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Amazing Stories of Compassion during Covid

16 April 2020 Terry Fisher Read time: 4 min
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Terry Fisher

We've been hearing lots of lovely stories about our partners going above and beyond for renters in this difficult time, and we'd love to share them with you. Every little bit of good news helps at the moment, which is why these stories should bring some joy in a climate where there is far too much gloom for anyone’s liking. 

It’s an uncertain time for some renters and, while the government announced protection, it’s still good to see people doing their part to make the lives of others a little bit easier. That’s why we’ve put together a collection of stories revealing how some letting agents are helping renters right now.    

So, read on and find out who’s stepped up in this time of need. These are the real superstars who are truly #doingitfortherenters 🦸‍♂️

West Hampstead agent, Paramount Properties, are working to create a feel-good vibe by giving back to the local community. 

"At Paramount we’ve always been committed to using our resources to help our community, because we know that it’s the right thing to do. In this unprecedented situation we want to provide practical help in a way that makes a difference.
We have a small team delivering necessities to those who are self-isolating, we’re working on a case-by-case basis with tenants facing financial difficulties, and we’re working with landlords on ways to reduce their costs so they can adapt. One landlord was financially able to pause rent on his 15 properties for two months - amazing news that came at just the right time for many tenants.
For the past 7 years we’ve been a drop-off point for local food banks, and we’re now using social media to encourage donations at this crucial time. We’re also supporting local initiatives that are doing everything they can to support the community

🎩Hats off to the people of Paramount and the anonymous landlord. We’re not crying; you’re crying. 

CBRE is one of the largest commercial estate services in the world, so it’s great to see everyone on the team doing their bit for the amazing NHS workers. 

“CBRE is assisting the NHS by facilitating engagement with clients and contacts in the real estate market across the UK, to satisfy their immediate need for additional premises and parking facilities. We are seeking to identify suitable properties within close proximity to an NHS or Private Hospital, which could be occupied by the NHS for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The greatest needs at the current time are car parking to enable NHS staff to access hospitals quickly, overnight beds for staff and storage facilities within a 15-minute walk of an NHS hospital.”

We’re proud to call CBRE a partner as they continue their hunt to find accommodation and additional parking opportunities for the NHS and its superheroes. That’s right; we’re calling the NHS superheroes now. 🦸‍

Bloomsbury Estates, who deal with rentals and private estate management, are doing their part for people who have found themselves stuck in London during or are having to stay away from their families during the lockdown. 

"We have had a lot of requests for longer stays for people who need temporary accommodation, effective immediately we are offering 50% off bookings over 10 nights across our portfolio, ranging from 1 beds to 4 beds in and around London: Angel, Shoreditch, Holborn, Bloomsbury. Please inbox us with any questions, we are on standby to help.”

“The NHS are doing a fantastic job. If they are on the front line sometimes they are required to stay away from their own families. When we saw a picture of a nurse/doctor in a tent in his own garage away from his family, we knew we needed to do something to help

At a time where short-stay accommodation is vital for many (especially those in the NHS), it’s fantastic to see Bloomsbury Estates offer their properties for half price.  👩‍⚕️ 👨‍⚕️ 

X1 has a range of co-living developments in the north of England, including Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester. Since the lockdown, they’ve been making sure renters aren’t let feeling anxious and isolated. 

“Our marketing department has revised a new strategy simply focusing on constant, clear communication with tenants. We are providing weekly check in calls with tenants, just a simple friendly chat and catch up to check they are ok, if they need anything and simply just to help them hear a familiar voice as many live alone.

This is a time of uncertainty for many, and it can be lonely for those living by themselves. We love the fact that X1 is checking up on their renters to make sure everything is ok. 💪

North London agent Martyn Gerrard is also doing all it can to help the NHS during this time, while waving agent fees for landlords housing NHS staff members.

"Waiving our commission during this pandemic was actually a really easy decision to make. Following Simon Gerrard’s interview on the BBC, we have been overwhelmed with the response from landlords willing to help the NHS.

"We are all in this together and waiving commission to landlords who want to help just seemed like the right thing to do. So if any doctors, nurses or anyone else working for the NHS chose to take a short term rental through Martyn Gerrard, they would get the best deal and the landlord would not need to think about our fees either.  

Following the interview, I have also been approached by tenants and landlords who are not yet clients or customers of Martyn Gerrard for practical lettings advice as they find themselves in unchartered waters. Some stories have been truly humbling and I am just glad that I could help."

The NHS employees have been sensational, and we're thrilled that agents like Martyn Gerrard are helping them out when it comes to housing. 

Ascend, who specialise in the West Midlands and north of England, is showing its gratitude to the NHS by going blue. 

“In recognition of our NHS superheroes, we thought we’d go blue! We’re often known for our strong purple branding in the market but as a simple gesture to thank the fantastic National Health Service, we wanted to fly the flag blue to spread awareness of their incredible work during this time.

“As home providers across Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, and the West Midlands, many of our residents are NHS staff as well as other key workers. The message we want to get across is that all of us at Ascend are so grateful to those working tirelessly to fight this virus as a nation. By dressing ourselves in blue we hope this small token of appreciation will give the NHS the credit it deserves!”

The NHS are the real heroes of these strange times we find ourselves in, and it’s fantastic to see so many agents up and down the country show their appreciation. 

Doing it for renters

Now, more than ever, is a time for good news. While the NHS put in heroic efforts, the key workers up and down the country keep things ticking over, and we all do our part by staying at home, it's great to see key businesses in the housing market do their bit too. 

We’re proud to partner with those who have taken action so far. And we’ll keep adding to this as more agents reveal their plans to help. #staysafe. 

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