As we enter Tier 2 restrictions many people are wondering if you can still move home. The answer is Yes!
Yes, you can still move home. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has said that estate and letting agents, and removals firms, can continue to operate.
In a message issued to the housing industry, he also announced that home-hunters are still allowed to go on property viewings, show homes and sales suites can remain open, and mortgage valuations and surveys can take place.
However, all parties involved in the home moving process must follow the national guidance on moving home safely, which includes advice on social distancing and wearing a face covering. People outside your household or support bubble should not help with moving house unless absolutely necessary.
Can I book a removals firm?
Yes, removals firms are still able to do their jobs, but again, providing that all parties follow the safety guidelines. It’s advised, however, that you do as much of the packing as you can yourself, and if at all possible, give your belongings a quick spray or wipe-down with a disinfectant before they’re handled by someone else.
When the removals’ team is around, do your best to maintain distance and wash your hands regularly. Unfortunately you won’t be able to offer them refreshments – which of course they’ll understand.
It’s also recommended that you book your removals company as early as possible. In many areas they’re very busy and it may be a challenge for you to find one available at a short notice.
I’m in the middle of buying a home, should I expect any delays during lockdown?
It’s possible that in some areas the conveyancing process will be slower than usual right now.
This is because some solicitors and agents may be operating at limited capacity, or are very busy working through deals that have stacked up since earlier in the year.
If you’re about to enter into a legally binding contract, you should discuss the possible implications of one of the parties being affected by having to self-isolate or quarantine. Ask your legal representative if they can include provisions to manage these risks in the contracts.
If someone in your household – or the other party’s – began to show any flu symptoms just as you’re about to complete, you’ll need to postpone things by a few weeks. The government says we should all remain flexible in this sort of scenario, so it would be ideal if your contracts can reflect that.
Can I go on a property viewing?
Yes, if you’re looking to move home, you can continue going to viewings. If you can, try to do a virtual viewing first though. It’ll reduce the number of viewings agents do, which also minimises the spread of germs. It could also save you time, because you’ll have a better idea of whether a house is worth seeing or not.
When viewing a property in person, make sure you wear a face mask, avoid touching surfaces, and wash your hands or use sanitiser before and after. There shouldn’t be more than two households within the property at any one time, and viewings should only be arranged by appointment, so ‘open houses’ aren’t happening at the moment.
If you’re selling your home and are having interested buyers come around to have a look, open all the inside doors beforehand so they don’t have to touch the door handles. It’s recommended that you’re not in the property during the viewing, and that you disinfect all surfaces after.
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