25 Mar 2020
Following the latest advice from the UK and Scottish governments, Aberdein Considine has temporarily closed all of its offices to the public.
As the Coronavirus outbreak accelerates towards its peak, all of us need to take action now to save lives and help our NHS.
We have implemented home working and continue to transact essential work safely. This is tried and tested and means we can continue to deliver our core services with little interruption.
Our Customer Service, Property Management and support teams have adapted to home working without loss of service or opening times and our digital approach is proving to be invaluable in keeping us open for business.
However, the restrictions on social contact will mean disruption to some of our business areas, property in particular.
We have several hundred property transactions due to settle in the weeks ahead. However, the Registers of Scotland have taken the decision to suspend the registration of deeds.
This includes dispositions, standard securities and discharges of standard securities. We are therefore unable to register sale and purchase deeds – which in turn means that we are unable to comply with funder conditions in respect of borrowing.
The Law Society of Scotland and the Registers of Scotland have recommended that solicitors should not settle conveyancing transactions at present.
However, both organisations have been working urgently on a solution, which could be in place by the end of the week, to allow transactions to resume.
We will update clients as soon as we have more information.
Our property and conveyancing teams remain operational and we have people on hand to talk you through what's happening and take instructions.
All face-to-face valuation and viewing appointments have been suspended while the government’s advice is to stay at home. This will be reviewed should that advice change.
However, should homeowners wish to use their smartphone or tablet to show viewers around their property, we can facilitate this. Our mission has always been to connect home sellers and buyers - this will not change.
With large parts of the population at home, social media use has increased dramatically. This is a great opportunity to get the properties we are selling in front of even more people.
We are increasing our blogs, email marketing and social media posts from today to help maximise exposure for our clients and generate a pipeline of potential buyers.
The Scottish Association of Landlords has been liaising with the Scottish Government, and based upon their advice, the following activities should still go ahead where possible:
All will be done in line with the latest advice on social distancing and personal hygiene to reduce the spread of the virus. Wherever possible, all activity will be carried out without the tenant being present.
Property inspections have been deemed unnecessary at present and will not be carried out.
In line with the latest government advice, many of our lawyers and advisers are working remotely from home.
Our usual contact telephone numbers and email addresses will remain in use and you should see little impact on response times.
Our teams strictly adhere to ISO 27001 quality assurance, data protection and information security policies and procedures at all times, which means that no matter where they are, your information is safe.
We have a centralised contact centre where clients can reach us on 0333 0044 333. This line is open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, and from 9.30am to 12.30pm on Saturday.
We also have a 24-hour helpline (0333 0045 999) available for tenants to report any issues, as well as a website (acandco.com/tenant-help).
We will issue further updates as more information becomes available.