COVID-19 – Advice for those Moving Home

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In light of the recent coronavirus outbreak, which has seen a number of countries across the globe be placed into some form of lockdown, the UK Government has provided advice for those buying and/or selling a property during this time.

Whilst the Government have assured buyers and sellers that they need not pull out of a sale that’s already been agreed, they’ve also urged people to be flexible with regards to the process and adapt if required. They’ve also requested that all buyers and sellers respect the advice to stay at home and minimise direct contact with others.

“Where the property being moved into is vacant, then you can continue with this transaction, although you should follow the guidance on home removals.

“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 measure against coronavirus (COVID-19) will no longer be in place.”


Can I still go ahead with my house move?

In short, yes, but only if you are:

  • Buying a vacant property
  • Buying an investment property with a sitting tenant
  • A cash buyer, with no plan to occupy the property immediately after the purchase is completed

Where possible, buyers and renters should seek to delay moving into a new house whilst measures to fight the virus are in place.

If you’re buying a house and have already exchanged contracts, and if the property is currently occupied, all parties should try to work together in order to delay the move and determine an agreed moving date at some point in the future, or an alternative resolution.

If it’s impossible to avoid moving house due to statements written into your contract, or if both parties are unable to reach an agreement on delaying the moving date, you can carry out a house move, but you will need to pay special consideration to the government advice on social distancing, and make plans to move with this in mind.

We encourage you to communicate with your DRN solicitor to discuss the options which are available to you.


Will this affect my mortgage agreement?  

As everyone in the UK, and much of Europe, is currently in this same situation, all mortgage lenders are currently working on putting plans into place which will allow those who have already exchanged contracts to extend their mortgage offer for up to three months, which will allow you to push your moving date back.

Please let us know if you would like us to contact your mortgage lender on your behalf to gain further information.


Can I still carry out viewings on my home?

The Government’s outlook on home visits has been quite plain amidst the outbreak – there should not be anyone visiting your home (unless for essential care reasons). For this reason, you should not let people pay visits to your property for the purpose of viewing it. Some estate agents are currently conducting virtual viewings – perhaps consider asking your agent about their online services if this is something you might be interested in.


Someone has made an offer on my property – should I accept it?

The Government has not put restrictions into place on the act of purchasing a house, so, if you receive an ideal offer, you should accept! You should also, however, remember that the process of selling your house may take slightly longer than perhaps it would under normal circumstances.


Buying or Selling Your House with DRN

We would like to reassure our clients that we are here for you, and open for business as much as any business can be in these troubling times. The experienced specialists of our Property/Conveyancing department are currently working remotely, ensuring that all emails are being responded to, calls are being returned, and transactions are being processed. Purchases are still being completed, so don’t hesitate to get in touch today to find out more about our conveyancing services.