Agents and their customers are being reassured that business is now entirely back to normal, despite a huge fire wrecking the Tenancy Deposit Scheme offices in Hemel Hempstead last Wednesday.
Thankfully, all 89 staff were evacuated safely with no casualties, and while the building suffered extensive damage, TDS’ business continuity plan was successfully implemented. A further 19 adjudicators are based off-site.
As part of the continuity plan, staff worked from sites around Hemel Hempstead in the days following the fire. From today staff will move in to local, interim office space. Longer-term solutions are being actively reviewed.
Although customers may have experienced a brief delay in email and phone responses between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, there has been no gap in operational service at any point, said the service.
It emphasised that data is safe, new deposits have been registered and the adjudication process has continued without interruption. It did say that there may be a minor delay in printed material being sent to customers but this will be minimal.
Steve Harriott, chief executive of TDS, said: “It’s a credit to staff and the processes we have in place that this serious situation has in no way affected our operational ability to protect deposits.
“In fact, less that 24 hours after the building was evacuated, our average call response times were already back to our industry-beating levels at 28 seconds.
“I’d like to thank our staff for the calm and professional way they reacted to the situation, the exceptional work of the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and the wider industry, partners and stakeholders for the messages of support we’ve received.”