House moves still permitted in second lockdown
Following the prime minister’s announcement on 31st October that the UK will be entering a second full national lockdown, further details have now been released which still permits certain activities, including house moves.
Whilst the property industry faced another limbo, uncertain as to whether they may continue during another lockdown, the Government has now provided some clarity as to how the housing market would still be able to operate.
According to Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, who took to social media to specify the new guidance, renters and homeowners will still be able to move and removal firms and estate agents can operate too. Also, construction sites will also be able to remain active and tradespeople can still enter homes - but all must follow the Covid safe guidance as outlined by the government, i.e. wash hands, cover face and make space. Additional PPE should be used where necessary.
England is following in the footsteps of both Wales and Northern Ireland, who have adopted ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdowns to curb the spread of the virus. The prime minister Boris Johnson announced these measures on the day the UK exceeded one million Covid-19 cases. Over the past seven days, the UK has averaged almost 23,000 new cases a day, and 237 deaths with coronavirus.
The previous lockdown brought a wealth of uncertainty to the property sector as businesses were forced to close and construction sites ground to a halt. No doubt, this latest news will be a welcome relief to the sector, which is already facing a boom in business as people continue to join the property market in a bid to beat the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday deadline.
Another positive aspect will be to enable those transactions already in the Conveyancing pipeline to proceed to exchange and completion and not simply stall and create a backlog as we saw earlier in the year.
The lockdown restrictions, which begin on Thursday, are set to last until December to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed with the potential number of Covid patients.
If you are in the process of moving home or considering your next purchase, it is wise to make sure you contact your conveyancing solicitor as soon as possible to help accommodate busier periods, or a temporary slow down as services once again become more remote or staff return to furlough.
In contrast to many law firms, we have, throughout the crisis period, kept our residential teams largely in place. We have also invested in additional fee-earning and administrative support to help meet the unprecedented demand we are experiencing. Contact Downs Solicitors if you would like any more information about your next property move.