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There will also be families and individuals whose circumstances have changed in recent weeks. These people will take comfort in being able to move if required. However, it is crucial that people follow the safety guidance issued by the Government.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP said: “Our clear plan will enable people to move home safely, covering each aspect of the sales and letting process from viewings to removals. Our step by step plan is based on the latest guidance to ensure the safety and protection of everyone involved. This critical industry can now safely move forward, and those waiting patiently to move can now do so.”

Is the property market back to normal?

While the housing market can operate, it shouldn’t be seen as being back to normal. The market, and everyone looking to move soon, must act accordingly, and the market must adapt to the current circumstances.

Hopefully, agents and clients will be able to connect online and digitally. However, when a physical meeting or viewing must take place, the guidelines must be adhered to.

Vendors are encouraged to:

  • Ensure their property is cleaned to the highest possible standard
  • If physical viewings are taking place, vendors should vacate their premises for the duration of the viewing
  • Offer virtual viewings wherever possible

The Government has issued a warning that the market may be placed on hold again if required. Therefore, it is important people follow the rules and move safely.

Is it possible for removal companies to work during the lockdown?

A question many people have asked about the re-opening of the housing market is whether removal companies can work. A guide produced by a range of industry bodies, including the British Association of Removers (BAR) states; “Packing by the remover is currently limited to china, glass and breakable items.”

It is advised movers carry out most of the packing themselves, and do everything they can to leave a clean house with wiped down surfaces. It should go without saying people moving home should maintain a distance of two metres from moving professionals.

What are the social distancing guidelines for agents?

Agents should follow these guidelines if conducting viewings for clients:

  • Wash your hands before entering a property
  • Leave windows open as much as possible to allow air to circulate
  • Do not touch any surfaces
  • Bring and use hand sanitiser when attending a property
  • Adhere to the two-metre guidelines

Everyone involved in the moving process should consider these points:

  • There is no limit on the distance people can move, as long as public health guidance is followed
  • Surveyors are subject to the same guidelines
  • People who have shown symptoms of the coronavirus, or who share a home with someone who has, should delay their move and undertake a period of self-isolation
  • Open house viewings are not currently permitted
  • Bear in mind only then housing market in England has re-opened, markets in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland haven’t been re-opened as of yet

We know many people have questions and queries right now, and we are here to help as best we can. Please get in touch with Austin Property Services if there is anything, we can assist you with.

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