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Can I Move House During Lockdown?

Lockdown rules vary across the United Kingdom with England currently in lockdown until December 2nd, and uncertainty surrounding what the exit plan will look like. What does this mean for people who want to move house during lockdown? With the

Lockdown rules vary across the United Kingdom with England currently in lockdown until December 2nd, and uncertainty surrounding what the exit plan will look like. What does this mean for people who want to move house during lockdown?

With the main message being ‘Stay at Home’ can you still buy, sell or move to a new house during lockdown?

The short answer is Yes, you can move house during national lockdown.

Home buyers in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are still allowed to move home, despite the lockdown measures. The government have issued guidance for the housing market to allow it to stay open as safely as possible during the current restrictions:

The Housing Market in England will remain open during this period of national restrictions. This means that people looking to move home will be able to both continue with planned moves and view new properties to move into in future. Estate and lettings agents, removers, valuers and people in sales and lettings offices and show homes will be able to continue working.

Viewing property

This may look slightly different to pre-lockdown as estate agents, conveyancers and other professionals have had to modify the way they work to ensure safe practice. This could include virtual viewings, the owner having to vacate the property during viewings and staggered viewings to ensure distancing measures can be maintained. Viewings should be conducted strictly on an appointment only basis.

Visiting estate agents or a property you should wear a suitable face covering, avoid touching surfaces and sanitise hands regularly. Some estate agents may require you to make an appointment before visiting their premises.

If it is your home being viewed, taking steps such as ensuring all internal doors are open before the viewing and ensuring all touch points are cleaned thoroughly between each viewing should be taken. Where possible, it is advised that you should leave the home during viewings.

Can I travel to move house during lockdown?

Yes, travel for this purpose is seen as a reasonable excuse to travel.

Can I ask my friends or relatives to help me move house during lockdown?

This is not advised by the government. You should not have contact with people outside our family or established support bubble. Professional help form a moving company is permitted as long as all guidelines are followed.

Can I list my home now or does the process have to be underway?

Yes, you are permitted to list your property for sale during lockdown.

What if I am self-isolating?

If you have symptoms f COVID-19, however mild, have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace or received a positive COVID-19 test result then you should follow the rules to stay home. You should not view any properties or allow viewings to take place until you have completed your period of isolation.

If you are contractually committed to move during this time, you should seek to delay the move until all members of your household have completed their self-isolation. All parties involved in home buying and selling should prioritise agreeing amicable arrangements to change completion dates where someone in a chain or their family member is self-isolating or has tested positive for coronavirus.

Can I still have a survey?

Yes. Under current government guidelines, surveyors are free to visit properties to carry out surveys. Where surveys are carried out, all public health guidance on social distancing must be followed. Companies should ensure that all employees fully understand how operate safely and be able to communicate this to customers.

At Avery & Co. we are committed to providing excellent service to all of our clients while operating in a safe and socially distanced manner. All of our surveyors are fully conversant with the guidelines and understand their responsibilities around safe practice.

If you are thinking of moving house and need a survey, then please do get in touch, we would be happy to discuss your needs and see how we can help. Our surveys are carried out by qualified surveyors who are  members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) who will be happy to discuss aspects of the survey with you.

You can contact us via our website or via telephone: 0151 321 2000   

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