Government says business as usual for estate agents

The housing market is to remain open in the four week lockdown in England.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government confirmed the news after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the lockdown until December 2.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: "Q: Can I still move house? A: Yes – the housing market will remain open throughout this period. Everyone should continue to play their part in reducing the spread of the virus by following the current guidance."

The latest Government Guidance in the aftermath of the recently introduced nationwide lockdown is that the property market remains fully open so at Loveitts we are here, still servicing our clients, both remotely and also physically within our Covid secure offices, albeit all three of our offices are currently closed to visitors except by prior appointment.

Loveitts have a history and professional pedigree straddling three centuries (having been established in 1843) and have come through many difficult and challenging times in our 177 year history, emerging ever stronger on each occasion. Our focus in 2020 (as always) is on best servicing the needs of our many, many clients whilst ensuring that the safety and welfare of our employees and customers remains paramount to ensure that everyone stays safe, so always mindful and considerate of others so that we all come through this together.

For members of the public - prospective buyers and tenants, as well as vendors and landlords - the same government guidance note says: “You are free to move home. However, you may find the process of searching for and moving into a new home is different, as property agents, conveyancers and other professionals have modified how they work to reduce the risk from COVID-19.

“Initial viewings should be done virtually wherever possible. Property agents should be able to help you with this.

“Members of the public who are visiting an agent’s office or viewing a property should wear a suitable face covering as described in government guidance unless they are exempt from this requirement. This should be confirmed with the agent before arrival. Anyone with concerns should contact the agent in advance of their visit to discuss appropriate measures. The agent may require you to arrange an appointment before visiting the premises.

“All physical viewings where prospective buyers or renters will be entering the property should involve no more than 2 households inside the property at any one time. This includes any agent accompanying either party. Anyone in a support bubble with either household, however, will count as part of that household. 

Where prospective buyers who are currently from separate households wish to view the property on the same occasion, we advise that one household leaves the property to allow the other to enter. This allows for both households to view the property and ensures social distancing. When viewing properties in person, you should avoid touching surfaces wherever possible, wash your hands regularly and/or use hand sanitiser. If you need to be accompanied by small children, you should try to keep them from touching surfaces and ensure they wash their hands regularly.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss how this news affects your property sale or purchase, get in contact with our friendly team today.