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Re-opening of the Housing Market

By Manisha Walia

The government have amended the COVID-19 regulations allowing the housing market to reopen after weeks of lockdown. Renters and buyers are now allowed to move home and view properties as long as they maintain social distancing practices.

The new regulations permit all key activities relating to moving home. The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) regulations in England have been extended to allow visiting estate or letting agents, viewing residential properties, preparing a residential property or moving home.

In an attempt to get the housing market moving, the new guidance also allows extended working hours on construction sites and to make the planning system operate remotely. This would allow builders to agree more flexible construction site working hours with their local council, such as staggering arrival times to ease pressure on public transport. This will help create safe working practices across the industry.

Everyone must take extra precautions, including keeping 2 metres apart during viewings and ensuring properties are sanitised before and after visits and thoroughly cleaned before someone else movies in.

It is recognised that people who are shielding or are vulnerable may wish to move home however, it is recommended that this is balanced with the risks prevented by coronavirus. It is a good idea to make your position clear to all of the professionals involved in the process e.g. estate agents, solicitors, surveyors as they may be able to implement precautionary measures for protection.

If you are self-isolating or have tested positive for coronavirus then it is not appropriate to move home whilst you pose a direct risk of transmitting the virus. People who have coronavirus or are self-isolating with their family member should not leave their home to either move home, or undertake property viewings. Please take further advice over the telephone from the professionals dealing with your move if you are in this situation. 

Willsons Solicitors are open for business and we are contactable by video conferencing, telephone and email. We provide a professional, friendly and efficient service by our team of experts within the Conveyancing department. We are proud to have achieved the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme accreditation so you can be rest assured that your conveyancing is in safe hands, whilst receiving a professional, thorough and personal service. Please contact our Conveyancing team on 02476 387 821.

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