ILC ARTICLE

Martin Oldroyd, Managing Director of The Alternative Accommodation Agency, shares his thoughts on the industry in lockdown


The Lockdown – 6th Week.  Where are we at?

We have entered our sixth week of following the UK Government’s lockdown instructions. Has anything changed in terms of alternative accommodation? The short answer is no, although we are starting to see some changes in the pipeline.

For the past five weeks we have been in a continuing state of ‘limbo’ – effectively almost everyone who was in alternative accommodation has been required to remain there, at least for the time being. There are a number of reasons for this; primarily their own property simply has not been able to be completed; but also, even where properties are ready to return to we have been unable to arrange removals back to the customer’s home. And there are obvious situations where vulnerable customers need to be shielded and a return home might pose an unjustified risk to their health.

Thankfully, the lockdown situation has severely reduced the demand for accommodation in the UK and we are generally able to extend accommodation without difficulty. That might change as we ‘loosen’ the lockdown grip and particularly holiday type short-term accommodation owners may soon start to accept summer bookings.  Hopefully that will coincide with the re-opening of many hotels so that the overall supply of accommodation remains constant. But that is a potential issue.

Interestingly, this week one of our removal and storage suppliers indicated they are considering next week accepting urgent removals on a case by case basis so that they can assess the risks to their staff. Even with PPE the logistics of moving furniture in very closed spaces raises obvious concerns. This is seemingly mirroring plans to return to work of some description for many other industries, the construction industry being one.

It might also signal the slow and measured return to some form of normality in respect of the Property Claims industry in general.

Interestingly, this week one of our removal and storage suppliers indicated they are considering next week accepting urgent removals on a case by case basis so that they can assess the risks to their staff.

Martin Oldroyd, Managing Director - The Alternative Accommodation Agency

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