Property industry still open in lockdown

Yesterday, on January 5th, the Prime Minister announced a new national lockdown for England. The good news for landlords is that the housing market will remain open. ;
Housing market

Yesterday, on January 5th, the Prime Minister announced a new national lockdown for England.

The good news for landlords is that the housing market will remain open.

Latest guidelines

The latest government lockdown guidance focusses on the residential market, but carries positive implications for the private rental sector:

“You can still move home. 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.”

Safety first

The importance of following the national guidance on moving home safely has been heavily stressed.

This details several steps that must be taken, including initial house viewing being conducted virtually where possible, as well as the use of masks, fresh air and social distancing when in person.

Buyers can also arrange for tradespeople and surveyors to visit the property prior to moving in, however, this should be arranged with the home-owner and be on a one-on-one basis.

Property industry responds

PropertyMark Chief Advisor Mark Hayward commented:

“We welcome the news that the housing market is to remain open throughout this new lockdown period, but it is essential that all agents continue to play their part in reducing the spread of the virus by following all relevant guidance on how to safely conduct viewings.”

“It is vital that agents operate in accordance with government and Propertymark guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, keep movers and buyers safe and keep the housing market moving through these uncertain times.”

Countrywide Surveying Services shared their own statement on the news:

“Our service provision will continue to be provided under existing stringent Covid-19 Secure safety protocols that we have been using for the last few months to ensure we protect everyone (customers and our people). Obviously, we will continue to review and react to any subsequent government guidance as it is published, and release any updates as & when necessary.”

The rest of the UK

The property market in Scotland is also due to continue through the lockdown.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a Scottish lockdown on the 4th of January that will last at least until the end of the month.

Scottish regulations only allow you to leave your home with a reasonable excuse, which includes:

“Moving home or undertaking activities in connection with the maintenance, purchase, sale, letting, or rental of residential property that the person owns or is otherwise responsible for.”

Advice from the Welsh government similarly reflects this, with their guidelines stating that you can:

“Move home OR market a residential property for sale or rent and prepare a residential property for persons to move into OR view a residential property”

They, similarly, emphasise the use of virtual viewings and following strict guidelines during physical viewings.

This information should not be interpreted as financial advice. Mortgage and loan rates are subject to change.