we access.

You can read the full government guidance here.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-moving-home/pages/advice-to-the-public/

What does the lockdown easing mean for the property market and where can I find guidance?

The Scottish Government has advised that as of Monday 29th June 2020, the property market can reopen. Moving home for any reason is permitted and agents or the general public can visit properties for the purposes of selling or renting.

All activities related to the marketing, letting and viewing of property is now permitted whilst adhering to social distance rules and Scottish Government guidance on how to conduct these activities safely.

Our office is now open and our staff are operating with a near return to normality.

You can read the full government guidance here.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-moving-home/pages/advice-to-the-public/

What are your opening hours and how do I contact you?

Our office has reopened however some of our staff are still working from home, meaning our office is not always manned during office hours.

Our office is not currently open to visitors in order to protect our staff and extra safety measures have been installed in our office to limit the spread of Covid-19.

You can contact us in the usual way, via the website contact page or our usual telephone number. Our office hours remain the same, Monday- Friday 9am-5pm

What safety measures are ‘burgh taking to protect me?

All ‘burgh staff who are interacting with any of our customers or general public have been supplied with a PPE pack to carry with them.

This includes face coverings, disposable gloves, cleaning equipment and alcohol hand sanitiser.

Our office is not currently open to visitors in order to protect our staff and extra safety measures have been installed in our office to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Our keys are being regularly sprayed with disinfectant and sanitised during use.