The Government have today (26th March 2020) issued formal guidance regarding property sales and home moves. I've tried to summarise the guidance below for you.
The Government are urging all parties involved to adapt their current processes and be flexible. They emphasise that there is no need to pull out of transactions, but reinforce that we all need to remain at home at all times. Prioritising the health of the public must be everyones priority.
Where the property being moved to is vacant then you can continue with the transaction, but must take extra care and follow social distancing guidelines. For properties that are occupied, the Government are urging people to agree a different date for a time where restrictions will no longer be in place.
In the new emergency enforcement powers that the police have been given to respond to coronavirus, there is an exemption for critical home moves, in the event that a new date is unable to be agreed.
Parties will need to alter common practice, they have sought to ease this process for all involved by:
According to the new guideance no estate agent should agree to visit and value your property. If they do, they are likely to be in breach of the lock-down measures introduced by the Government. Many agents are offering remote consultations, and we are able to offer video meetings to discuss your needs and provide estimated valuations. You can book this here.
As above, viewings should not take place. If your agent is continuing to conduct viewings you should challenge their decision and not permit them to go ahead.
There should not be any visitors into your home, and you should therefore not let people visit your property for viewings. Your agent may be able to conduct virtual viewings and you could speak to them about this possibility.
It's perfectlyp possible to accept offers on your property, but remember that you should not allow visitors to your home. It's worth bearing in mind that the process will likely take longer than normal to complete.
According to the Government guidance, if the property you are buying is empty then you can continue with the sale. However, if the property you are purchasing is occupied you should work with all parties involved to agree an alternative moving date. Once you exchange contracts you are legally bound to move and could be found in breach of contract if you are unable to complete.
It's been a confusing few weeks for Landlords and agents with regards to the new electrical safety standards. Here's the low down.
COVID is still well rooted in the UK, and therefore it's not just a case of simply heading back to the office and booking appointments.
Subject to any official announcements this looks like we will be able to work as 'normal' whilst observing social distancing measures.
Landlords must not grant or renew a tenancy after 1st April where the EPC rating is lower than an 'E'.