Can I Move House Now?
Yes you can, but you do have to follow some key guidance that’s been issued by the Government, which covers England. The original guidance said that no one should leave the place they live without a reasonable excuse.
They’ve now updated this guidance to include that a reasonable excuse includes the need to do any of the following in relation to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property:
- Going to an estate or letting agency or to a sales office or show home in a new housing development
- Viewing a property to rent or buy
- Getting a property ready so you can move in
- Actually moving home
- Going to a property to get it ready to sell or rent out
With this new guidance, it’s clear that you can move house now, but you will need to think about some additional things.
- Social distancing still needs to be observed. This includes when visiting an estate agent, show home and when viewing a property.
- You’ll probably be dealing with your Conveyancer over the phone so you shouldn’t need to meet face to face, but if you do, you should maintain social distancing and make sure you follow the basic hygiene principles of washing your hands or using hand sanitiser.
So everything above is related to the physical part of moving, but there are some other things you need think about, particularly if you were quite far along in the process just before lockdown.
- Check with your Conveyancing Solicitor that they can still complete your sale or purchase. If they can’t, our team of Conveyancing experts are all working remotely and can help you. Just check that your original firm won’t charge you an abortive fee.
- Confirm with your lender that your mortgage offer is still valid. You’ll need this offer still in place to move forward if you’re buying.
- If your sale and purchase was part of a chain before lockdown, you need to know whether the chain is still intact and whether the rest of the chain want to continue. Your Conveyancing Solicitor can help you to establish that.
- You should consider the impact of Coronavirus if you buying a house where someone is already living. Can you make plans for a deep clean of the property on move day so you can protect you and your family? Talk to your Conveyancer who may be able to offer you some ideas on what you can do.
- If you are shielding, clinically vulnerable, self isolating or you have symptoms, you should urgently speak to your conveyancer so you can agree a new move date.
At the beginning of the pandemic, we decide to advise our clients to simultaneously exchange and complete. This meant that there were no issues with sales falling through unnecessarily because of the pandemic.
We’re still advising all of our clients to take this approach as it helps to protect you.
Whatever your situation, whether you’re just starting to look or you were just about to complete before the lockdown, if you need help and advice or your conveyancing firm can’t help you get your purchase over the line, get in touch.
We can help you.
Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Billingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Catterick, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.