COVID-19:

Re-starting your business
guidance for property owners

Further to the 10 things to consider when re-starting your business, there is specific guidance for property owners. The business operations and activities of your tenants may have changed and so risk management measures should all be re-assessed and adapted accordingly.

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  • If you have furloughed staff (caretakers, security, grounds maintenance and / or office personnel, for example) you’ll need to consider the timeframe agreed for bringing them back, so allow for this in your planning arrangements.
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  • Consider methods and timing of communications with tenants, managing agents, employees and contractors around re-opening, re-starting procedures, inspections and viewings and associated expectations. 
  • Communicate expectations to managing agents, tenants and appointed contractors (utilities, fire safety, water safety, general premises management and cleaning for example), ensuring that where appropriate they have completed a review of their own risk assessments, safe systems of work / work procedures and understand your proposals and plans around re-opening / permitting occupancy. Any tenants operating in sectors where government regulation and guidance confirms that they should remain closed for the time being, must not be permitted to open.
  • Address maintenance and inspection issues, and the practicalities of managing challenges relating to social and physical distancing. In advance of re-opening / re-occupancy, verify that tenants also have their own arrangements in place. 
  • Undertake a thorough inspection of your site, liaising with appointed managing agents and contractors as appropriate. Require all tenants to complete inspections of the areas they occupy including utility services (see above), machinery / plant / equipment, emergency back-up systems and safety equipment, again to establish and correct any unsafe or abnormal conditions etc. 
  • Complete and reinstate any inspection, testing and maintenance procedures (including those of a statutory nature) that may have lapsed since the shutdown, incorporating utility services, machinery / plant (for example passenger lifts and escalators), emergency systems etc. Our equipment checklist may assist you, in addition to external guidance such as that provided by the HSE.  
  • Have suitable arrangements for the management of inspections and viewings been considered, recognising the need to comply with regulations and the latest guidance provided by the UK Government and devolved institutions?
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  • Establish pre and post re-opening cleaning, disinfection and sanitisation of all customer, visitor facing, staff and communal areas. Areas for particular focus include touch points such as washing facilities, toilet flush and seats, door handles, push plates, hand rails and equipment used by employees (grounds maintenance equipment for example).
  • Observe and enforce COVID-19 restrictions in line with government regulations and guidance, with reference to both employees and others (managing agents, tenants, customers and contractors for example) potentially impacted by your activities and including for example those relevant to cleaning, disinfection and sanitisation, welfare provision, social distancing, protective equipment and travel to work. 
  • Review existing risk assessments, safe systems of work / work procedures and actions to ensure these remain relevant to the operation of your business and that you are taking all the appropriate measures to ensure a safe environment for your employees, tenants, appointed managing agents, customers and contractors. 
  • Where you, your managing agents, appointed contractors or tenants business operations and activities have changed, new risk assessments should be completed and the results and consequent actions shared with employees (including any temporary and agency personnel), other tenants, visitors and contractors. 
  • Fire, security, general premises safety (including management of slip, trip and fall risks) and COVID-19 specific precautions should be included in your review, implementing changes and / or enhancements where necessary to maintain an appropriate level of protection.
  • Can appointed managing agents and / or contractors (maintenance and inspection of buildings, plant and machinery for example) meet your requirements pre and post opening?
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The risk management information and guidance provided herein is not intended to be advice for any specific requirements.

Readers should seek further advice when dealing with their individual and particular situations. Allianz Insurance plc shall have no liability for any action taken as a result of and in reliance on the information contained in this document. The information contained in this document is correct at date of going to print and may be subject to change at any time.  All rights reserved