A further note is perhaps less than helpful, however we are keen to stay in contact with you. This guidance note shares some basic guidance that we are asking all of our residents to observe and is intended to clarify any questions you may have about rent, service charge (where your tenancy requires you to pay it, not all of our residents’ tenancy agreements do).
We really do appreciate the enormous frustrations and difficulties you face, but as with everything to do with this crisis, we need your help and willingness to work together.
We kindly remind you of four simple principles with your home:
- We ask that the rules set out by the Government on isolation and social distancing are observed.
- If you need emergency repairs to be undertaken for example plumbing or appliance repairs, please ask them to observe social distancing requirements in the common areas and within your home.
- 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
Emergency preparedness continues for every stage of this crisis. Our FM teams have adjusted all working processes to reflect buildings or sites with restricted cover to maintain statutory health & safety compliance. We continue to work closely with our suppliers to ensure service delivery can be scaled up and down as required. We are also working hard to remove non-essential or discretionary spend from service charge budgets to ease difficulties with cash flow arising from slow or non-payment of service charges.
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, observing social distancing to keep you safe.
It is perhaps worth reiterating that notwithstanding Government policy, 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 cybercrime. 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 hardship as a result of this crisis which is made worse by the fact that the length of this crisis is unknown.
For some schemes, a reduction in services may be possible. For others, service charges are responding to increased cleaning, raised occupancy of the blocks due to self-isolation the ‘stay at home’ policy, and an upturn in home working. All this puts pressure on the common areas, service providers and our ability to deliver a safe environment in line with client requests and requirements. These services may not all have been budgeted for and may also require a new supplier network. They will need to be funded via service charges so our credit control team is working hard to keep payments flowing.
Now, more than ever, payment of your on-account service charges is of paramount importance. Late payment will put essential service delivery in jeopardy. 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. We do hope you understand this situation and are able to work with us in keeping a positive cashflow for the service charge.
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.
If you have any questions about your home, lease or the arrangements we are making, please don’t hesitate to contact your surveyor. These are extraordinarily tough times and our preference is to collaborate with you, share information and be transparent in handling the difficulties we all face.