The RICS has released guidance and that two of 2 sets for its members concentrating on physical inspections during surveying. The guidance which was released structured based on the latest government advice for appropriate conduct as well as the timetable for releasing restrictions.
Suggestions for the Non-Residential Properties
Well, this particular guidance set was meant for the development sites, buildings which are under construction as well as the in-use buildings. Cases in which there is a need for a physical surveying inspection can now be conducted in line based on government guidance in regards to social distancing.
Risk assessments team needs to state the associated risks related to COVID-19, and surveying professionals need to make sure they have received a COVID-19 secure certificate before starting the inspection. There are many interactive tools which are now easily available from the Health as well as Safety Executive for supporting firms available for the same.
Like earlier, any type of restrictions in regards to the service provided by team need be agreed after discussion with the client and the same need to be recorded in the written version.
Wherever possible, a refusal statement should be mentioned in the terms and conditions for any type of errors and exclusions in the service offered which is completely due to limitations in regards to inspection or visiting certain sections of the property. It is strongly recommended that the team should record and mention any type of limitations.
Before making inspection, RICS accredited surveyors need to do following, things:
- Collect maximum information possible from property occupier or client before the visit and as a part of pre-inspection research, that includes property use, location, occupancy, a possible risk for occupiers and much other associated information needed for the specific property as well as for instruction.
- Take note if in case there are any type of expectations from client/ building manager/ occupier. If there are any specific requirements in regards to precautions (including PPE) which are must to take and the restricted areas which they must stay aware of. This is very important especially in the case when anyone present in the building belongs to a vulnerable group.
- Sanitization of equipment following the guidance of local public health authority periodically and when possible practically.
At the time of inspection, property surveyors need to follow, among various other things:
- Request occupiers to stay away from physical contact
- Follow strictly PHE (Public Health England) guidance in regards to cleaning of hands accurately and use of the PPE.
- Make minimum physical contact at the time of entering the property.
After making inspection, surveyors should follow apart from other things:
- Wash both hands again after inspection and then sanitize equipment, and dispose of the PPE
- Check for any limitations for inspection and add a disclaimer just the way mentioned above in all possible areas.
- Share the visit outcome appropriately as per process based on the agreed terms of service.
Suggestions for the Residential Properties
The 2nd guidance set is for inspections done for residential private property and contains the guidance for non-domestic properties in regards to practical steps for social distancing, and hygiene along with professional notes for limitations as well as disclaimers. Although, there is nil recommendation to collect a COVID-19 secure certificate before making the inspection.
In includes additional questions, which are more relevant for domestic home inspections, which are must to consider for a party wall surveyor or a boundary surveyor, including:
- If any type of pets can be stationed at a certain distance
- Is there any member of the domestic property symptomatic or are members of the vulnerable people category?
- If all areas of the property can be left open as much as possible for example doors kept open for professionals’ entry and all key areas can be accessed generally, for example, water, gas, boiler locations, and electric meter.
- If the occupiers can oblige to vacate the property for the period in which internal inspections will be done?
Aside to this, it is vital to consider that the members capture and communicate all types of restrictions which were faced by them during the period in which inspection was undertaken.
People working from home and those showing certain symptoms of COVID 19 are now open to apply for taking the test for COVID-19. Details for COVID 19 testing can be collected from the respective source.