The property market remains open during the lockdown with property searchers buying and letting properties in full force. In fact, all home moves are permitted, provided they can be carried out safely.
What measures can you take to move safely during the pandemic? We break it down into the searching and moving in stages.
Property searching stage
Take advantage of technology
In the first instance, it would be ideal if viewings can be arranged to be conducted virtually. Contact the estate agent that is responsible for advertising the interested property and ask if there is a possibility to view the property through video conference. The entirety of the property should be displayed giving the viewer an opportunity to assess whether the property is suitable for them.
Once the property has been viewed virtually, then it may be best to arrange an in person viewing. The initial virtual viewing allows to reduce the number of people physically viewing the property and thus reduce the chance of the coronavirus spreading.
In person viewings
On arrival to viewing a property, all the usual steps should be taken to ensure the safety of everyone in the property. Such steps would include to make sure no one is feeling any symptoms and use hand sanitiser on arrival, avoid touching surfaces wherever possible particularly if the property is not vacant. One of the simplest steps you should take is to wear face coverings during the entirety of the viewing.
The same precautions should be taken when visiting an agent’s office and if there are any concerns, the viewer should contact the agent in advance of their visit to discuss appropriate measures.
‘Open house’ viewings should not take place and viewings should be by appointment only. Back-to-back viewings of properties should be avoided, to allow sufficient time to clean between each of the viewings.
Moving in stage
When moving between properties, you 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 as there is no guarantee your chosen removal firm will be operating at the time you require.
You should also try and do as much of the packing yourself and wherever possible, it would be good to clean your belongings with standard cleaning products before they are handled by others.
If removal firms are unavailable, you could ask another household to help you move your belongings, but social distancing guidelines and hygiene measures should be followed where possible.
While the removers are in your home, you should ensure any internal doors are open and try to minimise your contact with the removers.
Whilst it is nice to offer refreshments, it is safer to not do so but ensure removers have access to hand washing facilities, using separate towels or paper towels.
A general tip would be to be to prepare for any delay in case anyone feels symptoms and communicate concerns so extra precautions can be taken in advance.