UK Covid19 Lockdown: Only emergency repairs allowed, Landlords and Estate Agents told

The latest advice issued today is that although tradespeople can complete repairs at properties if they take precautions, landlords should avoid face-to-face contact with existing or prospective tenants.

The government has told landlords and letting agents that they should not conduct house viewings or complete routine inspections of properties, but has said that their tradespeople can complete emergency repairs.

See the source imageBut confirmation has yet to come through from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government about essential tasks such as gas safety and electrical equipment testing and whether these will be exempt from the lockdown as ‘essential services’.

It is also understood that ministers are considering whether to allow many of the companies serving the private rented sector to continue doing their work if a property is owned by someone working in frontline health and emergency services.

Until yesterday industry organisation Gas Safe Register was recommending to landlords that they book inspections by an approved engineer as soon as possible if their renewal date was within the next two months.

The organisation says that following the lock-down announcement last night, it is urgently seeking guidance from the Cabinet Office and the Health and Safety Executive about whether residential property safety inspections will be deemed ‘essential services’.

Also, landlords who are refurbishing properties can continue their work as construction sites have also been given the green light as essential service, it was confirmed this morning.

But all this advice from government remains just that – guidance; the necessary legislation to make it an offence to ignore the rules has yet to make its way through parliament, although this is expected to be achieved at any moment.

One grey area is whether landlords can help tenants move into or out of a property; there are a large number of outstanding rental tenancy contracts that were signed and paid for up-front before the Coronavirus shutdown, and now lockdown, gripped the nation.

Source: LandlordZone

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State of emergency declared in Australia due to worst bushfire fire

Authorities in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) have declared a state of emergency as massive bushfires rage south of Canberra.

It is the worst fire threat to the territory in nearly two decades, officials said.

The main blaze, in the territory’s south, is burning over more than 18,500 hectares.

Residents in suburbs of Canberra have been urged to “remain alert” for potential evacuations.

See the source image

“The ACT is now facing the worst bushfire threat since the devastating fires of 2003,” Chief Minister Andrew Barr told reporters on Friday.

“There’s now no higher priority for the ACT government at this time than the bushfire threat.”

The small territory, located between Sydney and Melbourne, has about 400,000 residents.

In 2003, bushfires in the suburbs of Canberra killed four people, injured another 500 and destroyed or damaged 470 homes.

Similar weather conditions were being recorded on Friday, authorities said.

Three US firefighters died on the same day after their aircraft crashed over a fire zone near the city, in the Snowy Mountains region.

Earlier this week, photos of bushfires in the area turning skies red were shared widely on social media.

It prompted authorities to issue warnings against “disaster tourism”, following several reports of people driving near active fire zones to take pictures.

“I want to reinforce the message to disaster tourists they’re not welcome as this fire approaches,” Mr Barr said.

Since September, bushfires in Australia have killed at least 33 people and destroyed thousands of homes. More than 11 million hectares of land has been scorched.

Source: BBC News

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Climate Change: Global flood emergency crisis

Global flood emergency, evacuation, disruption, destruction of properties and even death has been seen all over the world in Europe, Asia, African etc

Europe

UK – Evacuations After Heavy Rain and Floods in Northern and Central England. 8 November, 2019. Parts of northern and central England saw around a month’s worth of rain on 07 November, 2019. Rivers in South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and most of the north of England. Rescuers pull a boat through floodwater in Fishlake, Doncaster

Italy – Parts of the Italian city of Venice have been left under water after the highest tide in more than 50 years. The waters peaked at 1.87m (6ft), according to the tide monitoring centre. Only once since records began in 1923 has the tide been higher, reaching 1.94m in 1966. People wade through water in St Mark's Square

 Asia

India – Monsoon floods hit more than 25 million people in S. Asia By Robin Gomes More than 25 million people are hit by flooding due to the torrential monsoon rains in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Myanmar, with more than half a million people displaced, according to humanitarian groups collaborating with United Nations agencies. Death toll rises to more than 660 in South Asia. Severe floods and lightning kill at least 666 across India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan as monsoon takes its toll.

Japan – At least nine people are reported dead as Japan recovers from its biggest storm in decades. Typhoon Hagibis triggered floods and landslides as it battered the country with wind speeds of 225km/h.

Africa

Mozambique – The floods in Mozambique, one of Africa’s poorest countries, have already destroyed 5,756 homes, affecting 15,467 households and 141,325 people.

Central African Republic – More than 6,000 people have lost their homes to flooding in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic. Heavy rains have worsened the plight of residents following the outburst.

South Africa –  Durban floods; Seventy people died in floods that ravaged parts of the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa’s southeast, local authorities said.

Global Initiatives and actions are required to address one of the critical issues of our time.

 

20 Properties damaged as mains water pipe burst in Tipton UK

A burst water main caused widespread property damage. Discoloured water gushed metres into the air and flooded Park Lane West in Tipton.

A house partially collapse due to the burst main on Monday afternoon (14/102019), South Staffs Water confirmed.

Tipton

Dramatic pictures from Park Lane West in Tipton, Birmingham, showed external walls had given way completely.

Pete Aspley, wholesale service delivery director at South Staffs Water, said: “Due to the burst water main, around 20 properties on Park Lane West appear to have been damaged, one of them severely.

Tipton water burst

“We have a team on site who are working with the emergency services and we are in contact with the people affected.

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