Can I move house during the Coronavirus pandemic?
Lockdown restrictions may have eased, but social distancing measures are still in place. This has left many people wondering if it’s now possible to relocate during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is far from over. You may be worried about the chances of the virus being transmitted between families and removal staff during relocation or concerned that removal services aren’t as easy to access as they previously were. Let’s find out whether moving house during the pandemic is a realistic idea right now. Darvills of Leeds is here to help if you’re looking for removal companies in Leeds and Wakefield.
How the outbreak began
The COVID-19 outbreak began in China in December. The first cases were reported in the UK in early 2020, a few weeks before the entire country went into lockdown. Coronavirus can be fatal and is transmitted between humans through droplets from the mouth and nose, which is why masks are used to slow down transmission. There have now been more than 46,000 Coronavirus-related deaths in the United Kingdom, and local lockdowns are in place in areas where cases have risen.
Key facts about relocating during the pandemic
UK residents are currently permitted to move home unless they’re self-isolating, are infected with COVID-19, or a part of a vulnerable group. However, it’s essential to adhere to social distancing measures at every stage of the move, which means you must keep at least one metre apart from people who aren’t in your household. You must comply with these instructions during the house move, when arranging a removal, viewing a potential new home, or welcoming possible buyers into your own house. All businesses within the property industry are now able to operate. This includes estate agents, surveying firms, and removal companies.
Viewings and surveys
The public is being encouraged to conduct virtual house viewings whenever possible, and open-house viewings are still not permitted. Houses must be cleaned and sanitised before and after visitors attend them. Homeowners must exit the premises during surveys and viewings to keep contact to a minimum. It’s also essential to leave doors and windows open during viewings, surveys, and removals. Sinks must be made available so hand washing can take place.
Earlier changes to legislation
Previously, it was only possible to move house “where reasonably necessary”, until the rules were amended in May. The changes made it possible to visit estate and letting agents, developer sales offices, and show homes. It also permitted residential property viewings. It allowed people to prepare residential properties for moves and to visit residential properties to carry out activities related to rentals and sales. From this point, people were permitted to move home for whatever reason.
The legislation also said safety checks and repairs should occur between properties being vacated and new tenants moved in. Where this is not possible and visits needed to be carried out whilst properties were occupied, measures should be put in place to minimise physical contact. For instance, a resident could wait upstairs whilst a boiler is being checked.
When lockdown started, the BAR advised that its members should “only complete any moves that are underway and immediately cancel or postpone any move that has not yet started.” In May, the BAR changed its advice. It said all appropriate measures to minimise risks must be taken if complying fully with social distancing is not possible. Various bodies in the removals and property industry have worked with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to develop home moving guidance.
Has the pandemic changed the market?
Recent research suggests the pandemic has caused more people to plan house moves in the near future. Several factors have been linked to this. According to a survey, more people are considering moving home to gain better access to healthcare facilities. Many people predict a fall in house prices over the coming months, which could make it easier for people to relocate from places they are unhappy in. With more people working from home as a result of the pandemic, the need for extra space is growing too.
Changing attitudes towards homes
Homes are now hubs where more and more people work as well as live. This has created bigger appetites for outdoor space, extra bedrooms, and home office space. More than three-quarters of people were considering a move overseas, and over a quarter were thinking about moving to a different part of the country. Almost two-thirds of people said they were more likely to work from home in future, and over a quarter of people said the pandemic had made them more likely to purchase a second home.
How we can help
At Darvills of Leeds, we are here for you if you are ready to move home during the pandemic. Our team of removal specialists can get you moved safely and securely, with social distancing measures always complied with. We already have a great deal of experience in getting people moved during the pandemic. You can rely on us to make your safety a priority.
Why choose us?
We have been serving customers in the local area for over a century. This has enabled us to become one of the region’s most trusted and prestigious home removal firms. All our staff are fully trained and qualified. This means you can rest assured your prized possessions are in the safest of hands. Our services can be tailored to your specific needs, and we are fully insured. This means you are fully covered in the unlikely event breakages or damage do occur. We are proud of our punctuality and are always available whenever you have a query. We are a member of the National Guild of Removers. You can rest assured you’re dealing with a trusted, accredited brand.
Measures we are taking
Please inform us if anybody in your household has Covid-19 symptoms before the move takes place. All handles, rails and surfaces must be sanitised, and heating must be switched off. To keep yourselves and our crew safe, please vacate the property upon our arrival and keep a safe distance throughout the process. It’s also important to provide a floor plan so we know where to put your items once we reach your new home. To avoid cross-contamination, we have decided not to accept cash. We are also cleaning down our vehicles with industrial quantities of sterilising solution. We apply this to the loading bay and cab at the close of each shift.
Get the wheels in motion
It’s natural to be wary about moving house at this time. However, the Government has stated that you are legally permitted to do this if you stay safe. To find out more about removals and removals companies in Wakefield and Leeds, contact us today.