Can you still move house in full lockdown?

for sale sign outside house

Can you still view homes for sale and move in the new national lockdown? - Credit: Getty images

Unlike the first lockdown, the housing market is to remain open for business. This sector adds to other businesses and services which are allowed to open in the latest lockdown.

Consequently, people in England will be able to move and removal firms, tradespeople and estate agents can still operate by going inside homes. But adherence to safety and social distancing remains crucial.

Here are the basic guidelines:

You can still move home. People outside your household or support bubble should not help with moving house unless absolutely necessary.

Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work. If you are looking to move, you can go to property viewings.

However, the government advises all parties involved to be as flexible as possible and to be prepared to delay moves. This should happen when, for example if one of those involved becomes ill with Covid during the moving process or has to self-isolate. 

If you are about to enter into a legally binding contract, you should discuss the possible implications of Covid with your solicitor and consider making contractual provisions to manage these risks.

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You should not expect to immediately be able to move into any home where people have Covid or are self-isolating.

Initial house viewings should be done virtually wherever possible. Members of the public who are visiting an agent’s office or viewing a property should wear a suitable face covering unless they are exempt from this requirement. This should be confirmed with the agent before arrival. Viewings should be arranged by appointment only and ‘open house’ viewings should not take place. 

If people are being shown around your home, you should open all internal doors and ensure surfaces, such as door handles, are cleaned after each viewing. You  should vacate your property while viewings are taking place.

When moving between properties, you and those in your household should try to do as much of the packing yourself as you can. 

Landlords are not able to start possession proceedings unless they have given their tenants six months’ notice in most cases.

Landlords can take steps to carry out repairs and safety inspections.

For the full advice click here