The announcement of Robert Jenrick, Housing Secretary, that the housing market in England could effectively ‘reopen’ caught everyone by surprise – most notably since just the day before, Jenrick had said that there were no plans to ease restrictions on the sector.
The sector was put on hold in March when the government advised against virtually all house moves from taking place, and estate agents were prevented from listing any new enquiries.
However, a press release was issued at 10pm on 12 May which stated that anyone in England would be able to move home, so long as new rules and guidance is followed.
How can I move home with social distancing measures in place?
Whilst the news will be welcome it must also be treated cautiously. The press release indicated that more than 450,000 people have been unable to progress their plans to move house since the lockdown commenced. The relaxation of lockdown measures means that buyers and renters will now be able to complete purchases and view properties in person, whilst estate agents and removal firms will be able to return to work whilst following social distancing guidelines.
This includes the 2-metre social distancing requirement that we are all now becoming used to and the use of PPE where available. Anybody who falls in the category of being high-risk, should stay out of the home for the duration of any viewing. As to the legal perspective of the transaction, the government has also loosened restrictions on who can verify the identity of buyers and altered the ways in which documents can be executed.
The housing market is one of the corner stones – and barometers – of the economy as a whole, so it is perhaps not surprising that the housing market is one of the first sectors to have some restrictions eased. It is of course vital that the Government guidelines with regards to social distancing are obeyed.
Contact our Property Lawyers in Liverpool & North West London
Here at GAD, our conveyancing team has remained open throughout lockdown, utilising remote working to keep transactions moving without the need for face-to-face meetings, or sending paperwork through the post. We are completely able to adhere to social distancing measures, and the safety of our staff and clients is absolutely paramount to us. Should you be in the position of being able to progress with your transaction, then we are here and able to help.
Contact us today on 0808 164 0683 (Liverpool City Centre), 0151 733 3353 (Liverpool Penny Lane), 0151 494 0777 (Liverpool Garston), 020 8209 0166 (London North West), 020 8209 0166 (London City), or via the online enquiry form.