Can I move house during the coronavirus pandemic?
Yes unless you are self-isolating, infected with Covid-19 or within a vulnerable group.
The Government has issued updated guidance on 13 May providing comprehensive advice to reflect the move to relax lock down restrictions and encourage house sales. The advice can be found here:
Key points to note
Unless you are self-isolating, infected with covid 19 or vulnerable, the guidance states that you can move house, provided you comply with social distancing measures at every stage, whether visiting a seller’s house or accepting visitors or professional for viewings, surveys and removals.
All businesses such as surveyors, estate agents and removals, linked to the housing market may now operate, provided that social distancing measures are observed and safe working procedures (see link below) are followed.
House viewing should be conducted virtually wherever possible, and open-house viewings should not be conducted. Houses should be cleaned before and after visitors come, and home owners should vacate during viewings and surveys to minimise the chance of contact. Doors and windows should be left open, and sinks made available for hand washing.
Agents can supervise, provided they maintain social distancing.
New homes show houses should be operated on an appointment basis, and cleaned between viewings, with hand washing facilities made available. Staff should adopt safe working procedures. Housebuilder sale-staff, tradespeople, fitters and NHBC inspectors can all attend to facilitate viewings, fit out, commission equipment and inspect completed homes.
Solicitors and Estate Agents remain unable to open their premises to members of the public, for the time being. Government guidance advises that solicitors adopt special covid 19 clauses to permit flexibility on completion dates where parties become unable to move or complete for reasons connected with the pandemic.
The Law Society in conjunction with other trade and professional bodies in the sector, has published links to pan-industry guidance on the re-opening of the housing market: