On the 31st October, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the new England lockdown, which was implemented on the 5th November. This is the second national lockdown for England this year, and has left many home movers concerned about what the future holds for their relocation plans.
Thankfully, official guidance has been published surrounding the property sector, with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) proposing an extension on mortgage holidays to last until the 31st January 2021, helping those who are behind on their mortgage repayments or with multiple loans outstanding.
The Daily Express report UK Finance’s MD of Personal Finance Eric Leenders comments:
“Lenders are providing unprecedented levels of support to help customers through the Covid-19 crisis and stand ready to deliver ongoing assistance to those in need.”
“The industry is working closely with the Financial Conduct Authority to ensure customers impacted by the new lockdown measures will be able to access the most appropriate support.”
How Does the Second Lockdown Affect Movers?
Concerns have been raised for those currently in the process of moving homes, worried that the lockdown would cause delays to their plans. However, it’s been announced that estate and letting agents can continue to work throughout the new lockdown – provided that they follow the appropriate COVID-related regulations.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick tweeted just before the new lockdown that “Yes – the housing market will remain open throughout this period. Everyone should continue to play their part in reducing the spread of the virus by following the current guidance.”
Official guidance from the government regarding the matter of moving home was first published earlier in March this year, and subsequently updated during August. This guidance, it’s reported, still applies throughout this second lockdown England is currently in.
This guidance encourages prospective buyers to make the most out of virtual viewings, and to only visit properties on their shortlist of potentials. The guidance also claims that those visiting agent’s offices or viewing properties should wear an appropriate face covering (unless exempt).
Those selling their properties have also been encouraged to leave them for viewings, and adhere to government guidance around preparing properties for viewings – including cleaning hard surfaces, door handles and floors, and opening internal doors before prospective buyers visit with agents.
Those due to move house over the course of the next month have also been advised to do as much of the packing themselves as is possible, and to speak to removal firms in advance of the moves if they are unable to pack themselves up.
More advice on moving home can be found on the government website guidance page here.