House moves now allowed as lockdown eases

House moves now allowed as lockdown eases

The Government has lifted the ban on house moves as part of the relaxation of lockdown rules. 

As of Wednesday 13th May:

  • * Estate agents and lettings agents can reopen
  • * Buyers can view properties
  • * Removal companies can start moving

All involved must follow the guidelines on safety and social distancing and the Government is encouraging virtual viewings whenever possible.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced: 

“You are now free again to move home whenever you wish. This unblocks 450,000 transactions that were paused due to COVID19.

“For each aspect of the process we are publishing detailed guidance setting out how to work and visit properties safely – in accordance with social distancing.

“Protecting the public, controlling the virus and saving lives is our priority. It’s right that we prioritise enabling people to move home. Our plan allows people to move forwards. And the industry’s health is inextricably linked to our economy.

“Our plan will help protect the livelihoods of the 2.3m people in the housing and construction industry.”

The change applies to England only, while stricter rules remain in place in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Government also launched a new safe working charter for construction sites to enable them to resume work safely.

Surveyors were not specifically mentioned in the new guidance, but reports suggest that some firms are resuming valuations. A surge of pent-up demand for house moves is expected. 

Selling a property

If your house sale has been put on hold during lockdown, there are things you can do now so you’re ready to go as soon as you find a buyer. 

  • * Make your property sale-ready. Spruce up the paintwork, carry out those repairs you’ve been meaning to do, keep things tidy and make sure the garden is looking good. 
  • * Get all documentation ready to go, e.g. boiler service certificates, building regulation documents, FENSA certificates if you have had new windows. This will prevent delays once the sale gets underway.
  • * Instruct a solicitor now even if you don’t have a buyer yet. Completing forms and sending through essential information now means a quick start for your sale. 

Buying a property

As with our advice above, the more prepared you are, the better position you will be in to act quickly when you find the right property.

  • * Get your documentation together – ID and bank statements will be needed to comply with anti-money laundering rules.
  • * Apply for a mortgage as soon as possible. Many mortgage products have been  discontinued recently, but a good mortgage broker will be able to advise you on what’s available and what best suits your circumstances.   
  • * While there is likely to be a surge of pent-up interest, it’s not clear how property prices will be affected by the current situation and you may need to negotiate with the seller. 

Our team will be happy to answer any questions you have – just give us a call on 0114 249 6926 or email

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