Covid-19 – Up-date – 14 May 2020 – Property Search
Following recent announcements relaxing measures to view property (England only) it’s still important to ensure we maintain social distancing and other measures to minimise the spread of the virus. The priority remains to ensure the safety of all involved, this includes yourself, your family, agents, landlord, occupiers of property and our team.
Can I now search for property?
Whilst this is great news for the market, it will by no means ‘business as usual’. The announcement has taken most agents by surprise and will take a while for them to respond fully.
Properties that are occupied by current tenants may not be able or prepared to allow viewings to take place. Letting agents & landlords are also asked to avoid ending tenancies where the tenant wants and is able to stay.
Therefore the relaxation only applies to:
Properties which are vacant
Properties where tenants are voluntarily vacating*
This will mean options will be limited, in some case severely. Where possible we strongly recommend searches are delayed until restrictions are further eased and the market has had the chance to refresh and confidence returned into receiving new instructions and unhindered viewings.
* should you secure a property that is tenanted and the occupiers do not move out they currently also have special measures to protect them until at least the end of September 2020 – landlord cannot take legal action to enforce vacation.
What to consider:
These factors will influence the way we support your search.
Are you happy to view – it’s natural everyone will have different feelings over moving; so it’s important you tell us if you’re happy to go out and view property with agents. If not we respect this and we should delay your search as we don’t want to use your support sourcing a property you are hesitant or nervous to then view.
Where are you traveling from – whilst restrictions on travelling within England have been relaxed it’s important you plan you trip safely, avoiding public transfer. If you are travelling from overseas please check whether this is possible. The government within the UK have announced quarantines for all people entering the UK for a period of 14 days will soon apply.
Accommodation – if you need to stop over make sure this is considered as hotels/BB’s are only accepting bookings to support key and essential workers
Removals – to avoid unnecessary viewings (see below) whilst restrictions are being eased, many removal companies are still not operating or are at limited capacity meaning it will need to be carefully planned as to when your possessions can be moved.
Family – where viewing are available many landlord and agents are restricting the number of people viewing (see below).
For viewings, a new set of guidelines also need considered and/or adhered to:
a. To reduce the number of properties you may need to physically visit it is encouraged to shortlist only serious contenders in advance – we will support you with this by asking for virtual tours where these are available and try to find out as much about the property in advance for you.
b. Currently, where your support provides accompanied services with a BRS consultant this will not be possible – we will be reviewing this decision regularly
c. Currently guidelines ask you not to use public transport unless essential
d. Before viewing you must wash your hands (or use gel/wipes where this is not possible) and avoid touching surfaces wherever possible
e. Limit the number of people attending the viewing (this will vary from agent to agent, some are only allowing one person to view – do not expect to be able to take your family on viewings)
So what next:
Not withstanding above If it is decided to commence your search sooner, it important we plan it as soon as possible to ensure we direct the right resource at the right time to avoid disappointment, unnecessary risk and/or cost. Please contact us so we can discuss this with you
If you or your family are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms are self isolating or sharing a household with someone with symptoms or are vulnerable you must inform us immediately and not undertake any viewings.
Further guidance and support can be found https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
14th May 2020