Given current concerns about the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the purpose of this Member Alert is to provide advice and guidance for API Members in relation to their interaction with clients and the public whilst undertaking professional services. Whilst this Member Alert relates specifically to valuers and property inspections, the advice below is considered good practice for all Members who come into direct person-to-person contact with clients and the public.
Valuers should take appropriate action to ensure their health and safety. With regard to current concerns about Coronavirus (COVID-19) the API recommends that Members familiarise themselves with the latest Australian Government Department of Health guidelines available here.
Members should follow health authority advice, including self-isolation/quarantine, if they have travelled through an identified high-risk country or suspect they have come into contact with someone who has contracted Coronavirus.
The API recommends Members put in place appropriate procedures to identify whether there is a potential risk of exposure to Coronavirus when providing professional services. The API recommends that prior to agreeing to undertake an inspection, valuers undertake appropriate questioning including asking:
- If any recent visitor to, occupant of the property or anyone that the valuer will be meeting at the inspection is subject to a quarantine order by health authorities, and
- If any recent visitor to, occupant of the property or anyone that the valuer will be meeting at the inspection is subject to self-quarantine or self-isolation protocols in line with Australian Government Department of Health recommendations.
The answer provided should be noted on the valuer’s file.
The API advises members not to proceed with a property inspection is it falls into one of the above scenarios and should not be expected to do so by the instructing party. Valuers should refer the matter back to the instructing party advising that they are unable to proceed with the valuation whilst the ‘quarantine order’ or isolation period is in place.
Members should also take care to adhere to general health advice including:
- Covering the mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
- Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
- And if unwell, avoid contact with others.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this recommendation, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]
To download a copy of this Valuation Protocol, click here.