11:33 AM, 5th January 2021, About 6 months ago
The government guidance regarding lockdown restrictions for the housing market says estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work
You can still move home. If you are looking to move, you can go to property viewings. People outside your household or support bubble should not help with moving house unless absolutely necessary.
Mark Hayward, Chief Policy Adviser, for Propertymark said: “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 through 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 commented: “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. Obviously, we will continue to review and react to any subsequent government guidance as it is published, and release any updates as and when necessary.”
Paul Offley, Compliance Officer at The Guild of Property Professionals, says Government guidance stipulates that people in England are still permitted to move homes and estate and lettings agents can continue to work. However, the announcement is another reminder to the property sector that it is imperative to act within a Covid-secure manner to ensure the safety of both the public and the agents themselves. He adds that the robust Covid-secure polices in place within the property sector have been what has kept the sector and people moving. Policies which are imperative at a time when the rate of infections is on the rise and we are in the throw of another wave. “With the rate of infections increasing once again due to the highly contagious variant of Covid-19 making its way through the country, now more than ever agents have an obligation to continue to act within a safe manner to ensure that they are protecting the public and doing what they can to minimise the spread of the virus,” he says.
“While physical viewings may be permitted by the Government, given the current circumstances and resurgence of the virus, agents should ensure that physical viewings only take place as the very last step once they have gone through much of the process with potential buyers virtually. In fact, I would go as far as to say that in the current situation with the increased rate of infections, agents have a moral obligation to ensure that all buyers are taken through the process of virtually viewing a property before any face-to-face appointment takes place. Buyers should also consider whether there is a genuine need for the appointment to take place now or consider whether the appointment could be deferred until restrictions are eased,” advises Offley.
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