As England and Scotland enter new lockdowns, the latest official guidance says that you are still able to move home throughout the period, as long as you follow strict safety guidelines.
In this article we answer some of most common questions we’ve been asked by home-movers in England, Scotland and Wales about what the restrictions mean if you’re starting out on your search or are already in the process of moving.
I live in England, can I move home?
Yes, the government’s official guidance says you can still move home and estate agents have been told they can continue to work.
In the latest guidance it says that carrying out activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property are reasonable excuses to leave home.
But the most important thing is that you follow the guidance to help everyone stay safe, and throughout last year agents changed how they operate to keep to these safety guidelines.
If you are already in the process of moving, people outside your household or support bubble should not help you move home unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Can I put my home on the market?
Yes, you can put your home on the market and look for properties to buy or rent. However, if you or any member of your household is showing symptoms of coronavirus or is self-isolating, then estate agents and potential buyers should not visit your property in person.
Estate agents can still visit to take photos of your property, but of course, they need to follow the appropriate safety guidance. As usual, you should also start to gather together the necessary documents to sell your home.
To help prevent the spread of infection, the government recommends that you carry out initial property searches online, and only visit a property in person when you are seriously considering making an offer on it.
If you’re planning to buy a new-build property, you should contact the developer. You should be able to make an appointment to view the show home or visit the particular plot you are interested in purchasing.
Can I go on a property viewing?
Yes, if you’re looking to move home, you can continue going to viewings during lockdown.
But you should if possible ask for a virtual viewing first. It’ll reduce the number of viewings you have to go on, which will help minimise 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.
I’m a renter, can I still move home?
Yes, renters can still look for properties and move homes.
Cleaners are also still allowed to carry out work in your home, so if you need to bring in a professional cleaner before the end of your tenancy, you’re allowed to do so.
Renters should follow the same safety guidance that applies to buyers during this period, such as doing online viewings first.