Your Choice Estate Agents - Covid-19

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Guidance

Government advice on home moving during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
This guidance applies to people moving into homes in England, whether as owner-occupiers, private or social renters.


From:
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-housing-communities-and-local-government


26 March 2020
Last updated:
7 January 2021, see all updates

Estate agents
Estate agency offices can remain open to the public. Estate agents agents should inform customers and their own staff about their Covid-19 procedures, so that they are safe throughout the sales process.

Agents should ask whether any party is showing symptoms or has been asked to self-isolate before going ahead with any viewing, or visits to offices.


Agents should inform visitors to their offices of the need to wear face coverings. Agents should ensure their offices are ‘Covid secure’ and that they take appropriate measures to prevent the spread of the disease. See guidance on making the workplace secure. Agents should wear face coverings while in close face-to-face contact with visitors and where other protective measures are unlikely to be in place, such as in clients’ homes during a viewing. See guidance on face coverings.


Agents should strongly encourage clients to view properties virtually in the first instance and then only physically inspect properties which they have a strong interest in.


Where they do not accompany the visit, they should make sure that both buyers and sellers clearly understand how the viewing should be conducted safely.


Agents should avoid driving clients to appointments. Advise clients to find alternative means of travel including public transport, walking, cycling or using their own vehicle. If this is not possible, follow the latest guidance on travelling safely with others including the use of a face mask and cleaning the vehicle regularly.


All parties viewing a property should wash their hands with soap and water (or hand sanitiser if not available) immediately after entering the properties, with internal doors opened and surfaces having been wiped down before they enter. Separate towels or paper towels should be used if possible and washed or disposed of safely after use.
Agents should do what they can to promote flexibility when arranging move dates, for example advising clients to ensure contracts have explicit terms to manage the timing risks presented by coronavirus.
Agents should work with their clients and other agents to broker a new date to move where sales are due to complete and one of the parties falls ill with coronavirus or has to self-isolate.


Agents should ensure that any keys are appropriately cleaned before handover.
Agents should ask clients whether they have returned to the UK from one of the countries not on the exception list. If clients have returned from a country on the quarantine list, agents can continue to progress their home move virtually until the quarantine period is over. See guidance on returning to the UK.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november#businesses-and-venues

 

Property search

UK coronavirus lockdown: what are the new rules and what does it mean for daily life?

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The government has amended the coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations to make clear that people who wish to move home can do so. This guidance provides important public health information to ensure that moving home and key activities around this, such as viewing property, can happen safely.
It is important that everyone knows how to stay alert, contain the virus and save lives. Our success containing the virus so far has been hard fought and hard won. We must proceed with the utmost care in the next phase, and avoid undoing what we have achieved. One of the simplest steps you can take when moving home is to wash your hands frequently and wherever possible stay at least 2 metres apart from people who are not members of your household.

This document does not represent a return to normality. The process of finding and moving into a new home will need to be different given those involved in the process will have to adapt practices and procedures to ensure that the risk of spread of coronavirus is reduced as far as possible. This will include doing more of the process online, such as virtual initial viewings; vacating your current property whilst other people are shown around; and ensuring your property is thoroughly cleaned before someone else moves in.

We encourage all parties involved to be as flexible as possible over this period and be prepared to delay moves, for example if someone becomes ill with coronavirus during the moving process or has to self-isolate. It may also become necessary to pause all home moves for a short period of time to manage the spread of the coronavirus. We will let you know if this has to happen.

You should consider whether you need to make provisions in contracts to manage these risks. You should not expect to move into any home where people have coronavirus or are self-isolating.

Advice to the public
More detail on progressing the individual elements of the home buying and selling or rental process and how this applies to different groups is set out in the next section.

Vulnerable people or those shielding
We recognise people who are shielding or otherwise vulnerable may also have pressing needs to move home; however, this should be balanced with the increased risks presented by coronavirus.

In line with government’s advice, those who are shielding or otherwise clinically vulnerable should ensure they are aware of the medical advice, including on staying at home and avoiding unnecessary contacts over this period, if at all possible. All parties involved in home buying and selling should prioritise agreeing amicable arrangements to change move dates for individuals in this group, or where someone in a chain is in this group.

Clinically vulnerable and shielded individuals (ie those who have received a letter advising they are in the clinically extremely vulnerable group) will need to carefully consider their personal situation and the circumstances of their own move and may wish to seek medical advice before deciding whether to commit to or go ahead with a move. Some moves are likely to be lower risk - for instance if the home is empty, all travel can take place in their own transport and they can avoid contact with others.

We would encourage everyone in these categories who does intend to move, to make clear their status to all of the professionals involved in the process. They may be able to implement additional precautionary measures to further protect you.

People self-isolating or having tested positive for coronavirus
Moving home is not appropriate whilst you pose a direct risk of transmitting coronavirus. People who have coronavirus or are self-isolating with their family member should not leave their home to either move home, or undertake property viewings.

If you are contractually committed to move home, you should delay your move until all members of your household have come to the end of their self-isolation period. All parties involved in home buying and selling should prioritise agreeing amicable arrangements to change move dates for individuals, or where someone in a chain or their family member is self-isolating or has tested positive for coronavirus.

Should a move be essential for people in this category, for instance due to an urgent health and safety risk, please contact Public Health England/local public health teams for advice.

What does this mean for my property move or purchase which is scheduled whilst measures to fight coronavirus apply?
People are free to move home, however the process of finding and moving into a new home is likely to be different, as those involved in the process will need to adapt practices and procedures to ensure that the risk of spread of coronavirus is reduced as far as possible. It is vital that everyone stays alert and safe.

Initial viewings should be done virtually wherever this is possible and property agents should help you to do this.
All physical viewings should be limited to members of the same household and open house viewings should not take place.
When physically viewing properties, where possible, you should avoid touching surfaces, wash your hands regularly, and bring your own hand sanitiser. The number of people on a viewing should be minimised to those from your household that absolutely have to be there. 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 people are being shown around your current home, you should open all internal doors and ensure surfaces, such as door handles, are cleaned after each viewing with standard household cleaning products.
As most people choose to, we recommend that you vacate your property whilst viewings are taking place in order to minimise your contact with those not in your household.
Anyone involved in any aspect of the home moving process should practice social distancing in line with public health advice.
When moving between properties, you and those in your household should try to do as much of the packing yourself as you can. Where this is not possible, you should speak to removal firms in advance. There is further advice about this below.
If you are particularly worried about the risk of infection, then speak to the professionals involved, your landlord, estate agent or removers as they may be able to put in place extra measures.


Everyone involved in the moving process must follow social distancing to minimise the spread of the virus.

 

After putting my house up for sale in March (pre-covid) with Your Choice estate agents i knew from the moment I met Khalid that I could trust him. After covid hit and many set backs due to covid Khalid always kept me informed of the situation from house viewings to offers. It was a very difficult time to sell a house/home but I knew khald did his best for me and always had my best interests at heart. I would definitely recommend using Khalid to anyone wanting to sell their property.https://www.trustpilot.com/evaluate/www.yourchoiceonline.co.uk

Nicola Robinson, Vendor - 27/10/2020

Very responsive and guided me throughout the whole process. I would highly recommended your choice estate agents to anyone who is looking to buy a property as there very supportive.

https://www.allagents.co.uk/review/410511/

Nadia Azhar, Buyer - Oct 24,2020

I have been come across your choice through a friend of mine and really pleased by their professional guidance and help . I would highly recommend to do business with your choice in future .

https://www.allagents.co.uk/review/349132/

Imran Qureshi, Landlord - 24/04/2019

I would highly recommend Your Choice Estate Agent. Their representative Mr Khalid made the purchase of our second property and provided excellent communication, feedback and service from start to finish. He was professional and friendly at all times and most importantly got us the house, he was approachable and reachable at all times via whattsapp which made it easy for me to get hold of the him so thank you for everything and look forward to working with you on the next property https://www.allagents.co.uk/review/410505/

Rashid Shala, Buyer - 24/10/2020

Excellent and very helpful from staff to end. Honest staff. Great service from Valuation to the end. Got the tenants I was looking for too

H khan, Landlord - Oct 09,2018
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