Current COVID guidance for those moving homes and selling homes in England - August 2021

Information and guidance contained in this article has been taken from the official government website.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has outlined new guidance to home movers in England following the changes to restrictions on 19th July, as the country moved into Step 4 of the roadmap out of lockdown.

Even though many legal restrictions have now been lifted, there are still rules in place that should be adhered to in order to help manage the spread of the virus – this includes guidance specifically for those moving homes.

Government advice states that: “While the virus continues to circulate, everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious. 

We will continue to manage the virus and provide guidance over the coming months. We urge everyone involved in the home buying and selling process to continue to follow good hygiene practices, including regular hand-washing, sanitising, and cleaning” 

So what does that mean for you, if you are moving houses or selling a home?

Are there still restrictions on house viewings?

There are currently no legal limits on the people who may view a home in person. Most estate agents, however, continue to recommend that buyers take advantage of any opportunities to view homes remotely before committing to view in person.

Although not mandatory, you should consider wearing a face covering while you are viewing a property in order to protect others around you.

If you are selling your home and would like people to wear a face covering when they view your property, make this clear to your agent so that they can ensure that this is arranged.

Please note – viewings should not take place if anyone who lives at the house is isolating. Likewise, anyone who intends to view a property in person should not do so if they are required to self-isolate.

Are tradespeople allowed in the house?

Yes. Tradespeople can continue to work in other people’s homes unless customers or tradespeople are self-isolating. 

Unless you’re self isolating the following can still take place:

  • Any repairs including non urgent work
  • Maintenance and inspections
  • Gas Safety inspections and electrical checks

Everyone who is expecting tradespeople to come into the house should ensure their homes are clean and safe before the tradespeople visit. 

This may involve cleaning items being carried by removals firms, wiping surfaces such as worktops and door handles, ensuring rooms are well ventilated and seeking to delay work if either party is showing COVID-19 symptoms.

What happens if I need to self-isolate on our completion date?

Once you have exchanged contracts or signed a tenancy agreement, you have entered into a legal agreement to purchase or rent the property. 

Government encourages all parties to be as flexible as possible and be prepared to delay moves if necessary, for example if someone involved in the transaction becomes ill with COVID-19 during the moving process or has to self-isolate. 

You should not expect to move into any home where people are ill or self-isolating.

Worried about the legal implications of not completing on the set date? Your legal adviser should be able to help you to ensure that any contract you enter into has sufficient flexibility to allow the purchase to be delayed in the event that an individual in one of the parties contracts COVID-19 or has to self-isolate.

Buyers and sellers should prioritise agreeing amicable arrangements to change completion dates where someone in a chain or their family member is self-isolating, or has tested positive for coronavirus.

Buy or sell a home with Belvoir

At Belvoir, we ensure that we are aware of, and share with you, the latest updates in laws and regulations that affect anyone selling, renting, buying or moving homes. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you.