During the current national lockdown in England, the housing market remains open, allowing people to continue with planned moves or view new properties if they wish to move home in the future. Understandably, you might be nervous about moving during lockdown - so we've listed the key guidance below to provide reassurance that a move is still possible.
The government has released their latest national guidance on moving home safely, which you can view in detail on their website.
We've complied an an easier-to-read summary of the government’s moving home checklist below:
Moving home in 2021 - what to do
Searching for your new home
Initial viewings of a property should be done virtually wherever possible. Property agents should be able to help you with this.
Members of the public who are visiting an agent’s office or viewing a property should wear a suitable face covering as described in government guidance unless they are exempt from this requirement. This should be confirmed with the agent before arrival. Anyone with concerns should contact the agent in advance of their visit to discuss appropriate measures. The agent may require you to arrange an appointment before visiting the premises.
Viewings should be arranged by appointment only.
When viewing properties in person, you should avoid touching surfaces wherever possible, wash your hands regularly and/or use hand sanitiser.
All physical viewings should involve no more than two households inside the property at any one time. Anyone in a support bubble with either household, however, will count as part of that household.
Selling your current home
You can put your home on the market as usual, however if you or any member of your household is showing symptoms of Covid-19 or is self-isolating, then estate agents and potential buyers should not visit your property in person.
You can market your home and estate agents can visit in order to take photos/videos of your property. As usual, you can also start to bring together the documentation necessary to sell your property (more information on these documents is available in the government’s guidance on how to sell homes).
If your property is being viewed, you should open all the internal doors prior to the viewing and allow access to handwashing facilities and, ideally, separate towels/paper towels.
It is recommended that you vacate your property while viewings are taking place in order to minimise unnecessary contact.
Once the viewing has taken place, the occupant should ensure surfaces, such as door handles, are cleaned with standard household cleaning products and towels disposed of safely or washed as appropriate.
If your home is being surveyed, you should ensure the surveyor has access to all the parts of the property they need to inspect and minimise contact with the surveyor, for example by staying in another room.
You are free to make or accept an offer or reserve a property as normal.
Once you have exchanged contracts, you have entered into a legal agreement to purchase the property. The government encourages all parties to be as flexible as possible and be prepared to delay moves if necessary, for example if someone involved in the transaction becomes ill with Covid-19 during the moving process or has to self-isolate.
The move itself
Removal firms are able to carry out work but their usual procedures may be different to ensure moves take place as safely as possible. To help with long distance moves, you can stay overnight away from your home with your own household or support bubble in line with the latest guidance on staying over anywhere other than your main residence.
There is no guarantee your chosen removal firm will be operating at the time you require. The guidance encourages you to contact removal firms as early as possible in advance of your move date.
If removal firms are unavailable, another household can help you move your belongings, but social distancing guidelines and hygiene measures should be followed where possible.
You and your household should try to do as much of the packing yourself as possible. However, where you are using a removals firm, you may wish to get their advice on packing in advance, in particular the arrangements for packing fragile items.
Where possible, clean your belongings with standard domestic cleaning products before they are handled by others, including removal firms.
While the removers are in your home, you should ensure any internal doors are open and try to minimise your contact with the removers, maintaining a distance of at least 2 metres where possible.
All parties should wash their hands regularly and/or use hand sanitiser and should avoid touching surfaces where possible to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19.
You should not provide refreshments but you should ensure removers have access to hand washing facilities, using separate towels or paper towels if possible, which should be washed or safely disposed of afterwards.
Looking after your welfare at Scalesceugh
At Scalesceugh Hall & Villas, we understand all too well the worry of a move, let alone doing so during the current Covid-19 pandemic and national lockdown. Despite the challenges, we helped several of our residents make the move to their new home at Scalesceugh throughout last year and we will continue to offer our utmost support to our new residents in 2021.
We are ensuring the safety of our visitors and staff are our priority throughout all stages of the moving process.
Our sales office remains open to welcome visitors looking to view our homes, by appointment only. We are adhering to social distancing measures and have hand sanitising stations throughout the development. We also have masks, should viewers forget their own.
Our sales office is set up in a spacious format to enable social distancing, and we are also cleaning all surfaces regularly and before/after visits. We are restricting visits to two people per appointment, so please bear this in mind when booking.
If you don't feel comfortable viewing in person, we can offer virtual appointments via your computer so you can view our properties from the comfort of your own home.
When it comes to the move itself, we have a range of recommended suppliers who have a great deal of experience with helping our residents with their move to Scalesceugh. And by using them, it also reduces the need for our homebuyers to shop around:
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us on 07853 190765 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.