It was announced that from Friday November 20th 11 local authority areas across central and western Scotland, including Glasgow, will be placed in Tier 4 restrictions until December 11th. This means that more than two million people will return to near-lockdown conditions with non-essential retail, hospitality and entertainment venues closed. People will be encouraged to only work from home, avoid public transport and to only leave home for essential purposes such as work or exercise. It will be against the law to travel to a different council district even if it has is in the same tier unless it is for essential purposes.
Many people who are either in the process of moving home or looking to move are understandably anxious as to whether they will need to put their plans on hold. The good news that all aspects of moving home are permitted with the housing market essentially open with people able to move across all protection tiers. In addition, people can move to and from different areas placed in different tiers.
Although agents and office workers have been asked to work from home where possible, businesses can support people to move home in all areas, following the relevant guidance on social distancing.
Mortgage applications and approvals are still going ahead. Here is some of the relevant guidance you may need to be aware of:
In all instances, you must self-isolate if displaying symptoms, have had a positive test, and have been asked to isolate by the Track and Trace service. This means that no-one must visit your property for the purposes of moving home or preparing your property for sale and you must not leave your home until permitted to do so.
- Valuations and floorplans can be undertaken at the property but where possible, services should be undertaken remotely.
- Professional photographs and video footage may be taken of your property and you should vacate the property whilst this is being undertaken.
- The legal requirement for an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) when a property is built, sold or rented remains.
- Home reports must still be obtained prior to any property being marketed for sale.
- Tradespeople are allowed to enter a property for repairs, renovation or building works.
- When selling your home viewings must be conducted virtually before a physical viewing can take place. Speculative viewings are not permitted.
- Agents must not drive buyers to the property and only one household can view the property at one time – with only two adults (plus the agent) attending, and children discouraged from attending. Open viewings are not allowed.
- Viewings must not be carried out by the occupier and if an agent accompanies a viewing, they must adhere to all social distancing rules, wear a face covering and wash or sanitise their hands upon entering and leaving.
- The estate agent must assess any risk and ensure that the party viewing a property, nor the occupier are displaying any symptoms and have not had a positive coronavirus test.
- During the viewing all internal doors must be left open and it is advised to open windows.
- You are advised to clean all door handles and surfaces between viewings and all viewings must be contactless.
- The length of the viewing must be kept to a minimum.
- Offers can be accepted and a property reserved in the usual manner.
- It is advised that you are flexible with moving dates and that contracts have explicit terms to manage the timing risks in the event of coronavirus. All parties must be able to decide on a new moving date if one of the parties should fall ill with coronavirus.
- Keys must be cleaned before handover.
We are still fully operational so please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or queries about obtaining for a mortgage.