AA - May 2020

Author:  STBB
25 May 2020

BE READY TO OPEN YOUR DOORS:  YOUR REQUIRED POLICY

In anticipation that estate agents may commence normal businesses operations in the very near future, we share a generic draft AGENCY COVID POLICY document with the relevant questionnaires . You can adapt it as necessary for your agency, so that you can open doors immediately when allowed to do so, knowing that you are compliant with the regulations.

Note that:

  1. We have not yet seen the Level 3 Regulations or any guidance issued for real estate practitioners, so the CPP document may have to be amended;
  2. In terms of the current Level 4 Regulations (and we are sure this will be a requirement in terms of Level 3), the organisation must appoint one Covid Compliance Officer who will ensure the following:
    • That each office (whether branch or licensee) has someone who will:
        i. Take temperatures of both the employees and clients, as they arrive,and record the results daily on a register;
      • ii. Keep these records filed and easily accessible in case of infection;
      • iii. Ask that employees fill out the ASSESSMENT FORM once a week and keep these filed in the office;
      • iv. Ask that clients fill out the ASSESSMENT FORM before each and every viewing or before any other appointment where exposure is possible (in the office our outside).
    • Purchasing at least one thermometer which is to be used as mentioned above;
  1. In terms of the current regulations, it is the employer’s responsibility to supply the employees with two face masks.
  2. The ASSESSMENT FORMS are very important as this is the proof that the NICD and Department of Health will need to access when and if someone tests positive in the office. Without it, liability for the company increases. If answers to any of the questions in the ASSESSMENT is yes, then it is very important to get more information and write it down in order to decide whether exposure to that person is wise, or whether further action should be taken. It would be best if the client assessment form is signed before the appointment. We suggest that, if an agent visits a client’s house, every person who lives in that house must complete the assessment form, even if they are not around for the appointment.
  3. Check the inclusion in the guidelines when the following happens (and adjust as necessary):
  • High risk exposure when someone (either employee or client) confirms that they have had direct contact with someone who tested positive;
  • Low risk exposure when you were simply in the presence of someone who tested positive (like having shopped at Woolworths or Clicks and then finding out, two days later, that they shut the shop for decontamination);
  • What to do in these instances;
  • What to do when you have any of the symptoms;
  • When you will be obliged to go for a test;
  • When you will be obliged to go to the doctor;
  • What to do when someone in an office tests positive
  • What to do when someone in an office tests positive.
  1. Oblige all licensees to register its entity with CIPC (which is required at all levels once allowed to perform permitted services);
  2. Oblige every employee and staff member to have the required permit issued and that they may use the permit only for business travel purposes specified in the permit. Real Estate permits have not been regulated yet and might not be necessary, but we will only know when the Level 3 Regulations and guidelines are published;
  3. Ensure that, if a client is to drive from their home to one of your offices, that the relevant employee with whom the appointment is arranged issues a letter to the client before the appointment in order to allow the client to have a valid reason for travelling;
  4. In terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (ss21 and 22), office staff may be forced to take leave or sick leave if it is decided that they stay at home because they are showing symptoms or whilst they wait for their Covid test results.

Should you wish to add an addendum to your sale agreement to indemnify your agency against any loss or damages caused by third parties in the transaction (for example, such as electricians, inspectors) if an infection occurs due to contact by the client or the agent with that third party, please contact your STBB conveyancer for assistance on info@stbb.co.za.

The original article can be viewed here: