“Can I still move house?” is a question we are being frequently asked by clients during the lockdown, says Alistair Millar, Head of Conveyancing at Tallents Solicitors. Here, he aims to answer your key queries.
How does the lockdown affect my house sale or house purchase?
New legislation came into force on 26 March 2020 to impose restrictions in order to reduce the risk to public health arising from the Coronavirus: The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restriction, England) Regulations 2020.
Within the document, Regulation 6 provides that no person may leave the place in which they are living without a reasonable excuse.
- going to and from a place of work where it was not possible to work from home,
- shopping for essentials and necessities,
- for a medical need, or
- to take one form of exercise per day.
Regulation 6 (2) (l) provides a consent to be outside of the place in which you are living 'to move house where reasonably necessary'.
But what does ‘reasonably necessary’ actually mean?
I was supposed to be moving home. How does the coronavirus affect me?
Government guidance recommends:
- there is no need to pull out of property transactions, but people are urged to follow the guidance to stay at home where possible and instead delay moving house,
- where a property is vacant, then that purchase can proceed to completion, provided distancing guidelines are followed for house removals,
- any person with coronavirus symptoms or who is self-isolating, should not move house for the time being if at all possible,
- where the property is currently occupied, then parties should be flexible and work together to agree an alternative date on which to complete the house move,
- if moving is unavoidable for contractual reasons, then people must follow advice on social distancing to minimise the spread of the virus.
How Tallents Solicitors can help you during the lockdown
As conveyancers, we will continue to support the sales process as far as possible and will make sure you are fully aware of the difficulties of completing transactions in this period. We will:
- Continue to support the sales of unoccupied properties as far as possible.
- Make every effort to support our clients who are due to complete on occupied properties in the stay-at-home period to change this date.
- Advise our clients who are ready to move not to exchange contracts on an occupied property unless they have made explicit provision for the risks presented by the virus.
- Will prioritise supporting anyone with symptoms, self-isolating or shielding from the virus and those they are in chain with, and we urge them to do all they can to help a new date to be agreed in these circumstances.
If you need to speak to one of our experienced conveyancing team, then please call us on 01636 813411 or visit our website.