GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE ON MOVING HOUSE DURING COVID-19 OUTBREAK
We want to reiterate to clients and customers that the safety and wellbeing of everyone is our priority during the Covid-19 outbreak. We are following all of the Government advice and our offices are closed with staff working from home.
We urge all of you to follow Government restrictions and guidelines in order to keep yourself and other safe and to limit any unnecessary pressure on our fabulous NHS.
The Government has released guidance on the process of moving home during the current crisis and the full advice can be found here: Government advice on moving house during Covid-19 Outbreak
The advice deals with what you should do if you are in the process of buying or selling a house (or renting) or currently marketing your property for sale or rent. It also deals with what precautions should be taken should a move be unavoidable. We have tried to set out below some of the main points from the guidance together with what we are doing or can do to help you at this time.
The Government has made it clear that there is no need to pull out of transactions but that everyone needs to follow the guidance to stay home and away from others. Solicitors and Conveyancers can proceed with the conveyancing process but Surveyors are being advised to not carry out non urgent surveys and mortgage valuations whilst restrictions are in place. In the unusual situation that a survey is deemed urgent, surveyors must follow the government guidance for carrying out work in people’s homes and follow the government social distancing and hygiene guidance.
Heritage are continuing to progress sales where possible and are working hard to make as much progress as can be made at this time.
Where the property being moved into is vacant, the transaction can go ahead but only where no person has any symptoms or has been in contact with anyone with symptoms. Social distancing rules, hygiene rules together with guidance for home removals and work carried out in people’s homes must be observed. Conveyancers are advised to support the sale of unoccupied properties as far as possible.
Where a property is occupied, parties are advised to put the move on hold until a mutual date can be agreed once the stay-at-home provisions are lifted. This includes transactions where contracts have already been exchanged. Parties should try to delay completion. Lenders are investigating ways for mortgage offers to be extended for up to three months and Lawyers are working on contractual provisions that can cover risks that may present due to Coronavirus. If a move is deemed critical (and in our opinion the guidance is not clear on whether this just applies to where contracts have already been exchanged) all guidance relating to social distancing and hygiene must be observed.
Houses On the Market
If your house is currently on the market – you can continue to advertise it. Our properties for sale are still being advertised on our website, Rightmove and Zoopla.
You must not allow people into your house to view it and we can not arrange viewings for you at this time.
Where possible, Heritage have obtained some videos of properties and prospective viewers can view these on line.
We are still talking to prospective buyers and all leads are being captured for when viewings can be conducted again.
Offers – You are able to receive and accept offers on your property at this time but there are obvious risks involved in agreeing a sale to a buyer who has not physically viewed the property.
If your house is not yet on the market
As ever, your safety and the safety of others is paramount at this time and you should not have any visitors to your home.
For those of you who have already instructed us to sell your home and have delayed due to Coronavirus, please rest assured that we will be in touch just as soon as we can to get you up and running.
For those thinking about putting your house on the market, whilst we can not visit your home in person at this time, we can still offer ‘interactive market appraisals’ remotely. This allows us to see your property and could be the starting point for when we are able to return to normal practice. We can also advise you on aspects such as marketing, photography, requirement for an EPC and what you could be doing now to get your property in the best shape for when it can be marketed.
We would be delighted to hear from you, and are happy to chat through any questions or thoughts you may have about selling. You can contact us on 0121 443 5900, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or submit an enquiry via our website here: Heritage
All of the above guidance equally applies to lettings at this time. We can not arrange viewings at your property but they are available for potential tenants to view on line. If an applicant wishes to reserve a letting property, you can accept the application and we can work on getting the process underway. However, we cannot physically move new tenants into a property at this time due to the necessary contact between parties.
As with sales, we are still able to advise you either interactively or by telephone about any aspect of letting out your property.
We are still working from home to service the management of your property.
We know that these are very difficult times for everyone and our priority must be to remain safe and at home. Our homes offer us the sanctuary we all desperately need at this time and will allow us the time to reflect and assess our futures. If we can help in any way with this process, please call us and we will be delighted to have a chat.
Stay safe and we look forward to seeing you when restrictions are lifted!
The Heritage Team
Further Government Guidance
Work carried out in peoples homes – see section 2
All Government advice on Coronavirus can be found at: Gov.uk