• Peter Thompson

Can I Move House During Lockdown - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated: Nov 2, 2020

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Credit: House Beautiful

Thousands of people were looking to move home this month. However, these plans have been thrown into disarray by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and subsequent social distancing measures.

On Monday the government introduced strict social distancing measures which discouraged the public from leaving their houses and saw the closures of non-essential businesses, causing disruption to the property market.

Here’s everything you need to know about how house moves has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

What is the government advice on moving house during the lockdown?

On Friday the UK Government released measures which essentially froze the housing market.

They urged both sellers and buyers to “be flexible” agreeing with new moving dates.

The guidance read: “Where the property is currently occupied, we encourage all parties to do all they can to amicably agree alternative dates to move, for a time when it is likely that stay-at-home measures against coronavirus will no longer be in place,

Banks have already agreed to extend mortgages (Mortgage Holiday) in line with the new guidance.

The new guidance comes days after cabinet minister Michael Gove advised people to delay your house moves if possible.

He said: “There will be specific circumstances where people will still be buying or selling, but if at all possible people should stay in their current home.” Speaking a day later Housing Minister Robert Jenrick clarified the government’s stance.

What if I’ve already exchanged contracts?

New homebuyers who have already signed a contract should talk your solicitor and other parties to attempt to hold the move, according to government guidance.

Although a legally binding contract has already been signed it should be possible to modify the contract so long as both parties agree to do so.

Property expert Henry Pryor advised Which? that it is logical to add a clause agreeing on a delay to the move by a reasonable amount of time.

Are Other Removal Companies still operating?

Removal Companies have been advised by the British Association of Removals to “only complete any moves that are underway and immediately cancel or postpone any move that has not yet started.”

Revealing the decision, they said: “It is evident that our collective and absolute priority now must be on ensuring the safety of the staff and customers of our Members, and of course their respective families, and so all parties must now make every immediate effort to remove the risk for mover and consumer alike at the very earliest opportunity.”

Removal firms are still able to operate at their own discretion, however. It remains unclear whether removal firms are deemed essential work by the government.

NOTE: Mover Brothers will continue to serve their communities in accordance with the Government Guidelines. We are also volunteering half of our fleet to the NHS to help with the logistics and deliveries of essential machines and medicines.

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