Safe working in the home moving market ,throughout the UK, under COVID-19 conditions
Latest Covid-19 Restrictions Update 05/01/21
Further to the PM’s announcement of the new Tier 5 restrictions in England, it is confirmed that Moving home is still permissible. The newly published guidelines state that:
People outside your household or support bubble should not help with moving house unless absolutely necessary. Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work. If you are looking to move, you can go to property viewings. Follow the national guidance on moving home safely, which includes advice on social distancing, letting fresh air in, and wearing a face covering. Further information can be found via the following link:
The Devolved Government of Wales guidance still confirms that moves can still take place, even though the whole of the country falls under tier 4 restrictions, if you can’t delay the moving date until after alert level 4 restrictions are lifted. Associated activities, for example, removals processes, property preparation, handover of keys, surveys and valuations can also take place in line with guidance on working in other people’s homes. With regards to cross border moves, ie for a move into or out of Wales, they too can go ahead but you must ensure that you comply with the rules applicable in Wales as well as any rules that apply in the area you are moving to or from. Full details of the update can be found via the following link here.
As reported earlier following the announcement made by the First Minister in Scotland, the www.gov.scot website advises the following;
To minimise the risk of spreading the virus, you must stay at home as much as possible. By law, in a level 4 area, you can leave your home (or garden) only if you have a reasonable excuse to leave your home except for an essential purpose. There is a list of examples of reasonable excuses below. Although you can leave home for these purposes, you should stay as close to home as possible. Shop on-line or use local shops and services wherever you can. Travel no further than you need to reach to a safe, non-crowded place to exercise in a socially distanced way. To minimise the risk of spread of Coronavirus it is is crucial that we all avoid unnecessary travel. Examples of reasonable excuses to go out include:
For activities in connection with moving home (including viewing a property), or for activities in connection with the maintenance, purchase, sale, letting, or rental of residential property that the person owns or is otherwise responsible for.
Further information can be found via the following link; https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance
In Northern Ireland under its published lockdown rules the advice given is that unless they are specifically required to close under the regulations, workers, builders, tradespeople and other professionals can continue to go into people’s houses to carry out work such as repairs, installations and deliveries. Estate agents are permitted to remain open to facilitate the home moving market. The following measures have been in place since 26 December, and will be for a period of six weeks, with regards to households and that is as follows; Households are not allowed to mix indoors in private homes. Certain exemptions apply, including circumstances relating to a house move, and to do associated activities for that purpose, including viewing properties and making arrangements for removals. Further advice can be found via the following link here.
Throughout the pandemic, the BAR has worked tirelessly with the authorities across all regions of the UK to keep the UK residential property industry moving safely. The professional Organisations and Associations across the home moving market, including the BAR, have been continuously collaborating with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), the Home Moves in Scotland Working Group, he Home Moves in Wales Stakeholder Group and the Devolved authorities in Northern Ireland, to design and implement a joined up approach to safe working practices across the home moving sector under COVID-19 conditions. We are in constant communication with all of the regional Administrations to seek further clarity on this developing situation and we will update Members as and when more information becomes available.