By Sarah Davies, Head of Residential Conveyancing

Following Friday’s announcement by Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford the Welsh Property Market is taking steps towards moving once more, however there are still a number of restrictions in place.

The Key changes outlined on Friday are:
Unoccupied properties can now be viewed, however, viewings cannot take place at occupied properties.

Properties which haven’t exchanged can now be completed, but there must either be 3 days between occupation or a deep clean must be undertaken.

The relaxing of restrictions in Wales is great news, however, as these changes illustrate, there are still many restrictions in place and the process of finding and moving into a new home will be quite different from the pre-pandemic experience.

Precautions must still be taken and there are a number of safeguards in place, you should discuss these with your solicitor – you may need to make contractual provisions to manage any potential risks.

However, it is important to state that 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 latest Welsh Government guidance below applies to people moving into homes in the private or social sector in Wales, for guidance on moving in the English market read our recent article.


WELSH GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE (PUBLISHED 19 JUNE 2020)

When you can move home
From 22 June 2020, you can move home if your sale or tenancy has been agreed but not yet completed and if the property you are moving to is unoccupied (nobody is living in the property at the time you move) and has been empty for at least three days, or it has been deep cleaned. This includes new-build properties.

These moves do not involve different households being inside a property at the same time, so the risk of transmission of coronavirus is lower. 

When you should not move 
You should not move to a property unless it has been empty for at least three days, or the property has been deep cleaned. 

Putting your home on the market
You can put your home on the market, but potential buyers or tenants cannot view your property in person if you are living in it or it is occupied. 

Marketing of occupied properties can begin. Valuations and other related activities should be carried out in line with safe working requirements. Initial viewings can only be carried out virtually. 

Marketing and viewing of unoccupied properties can take place. 

Viewing homes
You can view unoccupied properties in person but you must follow physical distancing guidance and keep good hand hygiene. 

You cannot view occupied homes (where someone is still living). It is important viewings do not involve different households being inside at the same time, as the risk of transmission of coronavirus is higher. Virtual viewings of a home can be provided by a letting agent, estate agent or landlord.

Moving from Wales to England
You can move across the border to England. 

If you are moving into Wales, you should only move to properties that are unoccupied and have been empty for at least three days or have been deep cleaned.

Moving more than five miles away from where you live 
You can move more than five miles away from where you live but should only move to properties that are unoccupied and have been empty for at least three days, or have been deep cleaned.

Allowing estate agents, surveyors or removal workers into your home
Estate agents, surveyors or removal workers are allowed into a property. They need to follow the physical distancing in the workplace guidance. 

Visiting estate and letting agent premises
Estate and Letting Agents are allowed to open but we encourage them to minimise the need for people to visit their offices in person, but if you do, they will need to ensure you do so in accordance with the Guidance to employers and businesses on COVID-19.

Visiting new build housing site sales offices
Sales offices are allowed to open but we encourage them to minimise the need for people to visit their offices in person, but if you do, they will need to ensure you do so in accordance with the Guidance to employers and businesses on COVID-19.

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:

The Welsh Government advice detailed above is also available at:
https://gov.wales/moving-home-during-coronavirus-pandemic

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 info@cullimoredutton.co.uk.

Please note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.



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