Movement for Home-Movers 25-May-2020
By Lesley Stuart, Director and Solicitor, Residential Conveyancing team.
What does the lifting of restrictions mean for my property move or purchase whilst measures to fight coronavirus apply?
The lifting of restrictions in England is good news for the housing market and people wanting to move;viewings and valuationscan take place againas can actual home-moves, but precautions must still be taken and the process of finding and moving into a new home will be different.
There are a number of restrictions and safeguards in place, and you should discuss with your solicitor whether you need to make contractual provisions to manage these risks, however with the right support and advice from your solicitor you will be able to navigate through the process and ultimately turn your move into a reality.
The UK Government guidance below applies to people moving into homes in the private or social sector in England:
Everyone involved in the moving process must follow social distancing to minimise the spread of the virus. As such this guidance needs to be taken into account:
Preparing to buy, sell or move home
You can put your home on the market and start to look for properties you may want to move into.
People should use virtual viewings before visiting properties in person where possible, in order to minimise public health risks. If any member of either the household being viewed, or the household undertaking a viewing is showing symptoms of coronavirus or is self-isolating, then a physical viewing should be delayed. All viewings should take place by appointment and only involve members of a single household.
We expect agents to accompany clients on a viewing but follow social distancing rules wherever possible. Where viewings are unaccompanied, agents should make sure viewers and homeowners understand how they should conduct themselves.
Making offers or reservations
You are free to make or accept an offer or reserve a property as normal.
Property searches and surveys
Your legal representative should be able to carry out searches on your property online in order to progress your transaction and you can contact them to discuss likely timescales.
Your surveyor can undertake surveys of the property you wish to purchase.
Agreeing to move
Once you have agreed to move home by exchanging contracts, you have entered into a legal agreement to move. We encourage all parties to be as flexible as possible over this period and be prepared to delay moves if needed, for example if someone becomes ill with coronavirus during the moving process or has to self-isolate. You should not expect to move into any home where people are ill or self-isolating.
Moving your belongings
Removal firms are able to operate, although they may need to adjust usual procedures in order to ensure moves happen as safely as possible.
As Residential Conveyances we also need to operate in a different way:
We can take on new instructions however we need to ensure that our clients are aware of the differences in completing transactions during this period.
We will conduct as much of our business as possible remotely.
Where client meetings are required, we will put appropriate measures in place to ensure social distancing and hygiene proceedures are followed.
We will do what we can to promote flexibility making provisions for the risks presented by coronavirus.
More in-depth Government advice is available by clicking here:
Our specialist Residential Conveyancing team are ready and able to support you through your move.
We are happy to offer a free half hour consultation to discuss any queries or concerns you may have, so if you are considering your next home move, contact us on: 01244 356 789 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.