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Covid-19 Advice & FAQs

For added peace of mind, we thought we’d put together some advice & FAQs which might help to answer your queries or concerns at this difficult time.

Tenant FAQs

  • Will your offices be working during the national lockdown? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    England

    Yes - We will be working as usual between Thursday November 5th and Wednesday December 2nd.  Our colleagues remain available with viewings and market appraisals still possible subject to a number of enhanced controls.  If visiting one of our offices please let us know in advance so that we know when to expect you.  Please remember to wear your face covering.

    Scotland

    Yes - We have now opened the majority of our High Street branches across all protection levels in Scotland with Government guidelines designed to protect our colleagues and customers. Please contact us by telephone or email before visiting to check we are open and that a colleague will be available. Where your preferred office is yet to reopen we are covering appointments remotely.  Please remember that you are now required to wear a face-covering whilst visiting our offices. 

    People can move home in all protection levels including between areas with different levels.  This includes visiting estate or letting agents, developers sales offices and show homes.

    Wales

    Yes – The majority of our High Street branches reopened when circuit breaker restrictions ended on November 9th.  Please contact us by telephone or email before visiting to check that a colleague will be available.  Please remember to wear a face-covering whilst visiting our branches.  You will also be able to check-in using the NHS COVID-19 App.  We will request your details for Track & Trace purposes.     

  • Can you help find a property to rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes - You can access details of available properties on our website. For further information please use the “arrange a viewing” icon or contact your local branch.

  • What about viewing property? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Virtual viewings should be used whenever possible to help limit the number of viewings you need to arrange. Prior to the appointment we will provide you with details of how it will be conducted and what is required to help keep everyone safe. 

    In England revised guidance relating to the lockdown between November 5th and December 2nd  includes: 

    1. Adherence to social distancing rules
    2. Wearing PPE e.g. face coverings
    3. Occupiers leaving the property during a viewing
    4. Viewings should be limited to 15 minutes
    5. No more than 2 households can be present at the viewing. The agent counts as one household.
    6. As few people as possible should be at the property.
  • How will viewing be conducted safely? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    The safety of our clients, applicants, colleagues and the wider community remains our primary consideration. Prior to an appointment, we will provide you with details of how it will be conducted and what is required to help keep everyone safe.

  • Do I need to continue paying my rent during the Pandemic? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes – Rent remains payable. There is no automatic suspension of rental payments during the crisis.

  • What if I can’t afford to pay my rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    If you are having trouble paying your rent it is important that you discuss this with your landlord as soon as possible.  If you make payments to us then please email creditcontrol@countrywide.co.uk.

  • Can my landlord help me if I’m having trouble paying my rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Government has an expectation that landlords will, where reasonably possible, support tenants in difficulty. Any support they can offer may well be dictated by their own personal circumstances.

  • What help might a landlord be able to provide if I’m having trouble paying my rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    This will depend on your landlords personal circumstances but might include allowing you to make reduced/ deferred payments by way of a payment plan. If this happens it is important that you don’t breach the terms of the plan.

  • Can you help me if I’m having trouble paying my rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Where we manage the property and collect rent we can speak with your landlord on your behalf. We are unable to agree on payment terms on your landlord’s behalf and we need their consent to change any rental payments. When contacting us in relation to rental payments please do so by email to creditcontrol@countrywide.co.uk or via by contacting your local branch.

  • Can I pay my rent by card? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes - Your local branch is able to process a payment for you.  

  • Is other help available for tenants who are experiencing trouble in paying their rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes – I you are in difficulty and need further help this is available from your local authority, Shelter, Citizens Advice and The Money Advice Service.  If you are eligible for Legal Aid you can contact Civil Legal Advice for free and confidential advice.

  • Can I be evicted from my home during the crisis? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes - The stay on possession proceedings ended on September 20th. Proceedings involving excessive rent arrears and anti-social behaviour are being prioritised.     

    In England notice under Sections 21 and S8 of the Housing Act has been extended to 6 months until March 31st 2020.  A number of exceptions apply, including reducing the notice period to 4 weeks under Section 8 where a tenant is more than 6 months in arrears.  Please ask your local branch for further information.    

    Notice periods in Wales remain at 6 months.

    Bailiff Evictions - England

    There is a ban on evictions until January 11th 2021 in all but the most extreme of circumstances.

    Bailiff Evictions - Wales

    A pause has been agreed with bailiffs which starts in December and ends on January 11th at the earliest.      

  • Are there different rules for eviction in Scotland? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes - A ban on evictions remains in place until March 31st 2021.

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  • What if a repair is required at the property during the outbreak? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Government has confirmed that landlords are required to repair the property and undertake routine inspections as usual. Similarly, tenants are required to provide access to the property for this purpose subject to Government guidance around infection, shielding and self-isolating. 

  • What about reporting repairs? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    The fastest and easiest way to ensure that we are notified of a repair when we manage the property is by logging onto our website – choose “Rent” – “Report a Repair”. You will also receive helpful advice on what to do in an emergency.  Like many employers, we are operating new working practices to keep our teams safe by keeping them at the required social distance. However, you can still contact us on our usual property management number.

  • What if I’m notified that the Gas Safety Record needs to be renewed? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Government has confirmed that renewal of the annual Gas Safety Record is an important part of keeping you safe in your home. This includes checks for carbon monoxide production. Carbon monoxide is a colourless odourless gas that can quickly kill, hence it often being referred to as the “Silent Killer”.  Allowing access for the inspection to take place subject to Government guidance around infection, shielding and self-isolating is important. 

    Please remember to test any smoke and carbon monoxide alarms fitted at the property on a weekly basis.

  • What about contractors accessing the property? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    To ensure your safety and that of the contractor, they will call you directly to arrange access. Please advise them of any self-isolation or illness within the household. When providing access ensure that social distancing protocols are observed. If keys are transferred do so in a secure envelope ensuring they are sanitised before and after use.

  • Useful Information Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Fire

    • If you smell smoke or see fire call 999 immediately.
    • If living in a development of flats ensure that you are familiar with building evacuation protocols in the event of a fire.

    Gas

    • If you smell gas or think there may be a leak, open windows and doors and leave the property immediately. Do not turn on lights or light a cigarette.
    • Call the National Grid straight away on 0800 111 999, nationlagrid.com.
    • If in doubt call 999 immediately.

    No Electricity/ Supply Tripping

    • Check there is sufficient credit on the meter if you have a pre-payment meter.
    • Check with your neighbours and/ or your energy provider to establish if there is a problem in your area.
    • If your electricity keeps tripping (going off) turn off/ unplug appliances gradually turning them back on until the supply trips. This should highlight the problem device.
    • If the problem persists report the problem to us where we manage the property.

    Burst Pips

    • Turn off the water supply at the stopcock.
    • Use containers to try and catch the water.
    • If the water is close to electricity supplies or appliances immediately switch off the electricity supply at the mains.

    Loss of Water Supply

    • Check if your neighbours have the same problem
    • Check if the water authority serving your area has turned off the supply.
    • Contact the supplier if the problem persists.

    Lack of heating/ hot water

    • The majority of problems can usually be rectified with reference to the manufacturer’s instructions. Copy instruction manuals are readily available online.
    • Check that thermostats and timers haven’t inadvertently been adjusted.
    • With gas boilers try re-setting the pilot and re-pressurising the system with reference to the instruction manual.
    • If you have a hot water cylinder check to see if it has an immersion heater that you can use until the boiler is repaired.
    • If the problem persists report the problem to us where we manage the property.

Read all our FAQ's here

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Buyer FAQ's

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Seller FAQ's

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Landlord FAQ's