The Self Storage Association UK (SSAUK) has provided more useful advice to businesses in the self storage industry as we prepare to emerge from lockdown:
Adapting to more customers while keeping social distancing rules
The government has released its plans to reopen the country from lockdown. While there remain questions on some of the details, it is clear that social distancing provisions will need to stay in place for the foreseeable future. People are being encouraged to go back to work if they cannot feasibly work from home. More retailers can potentially open in June and trades and construction workers are being encouraged to resume now. More exercising and outdoor activities are permitted along with travel to parks and open places. There will be more people traveling and out of their homes.
The British Association of Removers (BAR) has advised their members to cautiously resume business and follow published risk mitigation procedures for removers and their clients. There has been talk about restarting the real estate market, although there are still social distancing issues to overcome.
Self storage businesses need to prepare for an increase in customers both accessing their storage and new customer enquiries. You are likely to get an increase in residential customer use in the coming weeks. You should no longer restrict access to certain customers. However, you may wish to continue or implement an appointment only system as a means to manage social distancing.
The current social distancing procedures need to become a normal and functional part of your operation with a full store of customers. Procedures that work during lockdown with limited visitors to the store may not be suitable once more people are traveling and your store gets busier.
The SSA recommends that self storage businesses consider implementing the following in their stores:
- Place 2m grid squares or markers on the floor in loading areas, reception, lift bays and other areas where customers may congregate
- Extensive signage on lifts ensuring only one person in the lift at a time
- Place a limit on the number of people in the reception area, based on its size
- Position furniture or other physical barriers that prevent customers from approaching staff in reception areas
- Continue to encourage new customers to complete paperwork online
- Provide masks and gloves for staff to wear if they feel they are required when interacting with customers
- Maintain robust cleaning practices, especially around common areas like keypads, door handles, lifts and trolleys
- Provide sanitiser for customers and staff to clean common touch areas
- Some stores may wish to consider installing clear plastic barriers to separate staff and customers in reception, particularly for smaller rooms and where paper contracts are still being completed in reception. This would be dependent on the needs of each business
Need Legal Support?
Rooks Rider Solicitors are members of SSA UK and SSA Asia. Our experts regularly deal with legal issues related to self storage in the UK, delivering results for our clients in this highly competitive environment through our in-depth knowledge of the sector. For more information about how Rooks Rider Solicitors can help you and your self storage business, please contact James John.