We love hearing the stories from across Bucks Biz of businesses and individuals who are doing amazing things to help the public during the Coronavirus and also those who are doing innovative things to keep their businesses going.
Today, we hear from James Campbell, Operations Manager at County Rents. County Rents are considered a ‘keyworker’ under the new COVID-19 guidelines because they provide emergency and temporary housing to local authorities. Here, James tells us about what life has been like the last few weeks and how County Rents are doing some amazing work to put roofs over people’s heads during these challenging times!
“We are often able to turn accommodation around for people in the same day, but I must say that the challenge we faced last Friday to house 17 rough sleepers before 9pm was rather tough. I’m pleased to say that the County Rents team pulled together and we were able to make sure we kept a large number of rough sleepers, mainly from the Milton Keynes area, safe in some of our units.”
“In addition, we are now supporting NHS staff who need to isolate. For example, hospital staff who develop symptoms of Coronavirus can speak to their local authority and we can provide safe accommodation for them to self-isolate, keeping their family safe from the condition.”
James and his team have had to make a number of alterations to the way they are doing business in order to self-isolate and keep safe. For example, they would normally hand over the keys to a property to the tenant directly, but due to the lockdown, they can’t do this so have instead installed key safes so that the tenants can let themselves in.
There are some jobs that are essential maintenance that require the team to visit houses, such as a burst water-pipe yesterday. Luckily, the team have got effective PPE equipment, including surgical gloves designed for tattoo artists!
James can see that County Rents will continue to be busy over the coming months and are pleased that they are able to help vulnerable people and other key workers. “Demand for property is likely to be high so we are always looking for landlords with good quality houses, studios and flats that we can rent to the local authority. If you have a rental property, please get in touch and we can discuss options – firstname.lastname@example.org.
County Rents have a unit in Newport Pagnell to run their Milton Keynes and surrounding area operations. They upgraded to a larger unit in August 2019, within a year after first moving in. Find out more about County Rents here www.countyrents.co.uk