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TSP

TSP COVID-19
PROPERTY MANAGEMENT POLICY

Date
4th August 2020
-
PREPARED BY
Abigail Burt BSc MSc FRICS
Director

Download this policy as a printable PDF

Last updated: 4th August 2020

Purpose and Scope

At TSP we recognise the challenges involved in operating buildings whilst living with the COVID-19 pandemic. Our priority is to take practical steps that reduce the risk of the virus entering and spreading throughout buildings under management. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that the virus will not enter any of our properties, but we will do our utmost to work with occupiers to hopefully keep it away.

The majority of our commercial buildings under management have remained open during the pandemic, however most occupiers have worked from home. Occupiers are however returning to their properties and so now it is our priority to ensure that all properties under management remain as safe as possible as more individuals return to the office.

It should however be noted that occupiers do have a responsibility for their employees and if you have not already done so, you should carry out an assessment of the risks posed by COVID-19 in your workplace as soon as possible.

With our residential properties, all properties have remained open and our priority is to maintain safe and clean communal areas.

This policy relates to the communal areas within the properties TSP manages and outlines the procedures in place for ensuring TSP minimise the risk of COVID-19 entering and spreading throughout these buildings.

Our Approach

Our Property Management team, led by our Board of Directors, are following the steps below in maintaining safe and clean communal areas;

1. Strategy Development

This step involves the full review of the communal areas of each property under management and includes the preparation of risk assessments and building action plans for each individual property.

The risk assessments and building action plans are prepared by our Facilities Manager and Board of Directors, and take into consideration government guidance, property requirements and re-occupation strategies.

2. Implementation

Where Building Managers are in buildings, they are fully briefed on the building action plan relevant to their property and are working with the Property Management team to implement the strategy developed.

Where there is no Building Manager on site, our Facilities Manager and Property Manager are working together to implement the strategy developed with contractors and our team.

Strategies adopted will depend on the risk assessment and building action plan of the individual building and will include; social distancing, cleaning regimes and management of external parties.

3. Review

The situation is continually changing and the risk assessments and building action plans implemented will need to be reviewed regularly to ensure they align with the latest requirements. There will be two elements within this stage;

  1. Review of government advice
    • The government has provided comprehensive advice to occupiers and our team will review the advice weekly, as a minimum, as well as any ad hoc
  1. Review of the property and its strategy
    • Occupancy rates of the commercial properties will vary over the coming months as staff return to their places of work. The alteration in numbers working in the building is likely to impact the steps implemented and our team will be reviewing occupation numbers and their anticipated impacts
    • This is a situation none of us have been in previously. We will all follow the guidance provided, however sometimes reality does not always match up to the plans. We will therefore ensure that all steps implemented are regularly reviewed to ensure that they are practical and serving their purpose.

The risk assessments and building action plan will therefore be reviewed weekly, as a minimum, to take these elements into consideration.

If any alterations are identified, these will be included within the property’s risk assessment, building action plan and the overall policy. The most up to date policy will be available on our website (www.tspuk.com) for all occupiers to review.

4. Communication

It is fundamental for everyone to be working together. Our team will therefore maintain regular contact with all occupiers and the Head of Property Management will be sending a weekly email with updates and FAQs to all occupiers.

The policy will be distributed to all occupiers and the most up to date policy will be available on our website www.tspuk.com

If there are any known cases within your demise, you must inform TSP as soon as possible at covid19@tspuk.com.

It is important we hear from occupiers. Occupiers are on the ground and living with the steps we have implemented, and so we welcome feedback on issues or concerns occupiers may have, so we can make any necessary changes.

We also need to be kept updated on occupiers plans, to ensure the properties can safely accommodate all occupiers. Our team will therefore be in regular contact with commercial occupiers to understand their plans.

If occupiers have any concern in regards to COVID-19 at their property, we have a dedicated email address for all COVID-19 related matters to be sent to covid19@tspuk.com

Building Action Plans

Each building’s action plan is based on the risk assessment and this policy, and addresses the practical steps to reduce the risk of the virus entering and spreading throughout buildings under management. The following elements are considered in all Building Action Plans;

Communal areas and associated risks

Access
Where possible, a one-way flow will be implemented through the communal entrances and exits and defined via signage. If a one-way flow is not possible, signage will be provided to remind occupiers of social distancing advice.

Where occupiers have alternative means of access direct to their demise, this should be utilised to reduce footfall within main reception areas.

Car Park
Social Distancing measures will apply within car parks, so occupiers will need to be mindful when accessing and using the car park. Intercoms, proximity readers and touch points will be cleaned to ensure these areas are sanitised for motorists using the car park.

Crowd Management
Whilst every effort will be made to ensure continuous movement, there may be times where this proves difficult, especially in areas of limited space. Occupiers are therefore asked to only use the communal areas for essential trips within the building and TSP shall keep occupiers informed of any peak times so busy periods can be avoided.

Signage and floor markers will indicate where occupiers may need to queue in the event of waiting.

Cycle Store
Where there is a cycle store, cyclists are asked to maintain social distancing guidance and only one cyclist to be in the cycle store at a time. Where possible, cycle racks may be closed in part to allow social distancing.

Hand sanitiser and anti-bac wipes will be available in cycle stores for occupiers to use.

Kitchen
Where tenants have alternative arrangements or access to a fridge, kitchens will be closed for the foreseeable future. If alternative arrangements are not available, kitchens will remain open, but access will be restricted to one user at any one time.

Where kitchens remain open, bins will either be replaced with hand free sensor lids or lids will be removed.

Lifts
Due to the size of lifts within our properties, the number of users of the lift at a time will be restricted and the recommended number of users will be detailed in signage at each site. If there are more users than those recommended to enter the lift, it is recommended that occupiers are patient and wait for the next lift.

Occupiers will be encouraged to use the stairs, for those who are able to use them. Hand sanitiser will be provided within the vicinity of lifts.

Reception
In buildings where reception desks are present, screens will be installed at the reception desks to protect staff, and reception staff will be provided with PPE.

Reception staff will sign in all visitors and hand sanitiser will be available on the reception desk for staff and visitors.

Any furniture located within a reception area will be reduced to comply with social distancing and cleaned regularly.

Smoking Areas
Where smoking areas are present, occupiers will be reminded to maintain social distancing when using the smoking areas.

Stairwell
At all times occupiers should maintain social distancing when using the stairwell.

Where possible, a one way use of the stairwells will be implemented, however where this is not possible we recommend that occupiers are patient and wait to use the stairs in a manner that will be in accordance with the social distancing recommendations.

WCs
In order to keep 2m distance, some urinals, wash hand basins and hand dryers, may be closed off where possible.

Occupiers are asked to close the toilet seat before flushing, as scientists have warned that particles can be spread through flushing and so could pose a risk to the transmission of the virus.

Where showers are present, they will be cleaned within the usual regime, however anti-bac wipes and hand sanitiser will be provided and users will be required to wipe down the handles following use of the showers. Users will not be permitted to leave any of their belongings within the shower area.

PPE for building staff and contractors

Building staff will be provided with PPE, including face masks and gloves.

All contractors instructed by TSP will be required to provide and utilise their own PPE. If they are unable to provide PPE suitable for the job they are undertaking, they will not be permitted to enter the property.

Signage and wayfinding

Signage will be present throughout all communal areas to inform occupiers to comply with social distancing guidance and the recommended steps in place.

Floor stickers will be used to mark communal areas to remind occupiers to comply with social distancing, and signage will be present at lifts to inform users of the number of users permitted.

Signage will also be utilised within any communal WCs to remind occupiers to wash their hands for 20 seconds and indicate if any urinals, wash hand basins or hand dryers are out of use.

At all hand sanitiser points, signage will be present to remind occupiers and visitors to use the hand sanitiser present. Signage will also be present in shower rooms and cycle stores to encourage users to use the anti-bac wipes provided.

Cleaning and hand sanitisers

Contact surfaces
Contact surfaces and surfaces that have the most use will be a main focus within the communal areas. This includes door handles, handrails, entry points and lift buttons.

Deep clean
Where there are main reception areas and communal areas, a deep clean will be undertaken before the majority of occupiers return.

External cleaning
External cleaning will be carried out as per usual, however any contact surfaces will be cleaned more regularly.

Frequency
Where resources allow, the frequency of cleaning within communal areas has been increased.

Hand sanitiser units
Hand sanitiser will be provided at entrances, reception desks, within the vicinity of lifts, cycle stores and showers, and occupiers and visitors are encouraged to use hand sanitiser when moving around the property.

Anti-bac wipes will also be available in cycle stores and showers for occupiers to use.

Managing external parties

Contractors
All contractors instructed will be required to have policies implemented in line with current government advice to ensure safe working practices are adhered to.

If access is required to an occupied floor, contractors will be required to wear full PPE before entering any occupied areas and will ensure the area is clear and sanitised before leaving.

Where possible, intrusive maintenance inspections will be completed outside of normal working hours to reduce physical contact with occupiers.

Deliveries
Occupiers are required to organise deliveries direct to their demise. Clear instructions must be provided to the delivery company. Packages cannot be left in communal areas.

Where there are communal post boxes, occupiers are required to collect their own post.

We recommend occupiers have an area within their demise to sanitise deliveries before being distributed and encourage occupiers to prohibit personal deliveries to minimise exposure from external parties.

Visitors
In line with government advice, non-essential meetings should be conducted virtually to reduce the number of visitors to a property.

If a visitor is required to visit the property, occupiers are responsible to ensure they have received confirmation that the visitor is not experiencing any COVID-19 related symptoms or been in contact with anyone that has. They are also responsible to reiterate to visitors the steps in place at the building being visited.

When making arrangements with visitors, please ensure you provide detailed instructions to direct the visitor to your demise and prevent them from waiting in reception areas.

Occupier’s Responsibility

As per the government’s advice, those who can work from home should work from home, if possible, and the minimum number of employees should be in the workplace.

For those who are utilising the properties under management, our team will be doing their upmost to ensure occupiers are provided with safe and clean communal areas, however the way in which occupiers manage their demise and employees/residents behaviour, especially in the communal areas, will have an impact. Everyone therefore needs to work together to assist in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

The following steps should therefore be adhered to by occupiers;

  • Where possible, remain 2m apart
  • Where is it not possible to remain 2m apart, employees should work side by side or facing away from each other, rather than face to face, if possible
  • Where face to face contact is essential, this should be kept to 15 minutes or less wherever possible
  • Everyone should wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer, especially when they get home, come into work, blow your nose, sneeze, cough, to eat or handle
  • Everyone should avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth
  • Everyone should cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the bin and wash their hands
  • Those attending the property should only do so if they are well and no one in their house is self-isolating
  • Close contact with people who have symptoms should be avoided
  • Where possible, stairs should be used instead of lifts
  • Circulation space should only be used as circulation space and people should not loiter or meet within these areas

Process if an individual has COVID-19 symptoms

As soon as an occupier is aware of an employee or tenant displaying symptoms of COVID-19, they must inform TSP immediately via covid19@tspuk.com

As soon as TSP have been informed, occupiers within the building will be informed via email and a deep clean will be instructed for the floor the individual resides.

Process if an individual has been diagnosed with COVID-19

As soon as an occupier is aware of an employee or tenant being diagnosed with COVID-19, they must inform TSP immediately via covid19@tspuk,com.

As soon as TSP have been informed, all occupiers within the building will be informed via email and a full deep clean of the property will be instructed. The building will also be closed immediately and TSP will update occupiers of when they can safely return to the property.

In the event of more than one employee within their workplace having a confirmed case of COVID-19, it is the tenant’s responsibility to inform PHE of the outbreak. The tenant is also required to inform TSP, so that TSP can work with PHE and implement any recommended additional steps within the communal areas.

In the event of more than one tenant within a building having a confirmed case of COVID-19, TSP will report the outbreak to PHE and will work with them to implement any additional steps within the communal areas in addition to communicating all steps and additional information to all occupiers within the building.

Process if an individual has been diagnosed with COVID-19

If there is a local lockdown, TSP will review all instructions received from the authorities on the restrictions. Any required steps will be implemented within the properties in the local lockdown area and the occupiers of those properties informed of these steps accordingly.

Next Review

11th August 2020

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