Since our last update
We have seen the partial locking down of the UK which has been widely publicised across the media. This new situation has had far-reaching consequences for us all.
For our residents and leaseholders, we understand that your unit may or may not be your residence during these weeks of isolation, but we are writing to explain how we need to work together.
Keeping your home safe
We kindly ask that the rules set out by the Government on isolation are observed, and no visitors or guests including family members that live outside of your household come to your home for at least the next three weeks. This is in order to assist the Government and the NHS in battling the spread of the virus and the timescale for this will be under constant review. Should you have a guest or visitor that is absolutely necessary, i.e. someone delivering essential food or medicine to you please let your management surveyor know in advance.
If you need emergency repairs to be undertaken for example plumbing or appliance repairs, please observe social distancing requirements. Royal Mail deliveries and retailer couriers must deliver directly to you in your residence. We will have no central facilities to securely store or sign for personal deliveries during this period.
We ask you to be mindful of neighbours and those that may be vulnerable during this time and share contact information. If you are living on your own and would like regular contact or help with essentials, your management surveyor will be happy to put you in touch with local volunteer groups.
Our teams are now, where possible, working remotely. For some of our people who are based on site or working regionally, working from home isn’t feasible and these teams have had to make a number of adaptations to observe Government guidance and handle travel restrictions.
We continue to develop the business continuity plans we have in place. Our key suppliers are central to service delivery and we have been in regular contact to understand their policies, plans and challenges with their own people. Security, cleaning and M&E are all facing challenges with staff absences for example, parenting or carer responsibilities and travel.
Key workers Government guidance on key workers particularly around the building management industry has been slow to emerge. For that reason, MAPP has taken the decision that any member of our team with specialist knowledge of the building, its life safety systems, statutory requirements (such as fire alarm checks) or shut off points for power, water and gas are key workers. We have asked these individuals to continue to support our buildings and residents through attendance. We believe the adaptations they have made, have helped to minimise unnecessary risk but will continue to review this closely.
Keeping you safe MAPP is required to ensure that residents comply with Buildings Insurers’ requirements in order that cover is maintained. MAPP also has minimum statutory obligations particularly around testing of life safety systems, water hygiene and in respect of other aspects of Health & Safety which require attendance.
During this time, it’s particularly important to be vigilant with cyber crime. We have noticed increased phishing and other scams, and reiterate that we will not ask you to give personal details or change payment details. Your management surveyor will contact you, explain when any changes will be made and give you written copies of the authority we are acting within.
We fully understand that some of our residents face personal financial difficulties as a result of this crisis and are considering all potential non-essential spend given that the length of this crisis is unknown. Now, more than ever, payment of your on-account service charges is of paramount importance and is due in full. Given the commitments we have with suppliers and the need to keep your building operating safely, even with some services partially scaled back, we cannot offer any form of payment plans for your on account service charge contribution. Late payment will put essential service delivery in jeopardy. We do hope you understand this situation and are able to work with us in keeping a positive cashflow for the service charge.
Where it is possible to do so, we will suspend discretionary services to provide effective cost management. We can make no commitments about reducing future quarterly on account service charges because of uncertainty over the next few months which may require additional services which haven’t been budgeted for.
The budget for this service charge will be treated in exactly the same way as in any other year, and any services that have been scaled back, or costs not incurred will be credited back to leaseholders following reconciliation at the end of the service charge year.
Keeping in contact
Our teams are available to answer your questions, and our Help Desk 0800 389 0100 remains available to everyone on a 24 hour basis. We want to help our residents get back to business as usual as soon as we can. We urge you to touch base with your management surveyor if you have not already done so, and we will keep in regular communication to explain our approach and respond to your concerns.