COVID-19 Advices for our existing and new Customers

 

Thank you for visiting our website.

During these times our working practices will be shifting like every other business, distanced working, practices to include social distancing and working from home, however, you will be able to contact us regardless and we urge you to do so.

Our office doors may be shut but it is business as ‘nearly usual’ for us.

Looking for a new rental property is a challenge in these times but if you are a new visitor to our website and looking for a property to let in the near future, we are still championing our cause to provide homes to renters.

We are providing ‘virtual’ viewings on our properties. Send us a property enquiry for any property available to let or register with us for our latest developments. You can also email us directly at pickard@pickardproperties.co.uk or call us on 0113 274 6642.

As a company we have always practised ‘distance viewings’ and they have worked well. They are not polished slick 360-degree virtual tours but some renters have been satisfied enough to proceed with letting a property on this basis and why not. We are taking the positives from this situation and hope to increase this type of viewing arrangement to save travel costs and time for our customers.

If you are an EXISTING CUSTOMER / TENANT / PROSPECTIVE TENANT, thank you so much for your patience through this time, we have received much encouragement and understanding and we have really appreciated your kind words. You would have already received various updates by email but we have gathered as much information as possible for you here.

If you are an existing residential tenant, please find advices here.

If you are a prospective tenant, someone who is due to move into a residential property in the near future, please find advices here.

If you are a commercial tenant /leaseholder, please find advices here.

 


ADVICE FOR OUR EXISTING RESIDENTIAL TENANTS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Here at Pickard we are feeling all the emotions like you, anxiety, worry, lack of sleep, fear of the unknown so we understand and are here to discuss any concerns you may have about rent or housing issues. Our email is pickard@pickardproperties.co.uk 

We have a cross-section of tenants, those that are professionals, those that are students, those that are retired, those that run their own businesses, those that are on low income and all will be touched by this pandemic emotionally and possibly financially.

Please find below some advices to follow regarding your rental property:

A) Maintenance of properties and maintenance reporting on our residential properties

Our Maintenance team and Contractors will only be attending properties for emergency works that would pose a potential threat to the Health & safety of our tenants. Please feel free to report any other issues, these jobs will be queued for a later date. We will keep you informed once a report has been made. 

Email us: maintenance@pickardproperties.co.uk or ring 0113 274 6642 if it is an emergency.

If you are in isolation because you have symptoms please advise our office – we have a number of properties on lockdown which we are recording for our self-employed contractors.

We have already issued advice to the self-employed contractors we work with and have advised that, again, visits should be restricted to Health & Safety Repairs/Inspections in line with regulation requirements and if a tenant is potentially at risk.

B)  Rental Payments and Rent due

We are all faced with uncertainty at the moment and we understand that you or members of your family may have already seen a fall in your work-related income due to COVID-19 and we want to say that we understand as we are faced with the same uncertainty in our own lives and with our own families.

As you can appreciate, all contracted rents are due regardless of whether the tenant chooses to live in the property or not and rental payments are due, as normal, within contracted periods. The goverment advice is here for tenants and landlords:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-support-available-for-landlords-and-renters-reflecting-the-current-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak   

Please email us at pickard@pickardproperties.co.uk if you have any concerns regarding rental payments. In our email dated 19/03/20 we stated that we will assess each tenants’ situation brought about directly by the Covid-19 pandemic individually. All rents previous to 19/03/20 should be up to date, regardless of the current Covid-19 situation.  

Payments can continue to be made online https://www.pickardproperties.co.uk/pay-online/

Information for our student tenants living in our residential properties

Some of our tenants are students in receipt of student loans, rents are due as normal and we would like to thank you for keeping on top of your contracted rental payments. If you are worried about receiving your student loan there is some government advice specifically about student loans here: SLC Coronavirus (COVID-19) update, but as far as we are aware all student loans will still be issued and therefore rents should remain a priority when budgeting your student loan. 

In addition, we have been contacted by some students that they are supported partly by their parents and their parents' income is affected. The Chancellor made an announcement yesterday 26/03/20 to help self-employed parents who have entered in a tax return and the advice is here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-gives-support-to-millions-of-self-employed-individuals 

Unfortunately, it is difficult for us to assess income with those that are not directly our tenants but we can listen by a case by case basis.  Goverment advice fo Landlords and Tenants is here: 

The goverment advice is here for tenants and landlords:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-support-available-for-landlords-and-renters-reflecting-the-current-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak 

We alo urge you to read advice from Unipol which is a student charity in Leeds. We are a Unipol coded Landlord and have abided by the strict codes to provide students with homes in Leeds. This is probably the most clear and important advice for the students who attend Leeds University, Leeds Beckett University and all the other subsidiaries of the Universities..


https://www.unipol.org.uk/advice/students/coronavirus-advice-for-students-and-landlords

Information for our professional tenants living in our residential properties 

It seems that the government is still finalising their plans for the self-employed but hopefully they will have a firm plan in place shortly.

If you are self-employed or employed we advise that you read the guidelines from the government COVID-19: guidance for employees and ensure that you have clear advices from your employers.

All rental payments are due for the contract period, however, please email us at pickard@pickardproperties.co.uk if you have any concerns regarding meeting these rental payments. 

The goverment advice is here for tenants and landlords:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-support-available-for-landlords-and-renters-reflecting-the-current-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak 

 c) Health and Wellbeing 

Check the NHS website  Coronavirus (COVID-19) and comply with their advice.

Mental wellbeing is important at this time, here are some links to hopefully help you through this time :

 https://www.mindwell-leeds.org.uk/home/information-on-coronavirus 

 and for young people specifically www.mindmate.org.uk

 


ADVICE FOR OUR FUTURE RESIDENTIAL TENANTS DURING THE COViD-19 PANDEMIC

We are prioritising support for our residential lettings customers and with housing moves nearing completion as we do not want to leave anyone homeless. We will ideally, deal with the lead tenant only during this period whilst keeping to the social distancing guidelines and will advise each future tenant how we intend to ensure their move into their new home runs smoothly.

You can continue to contact us on 0113 2746642, and during our usual office hours (Mon-Fri 9-5:30) your call will be diverted to an available member of the team, and at any other time, our Out of Office Support should also still be available for emergencies.

We will be working through general enquiries that are emailed to pickard@pickardproperties.co.uk. Our response times may be inevitably delayed.

If you are a student due to move into a property in July, and in light of the ever-changing developments, we have relaxed the deadline date of 31st March 2020 for paperwork to be completed. Payments for balance of deposits were also due for the 31st March 2020, this deadline has also been relaxed.

Payments can continue to be made online for rent, deposits and invoices by clicking this Payment link.

 


ADVICE FOR OUR COMMERCIAL LEASEHOLDERS/TENANTS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

The chancellor announced yesterday 26/03/20 that further grants are available to help the self-employed who have entered in a tax return. Grants are available and will be backdated to the 01/03/20.

Chancellor gives support to millions of self-employed individuals 

We appreciate that everyone is facing problems with finances, supply chains and drop in footfall, including ourselves. Whilst we would obviously wish to try and support our tenants (especially the smaller traders) when paying rent, we would initially like to ask you to ensure you are taking advantage of any government and local authority assistance that will be on offer, which is set up in order to help protect supply chains.

Rental payments will be due as normal within your contractual lease periods and all rent should be up to date at this time. This unprecedented time of uncertainty will pass and it is what we all do now to manage our finances that will secure all our future business.

We have looked to see what assistance the Government is providing. Obviously large companies are different but for small companies, they are prepared to offer in addition to the latest announcement issued yesterday the chancellor.

(a)   Loans up to £5 million with the Government covering 80% of any losses.  The first 6 months of these will be interest-free but effectively they are loans and I believe will be offered through the clearing banks and will have to be repaid.

(b)  Small businesses will be given a £10,000 grant which will be delivered by the Local Authority in early April.

(c)   Grants of £25,000 will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure operations who operate from premises with a Rateable Value between £15,000 -£51,000 pax.

(d)  There will be no rates payable for the financial year between 2020 and 2021 for retail, hospitality and leisure premises.

For further details, support and advice from the government, please check your local government website. 

COVID-19: support for businesses

Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your individual circumstances, in order to assess if we can be of any help where possible.  We understand it is a difficult time for everybody, including ourselves. 

Telephone: 0113 250 2959

Email: simon@pickardproperties.co.uk

Pickard Properties Ltd

26-30 North Lane
Headingley
Leeds
LS6 3HE