The National Residential Landlords Association has warned landlords to brace themselves for possible further changes to lockdown rules affecting the private rented sector.
Restrictions currently vary across the UK’s regions but as they stand, in England’s new tier five, estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work as both house moves and viewings go ahead as normal, although virtual viewings are advised.
The most recent guidance says it’s acceptable to enter someone’s home to allow them to move home but people outside the household shouldn’t help out – suggesting professional removal firms should be used instead. Tradespeople can still enter homes to carry out repairs.
In Scotland, you can leave home for activities connected with moving home (including viewing a property), or to do with the maintenance, purchase, sale, letting, or rental of residential property that you own or are responsible for.
Its government says travelling for the purposes of undertaking essential work on a property other than your main residence shouldn’t be used as a pretext for a holiday. Tradespeople can only go into a house to carry out or deliver essential work or services,
The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels) (Scotland) Amendment (No.10) Regulations 2021 apply across the Scottish mainland until at least the end of January.
Northern Ireland is currently in the second week of a six-week lockdown. During this time, house moves and the associated activities for moving home, including viewing properties, maintenance, and removals can still go ahead, facilitated by estate agents which can stay open – although the public isn’t allowed to enter their offices. Tradespeople can enter homes to carry out building or maintenance work.
Wales has been in tier four since 21st December, meaning that residents can still move home, market a residential property for sale or rent and prepare a residential property for people to move into.
While estate agencies have closed to the public, moves can take place, but only if the moving date can’t be delayed until after restrictions are lifted.
Virtual viewings are advised wherever possible, while removals processes, property preparation, handover of keys, surveys, and valuations can also take place in line with guidance on working in other people’s homes.
Tradespeople can also continue to work in homes, although the government recommends that you consider whether the work can be safely deferred until it is no longer in tier four.