The trade body representing mortgage advisers noted that a return to full operations may take some time and emphasised that employers still had a legal responsibility to protect their staff.
It added that additional training may be required to ensure new requirements are understood and that the “highest safety standards will be absolutely paramount”.
However, AMI supported the changes “which put our industry right at the heart of restoring economic activity in the country”.
“AMI expects that the full return to operations may take some time. As government guidance is clear, staff should continue to work from home if at all possible. The vast majority of mortgage advice can be completed from home via IT support and telephone,” a statement from the body said.
“Employers have a legal responsibility to protect workers and others from risk to their health and safety.
“This means they need to think about the risks their employees face in estate agency, new build and other office environments and do everything reasonably practicable to minimise them.”
It noted that firms will need to consider which employees should be returned from furlough and highlighted the importance of fulfilling the safety guidance.
It continued: “Staff will need additional training to ensure that they understand the new requirements and procedures which will take longer and be more complex.
“The majority of activity will need to be by appointment and be with people from single households.
“All businesses should continue to follow the government’s latest guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus and safer working guidance.”
Not a return to normal
Chief executive Robert Sinclair (pictured) emphasised this “does not represent a return to normality”.
“The process of finding and moving into a new home will need to be different given those involved in the process will have to adapt practices and procedures to ensure that the risk of the spread of coronavirus is reduced as far as possible,” he said.
“However, it does signal that firms involved in new build sales and advice, estate agency, valuations, conveyancing and removal as well as mortgage advice can open and transact.”
Sinclair added that adherence to social distancing and the highest safety standards will be absolutely paramount and all precautions will be taken to protect people viewing property.
“We also have new industry guidance covering estate agents, valuations and moving which has been developed to ensure we keep people as safe as possible in the process,” he continued.
“Getting physical valuations and removals back makes a big difference, but we all have a role to play in ensuring everyone acts responsibly.”