With the government starting to ease the lockdown restrictions in England and prime minister Boris Johnson stating that those who can go back to work should do so if they are unable to work from home, many local authorities and councils are exploring how best to return to maintenance and housing repair work in the coming weeks.
The Hackney Citizen reported that Hackney Council is among them, with the council currently exploring the options for restarting maintenance and fire safety works on its housing stock after putting the majority on hold during lockdown.
Emergency repairs have continued to be completed throughout lockdown, but there is currently no non-emergency work being carried out on residential properties.
The Town Hall recently decided to extend its contracts for planned and responsive maintenance works to its housing stock. These will now run into 2021, the newspaper revealed. The contracts in question with Engie, Mulalley and Wates Group were due to expire on 31 August this year.
Head of property and asset management for the Town Hall Sinead Burke, explained that one of the reasons why the council requested the extension was because many of its planned projects had been “highly disrupted” by the lockdown.
This is because much maintenance work needs to be conducted in homes that people are currently living in, which she explained is “not considered appropriate at this time”.
Ms Burke also revealed that the lockdown had impacted the council’s procurement work, which means it is not currently able to source replacement contracts as staff have been diverted to work on planning for the coronavirus response.
In addition, the Town Hall postponed consultation notices that were due to be sent to leaseholders. This will mean that new projects will be delayed while council leaders work out how they can safely resume maintenance work across their property portfolio.
It’s not only councils and local authorities that have to work out how to restart maintenance work across property portfolios, but also those operating in the private sector.
To help businesses navigate the new regulations and restrictions, Propertymark has created guidance for its members that covers everything from how to conduct valuations and viewings for estate agents to how to safely carry out maintenance work on homes and obtain the necessary certification.
The organisation also shared a post explaining what businesses need to consider before they bring their staff back to work. Being able to maintain a distance of two metres between employees is essential, as well as ensuring everyone has access to handwashing facilities and hand sanitiser.
It also recommended carrying out a deep clean of any premises that have been unoccupied for a period of several weeks before bringing staff back in.
If you need heavy-duty cleaning products, get in touch with us at Maxam today to find out how we can help. We have heavy-duty cleaning wipes, multi-purpose surface disinfectant and hand sanitiser available.
We also provide emergency window glass repair, in case your property has sustained any damage while it hasn’t been in use.