A YORK branch of a residential letting and sales agency has re-opened after putting into place strict safety measures to protect its staff and customers.

Managers of Linley & Simpson sent team members a detailed ‘back to work guide’ and boxes of Personal Protective Equipment, including face masks, gloves, hand-sanitisers and wipes.

The move comes on the back of the Government announcement that estate agents could resume business in a bid to help kick-start the economy.

Will Linley, chief executive, said: “With a continuing rise in the number of enquiries, the government had made the right decision, even if it took the industry slightly by surprise, as we were all working to a timetable of June 1.

"The level of interest in our vacant properties has been steadily gathering pace over the last few weeks, which proves reopening now is the correct thing to do.

“Thanks to our investment in technology, we have been able to complete transactions during the lockdown for key workers without there being any form of physical contact – from the virtual tour to the electronic signing of contracts."

“Further investment throughout the lockdown period has now enabled us to offer all of our new listings a floorplan, video tour and space planner as standard.

“This should help enquirers shortlist homes more effectively and reduce the need to view unnecessarily, thus reducing contact and possible contamination.”

Each Linley and Simpson branch will only allow a certain number of visitors/customers including contractors into the office at any one time, dependent on the physical space available in each location.

These rules will be displayed on the entrance door and within the office space. The company has also posted information for landlords and potential clients about its new working practices, including viewings and valuations on its website.

Mr Linley added: “The welfare of staff and customers is of paramount importance to us, and we will be rigidly following government and industry guidelines in our offices and clients’ properties.

“Not all our staff will be returning at once, it will be done in a phased manner, which will also assist with ‘social distancing’.

“If we have to undertake any viewings other than virtual ones, these will be strictly controlled and follow best safety practice to minimise any risk of infection.”