As the lockdown measures to curb the coronavirus begin to be lifted, solicitors Poole Alcock share their advice for moving home safely during the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Sunday night, everything changed. You are now able to:
- Visit estate agents, builder’s sales offices, and show homes
- View properties for sale or to let
- Carry out works on a property before moving in
- Have estate agents, EPC inspectors, surveyors visit your house in order to sell the property; and
- crucially…. You are now allowed to MOVE HOUSE!
Of course, the central message remains that we have to make sure that everyone stays safe through the process, and so social distancing must be maintained. Initial viewings of properties may still be carried out ‘virtually’, and homeowners should carry out thorough cleaning before and after every physical visit.
This is great news for everyone. There is a quiet confidence that prices will remain stable, and it is hoped that allowing the property market to get back to ‘normal’ so quickly will avert any lasting damage.
COVID-Secure Move checklist
If you’re moving home during the Covid-19 pandemic, make sure that you and all those involved in the move comply with social distancing and hygiene requirements at all times. These rules are particularly important if you have an underlying health condition.
If in doubt, take medical advice before deciding whether to commit to your move.
Guidelines for viewing properties:
- Do initial viewings ‘virtually’
- Physical viewings should be limited to members of the same household – open house viewings should not take place
- Avoid touching surfaces, and bring hand sanitiser with you.
- If you have children with you, try to ensure that they stay away from surfaces and wash their hands regularly
- Homes owners should make sure that all internal doors are left open, to avoid people having to touch door handles; and to clean all surfaces after each viewing.
- If possible, vacate the property whilst the viewing is taking place, to minimise contact.
- Members of different households should keep 2 metres apart from each other.
During the move:
- Wherever possible stay at least 2 metres apart from people who are not members of your household
- Avoid contact with anyone displaying symptoms of coronavirus, including a high temperature and/or a new and continuous cough
- Avoid public transport
- Avoid a gathering of more than two people in a public space
- Use removal firms who can guarantee that they will put correct social distancing and hygiene measures into place – avoid asking friends and family from outside your household group to help
- Wash your hands often and throughout the day, when you blow your nose, sneeze or cough, eat or handle food – with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitiser
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who have symptoms
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bind and wash your hands
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home: this is particularly important when you leave your current home, and when you arrive at your new home. Government advice on cleaning can be found at:
It is still the case that if you, or anyone involved in your move, develop symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19):
- You must self-isolate at home for 7 days
- You should not continue with the move.