New Rules for Moving House
With lockdown restrictions easing, there have been many changes to the rules regarding moving house in England and Wales. In order to stay safe while moving house, we’ve gathered the latest information for you.
Am I allowed to move house?
Yes, restrictions have been eased to allow sellers and buyers to start moving forward with their plans.
Estate agents are also allowed to visit properties to conduct valuations and take photos and videos.
However, even though in-person house viewings are now permitted, it is still advised that home movers should conduct the majority of their property searches online to help prevent any continued spread of coronavirus.
Are estate agents opening again?
Yes, many estate agents have already opened their branches across England. You might need to check if they are operating under restricted hours, or have a limited staff though.
Most agents are only accepting appointments via prior booking and must still adhere to safety rules regarding safe working spaces, so best to check with them first before dropping by.
Many agents are prioritising virtual viewings as a first stop for buyers, and then if the buyers have a genuine interest, in-person viewings can be arranged.
This won’t be possible with every property, but you should take advantage of it if you can.
At this time, open-house viewings aren’t permitted.
What rules are in place for house viewings?
Estate agents are only conducting viewings that have been booked in advance, and social distancing measures must be adopted in all cases.
Everyone attending the viewing must wash their hands immediately upon entering the home. Viewers are advised to bring their own hand sanitiser and avoid touching surfaces. Wearing face masks is also advised.
If they are able, any current occupants should leave the property before the viewers arrive, and allow the agent to conduct the viewing. This is to minimise the possible contamination between households.
Those viewing the property must be allowed access to hand-washing facilities and it is advised that sellers provide separate towels or paper towels.
After the viewing, the seller should ensure all surfaces and door handles are washed and sanitised.
Can surveys be completed?
Surveyors are now allowed to conduct property surveys for home buyers, although they must follow a set of rules regarding Coronavirus precautions;
- Do not enter properties where a member of the household is showing coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating.
- Surveys by appointment only, with just one person visiting the property at a time.
- Social distancing rules apply and must be adhered to.
For sellers, when they are having a survey done, they should keep their distance, preferably by staying in a different room. They must allow the surveyor access to the property unaided to minimise contact.
You can still use removal companies when moving house, as long as you take precautions.
Pack up as much of your belongings yourself as possible, and where possible, clean them before storage.
You should also ensure all boxes are as clean as possible and provide handwashing facilities for the removal team.