Surveyors at national valuations firm, SDL Surveying, have begun physical inspections with new safety procedures in place designed to protect its surveyors and consumers.
From today, and where appropriate, desktop valuations will now be replaced by physical inspections for SDL’s staff and network surveyors, with remote valuations returning to the minority, due to the return of physical surveys.
The firm has also announced that its surveyors and booking team have now been brought out of furlough in order to begin working through its lender clients’ backlog of physical inspections. From today, SDL is able to book valuation appointments for both existing and new cases.
All SDL surveyors will adopt a specific post-lockdown inspection procedure – already approved by SDL’s lender clients – and each has received their own Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), which was hand-delivered to them earlier this week at a number of socially-distanced meeting points across the country.
As inspections begin to take place, SDL Surveying has said it will keep abreast of guidance from both the government and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), plus it will listen to feedback from its surveyors in order to amend and refine its procedures accordingly.
SDL Surveying said the number of physical inspections it would be able to carry out would depend on a number of factors but anticipated there was a strong appetite from consumers to allow these to go ahead.
Simon Jackson (pictured), managing director of SDL Surveying, said: “We are very pleased to announce the immediate recommencement of physical inspections and to say that, from today, our surveyors will be visiting properties in order to carry these out in a controlled and safe fashion.
“The nature of the threat from Covid-19 means that safety is of paramount importance which is why we’ve put in place a new full inspection procedure that each surveyor will be using on every job.
“This follows current safety guidance, has been approved by our lender clients, and means we can start inspecting properties from today in order to get those cases moving through the system again.
“A significant amount of work has gone into this from the SDL team and we believe it demonstrates our commitment to our bank and building society partners and a shared desire to get the market moving again. We are anticipating a large volume of backlog cases to be completed over the next seven to 10 days which is why we have moved all our surveyors and booking team out of furlough in order to make sure we get through this work as quickly as possible.
“These are of course early days but this is a major step forward on the road back to normality and it is testament to the planning and preparedness of the SDL Surveying team that we can begin inspections today and produce the mortgage valuations which consumers, mortgage brokers and lenders are waiting for.”