York RLA's Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic - One Year On

In March 2020 as the implications of the Covid pandemic it became clearer that we were all going to be impacted and providing information and guidance to members would be a priority. As it became increasingly apparent landlords and letting agencies were going to see some significant restrictions and changes.

Little did anyone believe the first two cases of Covid19 reported at a York hotel in January 2020, would be something we are all still dealing with over a year later.

In March 2020 as the implications of the Covid pandemic it became clearer that we were all going to be impacted and providing information and guidance to members would be a priority. As it became increasingly apparent landlords and letting agencies were going to see some significant restrictions and changes.

Updating our telephone system to a cloud-based system, became critical as working from home was to become the new normal. This gave us more flexibility, was less expensive and our office did not need a physical location.

Our monthly presentation evenings had to be cancelled as we were told to ‘stay at home’ and most venues including hotels closed. Once we realised that we were in for the long haul we decided to start using Zoom to hold our presentation evenings virtually. This meant we could continue to provide education and information and has been very successful. Allowing some of our members to attend meetings who could not attend the physical meetings. Going forward we are considering a more hybrid approach, a combination of face to face and virtual meetings, as I am also aware that we have members who prefer the face to face. Our AGM in December 2020, was also held over Zoom, providing a few challenges for voting but nothing a little thinking outside the box resolved.

Zoom has also allowed us to attend meetings and work together with existing partners such as the NRLA, University of York and YUSU and attend networking meetings with the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, looking to collaborate and to build new partnerships that will benefit our members.

Fortunately, weeks before lockdown we had purchased a new website, this meant all member information was accessible, emails, newsletters and the latest government information could be sent out and we could work effectively from anywhere. The new website has also given us a presence that allows potential partners and new members a place to interact and join us.

We are also starting to increase our presence on social media: Facebook we have our own page and The York Property Group membership is growing, we are hoping to continue increasing the membership of this group, so please do join https://www.facebook.com/groups/923933744724428 

In the true British spirit everyone pulled together, in the early weeks of the Covid pandemic personal protective equipment (PPE) was a huge problem for our NHS. We joined with York Scrubs to raise money and raised £2166.04 against an original target of £1500 for a very worthwhile and topical cause.


Although this is not an anniversary we will be celebrating, the last year has changed the way in which we all work, whether these changes are permanent only time will tell.