Coronavirus Information Hub - e.surv Chartered Surveyors

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Coronavirus Information Hub.

Following the guidance set out by the UK Government and the RICS, we’ll be asking our customers and our surveyors to take a few extra precautions in these extraordinary times.

Please watch our short video to find out what to expect when an e.surv surveyor visits your property, and read our Safety and Wellbeing Charter which is available in 14 languages.

Alternatively, please browse through the FAQs below or get in touch if you have any questions.

On 4 January 2021, the Prime Minister and Scottish First Minister announced the introduction of lockdown measures across England and Scotland, respectively. These tightened restrictions include the closure of all schools and the legal requirement for everyone stay at home, except for essential purposes.

However, an initial review of available guidance, suggests there is a clear determination to keep the property and lending sectors ‘open’.

Updated guidance on the Gov.UK and Scot.Gov websites continues to support house moves and its associated activities, where it is deemed safe to do so.

You can read our latest news update here: e.surv to continue physical inspections in 2021 lockdown

On the evening of Monday 1 February, the UK Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, announced a “test blitz” programme across eight postcodes in England.

It follows the identification of 105 cases of the new South African variant of COVID-19 and the need to limit the spread of infection.

Having reviewed the impact of this latest announcement on our operation, e.surv has concluded that our existing safety protocols enable us to conduct physical property inspections safely, with minimal risk to both surveyor and all occupants.

We continue to monitor the situation and will update our website with guidance, as required.

Safety first

The safety and wellbeing of our customers, colleagues and clients is paramount.

We’ll continue to undertake booked physical inspections, provided the following conditions are met:

  • Both parties are well and do not have any symptoms of COVID-19
  • The householder/owner has not expressed any safety concerns regarding the inspection and has agreed to our safety protocolsparticularly vacating the property during the inspection.

A comprehensive breakdown of safety precautions can be found in our Safety and Wellbeing Charter. This is available below in a number of different languages.

Should a householder/owner or the surveyor raise concerns at any point and wish to cancel a property inspection, the instruction will be re-booked to take place as restrictions ease, and we will advise you accordingly.

Your mortgage application

Finally, we understand how frustrating it is to be stuck in the mortgage application process during this period of uncertainty. If you’re wondering what will happen with your mortgage application, please speak to your mortgage lender or broker as each case will be different.

Putting safety first

As a responsible business, the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues, customers, householders, and the wider public is our overriding priority. Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be led by the Government guidance and the protocols set out by our professional body, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

What sort of health and safety precautions have we taken to minimise the risk of infection during property inspections?

We have taken the time to ensure appropriate health and safety arrangements to protect colleagues and customers. This includes personal protective equipment (PPE), the completion of risk assessments before and during any visits, and colleague training on new safety processes. And when booking an appointment, we will advise all householders on what to expect when our surveyor visits their property.

So, what can you expect on the day of the inspection? Is there anything you should do differently, and what will the surveyor do?

To help you understand what to expect before and during the property inspection, we have created a Safety and Wellbeing Charter and a short video. Please do let us know if you have any questions.

What should I do if I'm contacted as part of the Government's Test and Trace initiative?

If you are contacted as part of the Government’s Test and Trace initiative and asked to isolate due to an increased risk of infection, please contact us immediately on healthandsafety@esurv.co.uk.

Safety and Wellbeing Charter

To help you understand what to expect before and during the property inspection, we have created a Safety and Wellbeing Charter which is available in 15 languages. Alternatively, please take a look at our short video.


FAQs

I'm concerned about leaving the surveyor alone in my property.

To ensure that we meet our contractual and legal obligations, all e.surv and Walker Fraser Steele employees (including contractors, consultants and agency workers) are subject to a series of pre-employment screening checks. This includes the completion of a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before employment begins. If the DBS is unsuccessful, the candidate will not be employed.

Are you carrying out inspections in all types of properties and for all types of mortgage application?

We are now conducting physical inspections in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland for all categories of property and mortgage application.

Due to the in-depth and structural nature of the Building Survey and the length of time the surveyor is required on-site, we are not yet undertaking Building Survey inspections. As soon as this position changes, we will update our website.

Is Walker Fraser Steele providing Home Reports in Scotland during COVID-19 pandemic?

We are currently carrying out the physical property inspections required for a Home Report, with the necessary safety measures in place.

I have an outstanding mortgage application. What will happen next?

We understand how frustrating it is to be stuck in the mortgage application process during this period of uncertainty. If you’re wondering what will happen with your mortgage application, please speak to your lender or mortgage broker as each individual case will be different.

My lender/broker has advised me that you’re unable to carry out a remote valuation on the property I’m hoping to buy. Why is this?

We work directly with each mortgage lender to determine the risk-based rules around remote valuation and each lender has a different set of criteria. A number of factors determine whether a case is suitable for a remote valuation, including the Loan-to-Value (LTV) percentage and the age or style of property. To find out why your case is not suitable for remote valuation, you should speak with your mortgage lender directly.

I’m thinking about proceeding with my property purchase without a survey. What are the risks?

Just as you wouldn’t buy a used car without full-service history, we recommend investing in a survey before you proceed with your purchase. It’s important to remember that a valuation conducted on behalf of your mortgage lender is not the same as a comprehensive survey. Only an independent survey conducted by a RICS-registered surveyor provides you with a complete picture of the property you are thinking of buying and can uncover defects that may prove costly to repair.

Have e.surv’s offices been closed during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes, all of our offices have been closed throughout the pandemic to minimise the risks. However, to ensure we continue to offer uninterrupted support to our clients and customers, many of our colleagues are working from home and can be contacted in the normal way.

Is e.surv using the Government’s Job Retention Scheme?

Yes, we used the Government’s Job Retention Scheme to furlough a number of colleagues during the first national lockdown.

Is e.surv still recruiting surveyors during the COVID-19 pandemic?

We’re always delighted to hear from surveyors interested in joining our team or keen to find out more about life at e.surv.

Please email your CV to recruitment@esurv.co.uk, but be aware that there may be a delay in responding to your email due to COVID-19.

Got a question?

If you have a question, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 0800 169 9661 or email helpline@esurv.co.uk.