Can I move house now? Yes! 13th May 2020

12th May 2020

The guidance today (13th May) is that Estate Agents and house movers can start to work again and that house moves can commence again. Good news – but we all need to proceed with care.

This announcement was sudden and unexpected and has taken the conveyancing industry by surprise.

Since March 26, Hannays Solicitors have been working within the Government rules which specified that only a “small number of moves” should go ahead during the lockdown.

This stated:

  • Buyers should only proceed with purchases during the lockdown if moving into a vacant property.
  • For occupied properties, all parties should ‘do all they can to amicably agree alternative dates’ for after the lockdown ends.
  • Critical home moves can go ahead if new dates cannot be agreed, but social distancing rules must be observed.

The Government guidance in March states that conveyancers should continue to “support the sales of unoccupied properties as far as possible” and we have been doing this while trying to prepare for the day that the restrictions are lifted and that day is today!

Now that house moves are allowed again we will support any of our clients who wish to proceed with their sale or purchase, but if you are planning to try to complete your sale or purchase you need to take into account:

  1. Whether the other party associated with your move can move.
  2. Whether it is safe to move into the house you are purchasing or if it is safe for the party buying your house to move into your home. For instance, it would not be safe if either party has Covid-19 or has been exposed to it.
  3. It may still not be possible to proceed with your move if the other party involved in the transaction  has an underlying health condition and has been advised to continue self-isolating.
  4. Can you get a house mover to assist in moving your possessions to the property and can the other party in the transaction book a removal firm to help with their move?
  5. For purchasers – will your mortgage lender release the funds and when? Some lenders may not be able to release funds if your financial circumstances have changed.
  6. For puchasers have all your searches been completed? There have been some delays in obtaining them as Local Authorities have been working with reduced staffing.

If your transaction has been paused and you want to proceed now the best person to discuss your completion with is your solicitor – so please phone us on 0191 4555361.

Please see our general advice here