Following the introduction of COVID lockdown 3 on 5 January 2021, we have released a series of articles explaining the legal impact on eight areas of daily life. This article looks at moving home and what is still allowed under the new rules.
The market remains open
Unlike the first lockdown in March 2020, the housing market remains fully open this time round. Building and construction is continuing which means that the supply of new homes is not being delayed in the same way.
Estate and lettings agents
Estate and lettings agents are allowed to visit properties, carry out valuations, take on new clients and arrange viewings to show people around properties. This means that you are still able to look for a new home or put your property on the market.
Visits and viewings are of course subject to social distancing and COVID health and safety rules, and in many cases agents have adapted how they work to do much more by video and remotely than before.
Conveyancing and legal work
Property legal work can continue and well organised law firms like Backhouse Solicitors have been able to exchange and complete on many property purchases and sales since March 2020.
Where delays occur it will usually be because local searches are taking longer to come back, because mortgages have taken longer to arrange or because there is a slow link in the purchase and sale chain.
Moving home on completion day
Removal firms are still allowed to operate. If you are moving yourself, vehicle hire is still allowed but friends and family who are not in your support bubble should not assist with your move unless absolutely necessary.
The Stamp Duty holiday ends on 31 March 2021
The current Stamp Duty holiday means that all purchases below £500,000 (subject to conditions) are free of Stamp Duty. This has stimulated the housing market but is due to end on 31 March 2021.
One of the most common questions we are asked is whether we will be able to complete a purchase before 31 March to beat the deadline. Our answer is that of course we will try, but with so many factors outside of our control we can’t promise to beat it, particularly as 31 March gets closer and closer. The longer the chain and the more complex the transaction, the less likely it is to complete in time.
For more information
If you are looking to buy, sell, transfer or re-mortgage your home, then we are here to help. Our expert property team have helped hundreds of people move home since the start of COVID-19 by being flexible and finding solutions when others have been unable to help.
Contact us today to speak to one of our friendly property lawyers, or if you would just like to get a quote for your work then please visit our Instant Conveyancing Quote page.