The coronavirus is affecting all of us, and it’s becoming evident it will be with us for a while. We have refined our health and safety policy so we can continue delivering exemplary service.
Many of our clients are unaware how Covid-19 affects the way we do our probate work. We share the information here, because it’s in everybody’s interests to keep the infection rate as low as possible.
When Covid-19 Affects the Way We Do Our Probate Work
We assist private clients and probate solicitors with estate valuations. This is pretty much hands-on stuff and may include a hoarder’s house clearance despite the possible presence of the virus. Quite often these are homes where elderly people lived. Some of them were compulsive hoarders who left their homes in a neglected state.
The virus pandemic means we can no longer send our people in to value an estate’s assets on the turn. We have to follow best health and safety practice first in the light of the way our world is changing. A thorough risk analysis reveals three ways in which the SARS-CoV-2 virus causing the disease poses a risk to all in our profession:
1… Any one of us may be carrying the virus during dormant phase, despite our best efforts to avoid contracting the infection
2… We must therefore follow recommended personal hygiene practice to avoid spreading contamination as best we can
3… The virus could already be in the house before we enter. We could take it with us when we leave if we don’t take extra care.
How Covid-19 Affects Our Work Before We Start
At Avery Associates we understand that safety begins with us as individuals, and we have an imperative to take extra care. We probably have a better chance of contracting the disease in the supermarket, than in our close-knit teams doing probate valuations and hoarded house clearances.
We promote this trust by ensuring each of us wears a fresh face mask every day, and receives a sealed pair of disposable gloves for wearing according to government standards.
Managing the Risks of Infected Surfaces
We know we can’t clean every surface of a home to NHS standards. However, there are things we can do to mitigate the risk, and the greatest of these is knowledge.
We know the SARS-Cov-2 virus causing the disease can’t live for long outside a human host. If we work beyond this time frame we should therefore stand a far lower risk of infection. That’s an attack by one of these microscopic cells a hundred times smaller than the thickness of a human hair …
Information We Rely On to Plan Our Protection
John Hopkins University is a premier American institution with deep roots in infectious diseases. It updated critical information in March 2020 concerning the life cycle of the virus outside a human body.
We use this information to mitigate how Covid-19 affects the way we do our probate work in houses. In practice, these have been standing empty for longer than that, but it gives us an added measure of comfort knowing we should be safer from the virus after 72 hours.
Other than that, the information is thin on this particular virus because it is still unfolding. Hence we rely of information provided by Web Md regarding the influence of various surface types on earlier, better understood strains of the coronavirus.
1… In a worst case scenario a coronavirus can survive for 5 days on smooth surfaces like jewellery, silverware and door knobs
2… Wooden furniture and floors have a risk factor of 4 days compared to 3 days for plastic switches and plastic packaging
3… The virus only survives on stainless steel surfaces for 2 to 3 days, although it can live for 5 days on glass and ceramic surfaces
4… However, it should be gone forever on shipping boxes, copper, and aluminium objects within 24 hours.
In practice we prefer a home to be sealed for a week before we arrive for a probate valuation, or a hoarder’s house clearance as the case may be.
Covid-19 Affects Our Clients and The Way We Do Our Work
The Covid-19 outbreak has disrupted all our lives. We encounter this among our probate clients regularly, especially if there’s a need to finalise an estate quickly, or arrange a hoarded house clearance to satisfy urgent health and safety standards.
The short answer is yes, we are in business. Although we appreciate your patience while we get the safety requirements in place before we meet. Then we can enter the house safely together, and leave without contracting an infection.
However, many clients – nowadays and for obvious reasons – trust us to complete the probate inspection on their behalf, and report back on what we found. In that case we take copious photographs and videos, so it’s almost as good as if they were there.
If you do decide to join us – and you are naturally most welcome – then we ask you to comply with the following procedures to keep us as safe as humanly possible.
1… Please do not attend an inspection if you have any flu-like symptoms and / or a temperature
2… We will put the inspection on hold if any of us have the slightest suspicion we might be infected ourselves
3… Bring your own face protection, gloves and any other personal protective gear you feel you need
4… Wash your hands thoroughly before you don your gloves. Wear them and your face mask at all times during the visit
5… Try to avoid touching anything while there. You don’t want to transfer a virus from a vase to an intricate piece such as this:
We’ll all remind each other of our duty to dispose of our wearables safely and responsibly when the inspection is complete. However, Covid-19 affects the way we do our hoarders’ house clearances quite differently, because of the chaos we usually encounter.
We suggest we walk through the house together as best as we can in this instance, taking notes, and photographs of anything of value. Our hoarded house clearance team will take over after that. They will set any objects aside that may have value, while they concentrate on getting rid of the accumulated rubbish.
Sound Reasons to Consider Avery Associates
Avery Associates are registered property valuers providing comprehensive probate valuation and property clearance services. We work with private clients, and probate solicitors who appreciate our efficient, go-to-it approach.
We have a team of probate valuers accredited to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Allow us to take the burden off your shoulders by calling 0208 640 0044 when convenient. Probate valuation and house clearances don’t have to be a challenge now you know we are here to help.
Covid-19 affects the way we do our probate work, but not the quality of our service. Let’s work together and chart a course through these difficult times.