After ministers hinted last week that viewings could restart if those involved adhered to strict safety rules, the government has now backtracked and makes no mention of moving home in its 60-page plan published today.

The government has this afternoon published its three-step plan to lift the Coronavirus lockdown which includes allowing golf and tennis to played and for some workers to return to work, from tomorrow onwards.

But landlords hoping the rental market could now return to a semblance of normality will be disappointed by Boris Johnson’s 60-page document which makes no mention of when people will be allowed to move home again or even when face-to-face viewings will be permitted.

This means tenants and landlords face a 20-day wait until June 1st when, assuming the rate of infection and other indicators show Coronavirus coming under control, the next stage of the lockdown release will happen.

The current guidance is that no one should move home unless contractually obliged to do so, their home is not fit human habitation or they are a student moving back home after their university closed its campus.

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Boris’s document is particularly disappointing because the government had, last week, given strong signals to several property industry groups that the rental market may be allowed to enjoy a partial revival.

This had been promised as long as landlords, tenants and letting agents followed strict rules and wore personal protective equipment when doing viewings, appraisals and both check-ins and outs as well as inventories.

Instead, the new plan reveals that it will be another 50+ days until more face-to-face businesses such as hairdressers and beauty salons are allowed to open on July 3rd, suggesting strongly that viewings and house moves will be given the green light at the same time.

Read the plan in full.


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