We hope you are surviving this difficult time as best you can.
We wanted to explain the longstanding processes we have in place that allow us to continue to deliver our services safely and efficiently, notwithstanding the COVID-19 pandemic (Coronavirus).
All our systems are fully cloud based so that all members of staff are able to fully and seamlessly operate remotely from home in line with Government advice regarding social distancing. We have had the ability to work in this way for a number of years. At the moment, one member of staff attends each office daily by a safe and short journey to open, scan and send, physical post where necessary. We otherwise operate paperless offices.
As long as we have internet access there should be no disruption to our services and support.
You can contact us by telephone on 01273 761 990 9:00am to 5:30pm on normal business days and emails are constantly monitored during business hours. Email us at [email protected] if needed. Aside from usual business hours in reality our emails may well be monitored in evenings, at weekends, and during Public Holidays and you will often find us able to respond outside traditional hours.
We recognise that in some cases we are an emergency service and so we continue to be fully prepared to help at very short notice.
Where large bundles of documents need to be delivered and collected we have always arranged this at our own expense where appropriate. All the time we can access courier services this will continue. As we are paperless and electronic we prefer to receive documents via Dropbox and/or WeTransfer services- both of which are free and efficient ways to send large volumes of documents to us.
Guidance issued today confirms that the courts in which we operate will be remaining open, and will soon be exclusively conducted by video and/or remotely including by telephone. We have all the equipment necessary to facilitate this. There will of course be some delay at the courts, but we do not expect this to be significant as access to justice is rightly considered extremely important. As an example we have today been advised to expect approximately 10 working day processing times for post. Email, which we more commonly use, being quicker. Any delay will be slightly frustrating but these are not significant turnaround times in the context of the current situation.
The government has announced emergency legislation, yet to become law but expected imminently, to suspend evictions for 3 months. The details of this are, as yet, unknown. We will of course keep this under review and will update landlords, agents and investors subscribed to our email lists and social media feeds as well as website visitors as the position becomes clearer over time. In the meantime it is important to note that the vast majority of disputes continue to be resolved by the courts including by video hearings and telephone using arrangements that have been in place for some time.
We hope the above is useful but if you have any queries please contact us or any member of our team who will be happy to help. We hope you all stay safe.
Jonathan, Alex and the rest of the Helix Law team.