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New lockdown rules on buying, selling, moving home, and tradespeople

With the number of Covid-19 cases increasing at an alarming rate across the whole of the UK, the government has acted to try and control the spread of the virus by introducing another lockdown.

In order fight coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives, the government is urging people to do more to reduce the spread of the infection by reducing day-to-day contact with other people, and that means staying home, except for specific purposes.

From Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, the government is also asking people to not gather with others they do not live with, except for specific purposes, as well as close certain businesses and venues, but does that include estate agency branches?

All non-essential retail has been ordered to close for a month, including auction houses, but does not appear at this stage to include estate agents, and so they will not have to close under the existing guidance – at least not in England.

While the housing market in England will remain open, the Welsh government has put all viewings on hold.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick took to social media to confirm that renters and homeowners in England will be able to move and removal firms, tradespeople, and estate agents can still operate by going inside homes.

Writing on Twitter, Jenrick said: “Housing market update ahead of Thursday’s measures: Renters & homeowners will be able to move; Removal firms and estate agents can operate; Construction sites can and should continue; Tradespeople will be able to enter homes.

“But all must follow the Covid safety guidance.”

Jenrick added that “all parties involved should continue to play their part in reducing the spread of the virus by following the current guidance”.

That includes following social distancing rules, wearing PPE including masks and gloves, having sellers leave the property during a viewing, which can only last for 15 minutes, and to have as few people looking at the property as possible.

He continued: “Tradespeople like electricians, plumbers, repairers of domestic appliances can enter your home. They will need to follow social distancing guidance that has already been published.”

However, during the current Welsh two-week ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown, the residential property market has effectively been closed again. Estate agent offices have been forced to shut and in-person property viewings are banned until Monday 9 November.

Original Article from Property Industry Eye 02/11/20

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