22/10/2020

In a tier 2 high alert level area you can still move home. The rules allow you to take viewings on your property and attend viewings on properties that you are interested in.

Estate agents, letting agents and removals firms can all continue to work, so your home move plans should be able to proceed.

There is national guidance available on how to move home safely, which applies to all three local COVID alert levels including tier 2 high alert level areas. The guidance provides advice on social distancing and wearing a face covering.

The key points to be aware of are:

  • Government advice is to conduct initial viewings virtually wherever possible to minimise unnecessary contact with others.
  • All physical viewings should involve no more than two households inside the property at any one time, including any agent accompanying either party. Note that anyone in your support bubble does count as part of your household.
  • If possible, you should vacate your property while the viewing is taking place.
  • If prospective buyers are from separate households, one of the households should leave the property to allow the others to enter and ensure social distancing can be maintained.
  • Viewings should be by appointment only with no ‘open house’ viewings allowed.
  • When viewing a property, avoid touching surfaces and wash your hands or sanitise regularly. You should also practice social distancing and wear a face covering unless you are exempt.
  • Prior to a viewing taking place at your property, open all internal doors and, after the viewing, clean all surfaces, such as door handles.
  • When it comes to your move date, you should take care of as much of the packing as possible yourself. If you are using a removals firm, you must minimise contact with the removers and maintain a distance of two metres from them. Do not offer refreshments and always ensure the removals staff have access to hand washing facilities and sanitiser.
  • If you have any COVID symptoms, however mild, or have received a positive test result, you should immediately self-isolate at home for at least 10 days. You should not visit anyone else’s property and must not host viewings on your home. If your self-isolation period overlaps with your completion date, you must seek to delay your move until your entire household has come to the end of their self-isolation.

This final point, is the one that can cause immense stress for people. After months of preparation, completion dates can end up being delayed if anyone involved in the chain has any COVID symptoms or has had a positive test result.

By this point you will have exchanged contracts, entering into a legal agreement to purchase or sell. If this is the position that you find yourself in, speak to your solicitor at the earliest opportunity. At Beswicks we will try our best to ensure that all contracts have sufficient flexibility to allow for unforeseen delays due to COVID.

For advice about buying or selling a property or for a conveyancing quote, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can phone 01782 205000, email enquiry@beswicks.com or use our request a quote tool.