The housing market is reopening!
There is finally some good news for the housing market! As Kerry Dundas, Solicitor and head of the Residential Conveyancing Department with Myers and Co explains, “after seven weeks of lockdown, with renters and buyers forbidden to move home or view properties, under new regulations which come into force on Wednesday 14 May key activities relating to moving home will be permitted.
The rules are a substantial change, as the UK housing market had been all but frozen during lockdown. People were only allowed to move home where it was “reasonably necessary”, agents were banned from listing new properties and house hunters have only been able to make online viewings.
Under amendments to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) regulations in England, “a reasonable excuse for being away from home” will be expanded to include visiting estate or letting agents, viewing residential properties, preparing a residential property to move in or sell, or moving home. Obviously buyers, renters, sellers and estate agents must still maintain sensible precautions, including keeping 2 metres apart during viewings.”
Robert Jenrick, the communities secretary, said removal companies, conveyancers and estate agents could restart their businesses with immediate effect. He said the government estimated that more than 450,000 buyers and renters had been unable to progress their plans to move since March. “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.”
The Government issued advice on 15 May 2020 about moving home which you can read here.