• Mortgage Tree

Second Lockdown! Can I still view, buy, sell and move house during lockdown number 2?




A month-long national lockdown has been announced for England. What does this mean for your house sale, purchase or move?


The Prime Minister has announced a national lockdown for England, starting on 5th November for 1 month until 2 December.

Different rules are in place for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales to limit the spread (see below).


So, if you should be staying at home, can you still buy, sell or move house as normal?


Yes, you can move house during the national lockdown


In a series of tweets, the housing minister Robert Jenrick confirmed 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.


Can I view a property in lockdown?


Yes.


What other related activities can I undertake in lockdown?


Under regulations agreed in Parliament today, the following activities are allowed during lockdown:

(i) visiting estate or letting agents, developer sales offices or show homes;

(ii) viewing residential properties to look for a property to buy or to rent;

(iii) preparing a residential property to move in;

(iv) moving house;

(v) visiting a residential property to undertake any activities required for the rental or sale of that property.


Can I list my home for sale during the national lockdown?


Yes. When it comes to appointing your estate agent, give them a call to speak to them. You can visit an estate agents but many are only opening their office doors for people that have booked an appointment.

You can market your home and estate agents can visit in order to take photos/videos of your property.


What changes apply when moving home during coronavirus?

You can expect the following to apply as part of the “new normal” for moving home at the moment:

1. More is being done online

The process of searching for and moving into a new home is different because property agents, conveyancers and other professionals have modified how they work to reduce the risk from COVID-19.

These changes include doing more online, such as offering virtual viewings. While these are a good initial filter of a property you want to buy, you will want to visit it in person before parting with your hard earned cash.

2. Viewings rules

With physical viewings, the government advise:

  • there should be no more than 2 households inside the property at any one time. This includes any agent accompanying either party. Anyone in a support bubble with either household, however, will count as part of that household.

  • Viewings in person need to be arranged by appointment only. When viewing in person, you should maintain a 2 meter distance where possible and avoid touching surfaces.

  • Homeowners should keep internal doors open and clean surfaces and door handles with standard household cleaning products afterwards.

  • Government advises estate agents and potential buyers/tenants on viewings to wear face masks.

3. Expect delays and be flexible


If someone in your chain has symptoms of COVID you could have to wait while they self isolate which could add delays to your home move.

Your conveyancer will be able to make sure that any contracts or agreements are as flexible as possible to accommodate this risk.

In particular, you will want to protect yourself against the likelihood of a sudden change in circumstances which could undermine your sale and/or purchase, and expose you to unexpected costs.

A “Covid Clause” within the contract offers parties the ability to exchange contracts while ensuring you are not at fault and in breach of contract, with all of the associated costs, if you are unable to complete because of a coronavirus related issue. Speak to a conveyancing solicitor for advice.


The 3 most important ways to minimise delays are:


Instructing a conveyancing solicitor as soon as you list your home or as your offer is accepted. You can compare quotes now from conveyancing solicitors and speak to them about the process and costs so you’re ready to instruct them.

Getting your paperwork in order. If it’s a leasehold, find the lease. Locate certificates showing compliance with regulations of any works done from planning permissions to FENSA certificates for window replacements. Don’t forget valid guarantees a home buyer will want to see. See what documents you’ll need.

Sorting your mortgage. Many lenders and brokers are experiencing COVID related delays and mortgage choices have significantly reduced, especially for first time buyers. Avoid wasting time later down the line and start the mortgage process now.


4. Packing and moving


The government advise you do as much of the packing yourself. If you are using a removals firm or someone outside your household is helping you, then these additional rules apply:

  • clean your belongings where possible before being handled

  • leave doors open

  • do not provide refreshments

  • use separate towels or paper towels for hand washing where possible

If you need help with your move, find a local removals firm and get removals quotes now. You may want to speak to a cleaning firm for your home, or the house you are moving into. A deep clean of your onward home once it has been vacated might help put you at ease. To find a cleaner near you, simply type “cleaning services” in the tool below.


Can a tradesperson still come into my house?

Yes – tradespeople like electricians, plumbers, repairers of domestic appliances can enter your home. They will need to follow social distancing guidance.


How are the rules different in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland?


You can still move home in Wales during its ‘firebreak’ lockdown from Fri 23rd October to 9th November, but only if you cannot delay the moving date until after the 2 week lockdown period is over. During the short lockdown property viewings will not be allowed and estate agents will have to close.

If the Welsh government decide to go back to setting restrictions at a local level, you should be able to move into and out of these areas.  You will be asked if there are viable alternatives to visiting a property in person; and surveyors will be able to visit properties as long as they socially distance.  The Welsh government also suggests that if you cannot leave the property you are moving into empty for 3 days that you ensure that the property is thoroughly cleaned beforehand.

In Northern Ireland, you are allowed to move as long as you follow the guidelines issued in June. Builders, tradespeople and repair people can go into people’s homes to carry out repairs and installations.

In Scotland, all home moves have been allowed since July, as long as they can safely be carried out, and this continues to be the case.


Here's what our clients say...

“Mortgage Tree showed me how to improve my credit rating as I had a few issues with my credit previously. As a result of their excellent advice I have now secured a mortgage at a great interest rate. They also helped me sort out life & critical illness cover which offers great protection for myself and my family. Mortgage Tree offers a fantastic service and I recommend them wholeheartedly.”

Charlotte - Leeds

Home

Mortgage Calculator

Mortgage Tree - Mortgage Advisors York - Services & Standards

Mortgage Tree offers a nationwide mortgage broking service from our base near York, North Yorkshire. We specialise in mortgages and insurance. Whether you are a first time buyer or you are a buy to let investor with multiple properties, Mortgage Tree will ensure that you get the best products available.

We are a Whole Of Market broker which means that we will choose the best, most suitable mortgage for you from the hundreds available on the UK mortgage market. Our network also gets special discounted deals from lenders available only to our network.

We also provide insurance cover that will give you & your loved ones a blanket of protection that is so vital. We will endeavour to give you the best service that we can at all times.

Mortgage Tree is an appointed representative of Julian Harris Mortgages ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Our FCA no. 304155

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is an agency for arbitrating on unresolved complaints between regulated firms and their clients. Full details of the FOS can be found on its website at www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE. BUY TO LET (PURE) AND COMMERCIAL MORTGAGES ARE NOT REGULATED BY THE FCA.

Legal 

Our Address...

Stay Connected...

© 2020 Mortgage Tree

Built by Elle Nelson Design

Mortgage Tree

Blake House

18 Blake St

York

YO1 8QG

01904 263012